Friday, June 20, 2014

24 January 2014 Unexpected Delay

Fog ice was still visiting the greater Spokane area so I decided to take the roads to the airport rather than the highway. I had a little time to spare and stopped for a couple caches. The ice made the rocks treacherous so I passed by a multi I was hoping to seek. Instead I settled for a quick find in a park and an early arrival at the airport.

There are only two places where I have been able to sleep and rest for years, in a moving vehicle and on a plane. I almost never sit in a window seat. My preference is an aisle while I often get the middle seat. Either way, I can easily fall asleep before the plane pushes back from the gate. Today, I had the very infrequent pleasure of sitting three across with no one else in my row. I looked out, saw the mountains, and decided to try a few images. The view was awesome.

By the time we reached the lights of greater Minneapolis and started to circle, it was clear this was not a good evening to be flying home through Minneapolis. The clear skies of earlier in my flight had been replaced with lots of snow. When I reached my connecting gate, the gate crew was already giving condolences to the passengers headed to Cleveland. I was lucky and able to board the first flight to Detroit Saturday with a mid-morning connection to Cleveland. Since the flight was cancelled for maintenance issues and not weather, Delta was giving lodging to a number of us. In the end, I was a lot luckier than the guy in front of me in line. He was hoping to get a flight to Detroit at 1 a.m. and rent a car which he would then drive to Cleveland where his tuxedo was waiting in his car at the airport parking for his noon wedding the next day. I hope he made it.

After waiting 45 minutes for the hotel taxi to arrive on its 20-minute cycle, the few and lucky amongst the stranded travelers were taken to a nearby DoubleTree Hotel for a night's lodging courtesy of Delta. The DoubleTree was tired and looked very chic for maybe 1990, but the time has passed for its decor including room phones that didn't function for room service. I was surprised to be in a handicapped-accessible room on the twentieth floor. Wouldn't it be a mess trying to evacuate a wheelchair from the twentieth floor in an emergency? Down on the first floor the climate was loud and busy with something called the Zuhrah Potentate's Ball. There was loud music, lots of alcohol, and a number of young ladies with little on in the way of clothing. All I wanted was dinner.

I didn't feel like waiting for room service or eating in the bar (either would have been a better choice) so I ventured out to the nearby Dairy Queen. I also decided to search for the cache that was hidden at the border between the hotel and the DQ. It would have been our first find in Minnesota if I had been able to reach the container. The cache is in the big pile of snow at the bottom of the image below. The person seeking the cache before me made the profound observation that a cache hanging in one of those evergreens behind the fence would have many more finds from out-of-town guests in Minnesota winters. ;)

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