Denali 2011 – Day 1 – Getting there

Sunday morning 8/21/2011 8:30am – Worcester, MA

I’m either heading to church about now for Sunday school or I’m getting ready to head to service only. Either way – I’m about to be at BBC. 🙂 Not today though – I’m off to David’s house to then head to the airport on the start of this adventure.

I got to his house around 9am, we put all our luggage in his wife’s car and hung out for a bit. David even packed a lunch for when we were going to be in Philly later. We left and got to the airport around 11am for a 12:30pm flight from Boston Logan to Philly. We landed at about 2pm – the shortest flight of the whole trip (well shortest jet flight.. but more on that later).

Flight to Philly from BOS

We hung around the airport for a few hours and had lunch:

~4:00pm – PHL Airport

At the Philly airport

On the plane… we were just kind of sitting there. There was bad weather in the Philly area, so we were delayed.  1 hour taxiing on the runway – then we took off towards Anchorage.  Some pics from the flight:

Hmm... that's not an important piece of the wing dangling there is it? nah....

Once we landed – I went to get the rental car taken care of while David and Brian got the luggage.  We still had a few hours drive and we were pretty tired, so we were trying to expedite things.

inspecting the rental car for damage before taking it out

the ariline we flew

Still light at 9:30pm local time

We got in the car and the TomTom app on my iPhone told us 3.5 hours of driving.  When I had done it on Google Maps when I picked the hotel, it was closer to 2 hours. Keep in mind it was already 9/9:30pm.  And that’s Alaska time – that’s already 1/1:30am eastern time to us east-coast boys.  So 1am AK time would be 5am eastern time.  Yeah that stinks.  I had to open the window, get some Dr Pepper, candy, slap my face, play verbal games with the guys, etc. to stay awake.  Fortunately TomTom (better than SueSue?) was conservative as to the speeds we would be driving (no I didn’t have a lead foot) and so it did end up being closer to 2.5 hours.

We stayed at the Princess Lodge right near the park’s south boundary.  We checked in, got keys, then drove over to the actual room – and then a moose jumped out in front of me while driving.  So much more effective at waking me up than the Dr Pepper!  We all dropped like flies and went to sleep.


See Brian’s blog entry on the day here for his take on things.