Fog-Inducing Travel

 

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but there’s been nothing but crickets on Krahnpix for weeks. One of my excuses is that my camera and I just returned from California. Since I am not a travel blogger (and a lousy traveller), I waited to get home to share my stories and pictures.

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Apparently travelling has its obstacles for wildlife too. Even this duck chose not to fly.

Now I could bore you with all the wonderful times I had, the great photo-ops and the fantastic weather and … it would be mostly true. But that’s what everyone says about holidays (vacations to Americans). First I need a blog post to cleanse my palate of travelling frustrations. Black humour here we come!

For the record, I understand that these are first-world problems and some or all of my anguish may have been self-inflicted. But, why should that stop me from making fun of myself?

My frustrations started out before the trip even began. I could not print off my wife’s boarding passes and not even a premature trip to the airport could fix the problem. It’s a wonder we ever got off the ground in Saskatoon.

Now a day of travelling by air consists mostly of trying to kill time. Some people may enjoy chatting with others in the airport or plane, watching movies or reading books, but not me. I watch the little plane not moving on the back of the airplane seat. Trust me it works. I also like to look around and see how many travellers have their head in their hands. There are quite a few. Misery loves company.

By some miracle and three planes later, we made in to San Francisco and rented a car. In no time we were experiencing traffic California style … in a word relentless. While we were able to sneak around most days and get to our destinations, it was hardly a surprise that one day it took 1.5 hours to do 8 kms thanks to an accident. Talk about time standing still. It takes special people to deal with that on a regular basis.

After all the wonderful days in California (see future posts for details), I tried to mentally prepare myself for a long day to travel home. Little did I know what lay in store.

We arrived at San Francisco airport in good time. The surly agent at Air Canada promptly ripped up our carefully printed boarding passes, threw them in the trash and informed us that we would miss our next connection in Vancouver. Apparently fog was the culprit though it didn’t look too bad to me. While he typed his autobiography on the computer, I contemplated a day that might never end.

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I thot for a moment I might be in the Serengeti but it turned out there were zebras hanging out with the cattle at Hearst Castle.

The next 16 hours consisted of morbidly boring, repeating rituals – waiting, showing boarding passes/passports, standing in line, going through security, sitting here then there, walking, standing in line, waiting and … well you get the picture.

The final twist was sitting on the tarmac in Calgary after 1 a.m. The pilot had informed us there was fog in Saskatoon so our diversion point was Edmonton (are you kidding me?) and then a few minutes later told us about a small mechanical problem that necessitated a call to maintenance.

Risk assessment is influenced by many factors including one’s emotional state. Left to me, I would have ordered the pilot not to worry about the fog or the plane’s flashing buttons or any other issues – just fly me to Saskatoon and I’ll take my chances !

My camera, my photos and I arrived at our house at 3:20 a.m. I’m still thrilled to be home.

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It’s funny how I travelled all the way to California to take a photo of a gull which I would rarely do at home. Nice background though.

 

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Latest Comments

  1. Scott K Marshall says:

    I want to say pissing myself and know I shouldn’t but hell why not. 2 things how much pollution did you inhale in that 90 mins and 8km and secondly the gull backdrop is cracking. I recall entering my Jonathan Livingstone Seagull image of a seagull (probably my best wildlife shot ever) and the damm judge reflecting “it was just a gull” whats the type of bird got to do with it – it about the shot – surely – rant over 🙂

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I got a whole new perspective on pollution after watching all those cars day after day – the stuff of nightmares. Where are these people all going?

      I must confess I hesitated with the gull but the shot was there so I took it. I may need to have a word with your judges.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Timmis says:

    The joys of travel. I do it almost every week for business but haven’t had your kind of fun in a long time. Hope that your photo outings made up for the pain and suffering that you had to deal with. Look forward to seeing your photos. Hope that you had a chance to do some whale watching while in California.

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    • Lyle Krahn says:

      I don’t envy you travelling every week. While I might like to complain about our travel fun, we had a great trip and I was pleased to add some photos of critters I don’t get to see around here. We didn’t do the whale watching thing this time but sure had fun last time.

      Like

  3. wooclipmovie says:

    Lovely to see your pictures.

    Like

  4. Dalo 2013 says:

    After spending way too many hours in the air to start the new year, I can commiserate with you ~ but looking back at the adventures had during my times on the ground, my frown turns into a smile. Life is good, as you seem to consistently show on your blog ~ cheers to happiness as spring is about to begin.

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    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Cheers to you too. You’re absolutely right – we decide which memories of the trip colour the whole thing. Still I couldn’t resist a little black humour to dispense with the struggles of travelling. The trip was great and I now have the luxury of going through a new batch of photos including creatures I don’t get to see at home. You must be an expert at this whole travelling thing.

      Like

  5. Lavinia Ross says:

    I sympathize with your air travel woes. We just returned from a trip back east, and fortunately, all went without a hitch except for being crowded like sardines.

    I like the surfing duck! The zebra threw me for a minute, but then I realized I was on Krahnpix, where anything can happen… 🙂 Nice shot of the gull, too.

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  6. Steve Gingold says:

    Dislike of air travel (my one experience anyway) has a lot to do with my staying close to home. Sorry your trip was such a hassle, Lyle. At least there were zebras.

    Like

  7. Mandy says:

    I thought you must have been away having travel adventures. Looking forward to seeing the photos. By the way – are you coming to the party??

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  8. Gunta says:

    It seems you might understand why it would take something earth-shattering to get me on a plane ever again, or my predilection to stay far from major cities. I’d much rather see the wild life in the wilderness. City wild life tends to be rather boring. IMHO, of course.

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  9. David says:

    Yes it is a nice background and you got good subject isolation with it and yes it is a full photo, but a very nice gull photo. I’d share a travel horror story or two but I think that’s best done over a beer or bourbon – then the stories get better the longer you go.

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    • Lyle Krahn says:

      It turns out even gulls can look pretty good to me with the right background. I’m happy I took it. I’m sure we all have travel stories – it seems to be part of the natural hazards of going anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jeff Bell says:

    There is no traffic in Alaska, just sayin.

    I have heard it said that we travel great distances to marvel at the type of people we ignore at home. In your case, you seem to have photographed a gull you’d have ignored at home.

    Like

  11. Mike Powell says:

    Ah, the joys of traveling and traffic. Commuting in the Washington D.C. area is merciless and a single snowflake or drop of rain is enough to paralyze the area and create shortages of bread, milk, and toilet paper in the grocery stores. I always feel electronically under equipped when I am in the airport, because my face is not buried in a cell phone, iPad, or some other such device. Still, it’s nice to see some different scenery from time to time (and it even caused you to take a landscape image), so maybe it’s worth it, as long as I don’t have to do it too often.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Oh yes it is definitely worth it to see how the busy half lives and the best bonus is seeing my daughter! It also makes me appreciate coming home and the ease of transport around here. I admire your courage to face your traffic all the time. Yes the different scenery really grabbed my attention given our lack of oceans in Saskatchewan – I suppose it has been a while since I posted a landscape shot.

      Like

  12. Pam says:

    Oh what a torture! For California, the rule is to get up about sunrise to beat the traffic (it might be a little better at that hour, although I do admit to hitting a traffic jam at midnight one time). If you can avoid it, fly into San Jose instead of San Francisco. Way less fog there. But fog in Canada too! That is no fair. Glad you are safely home after an exhausting but I’m sure memorable trip. The top picture is gorgeous!

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Yes when the fog chases me down, it doesn’t matter where I go apparently! That traffic sure gets a person attention and makes you adjust schedules. It was a great trip though and I loved the ocean vistas – glad you liked this one too.

      Like

  13. Janes Heartsong says:

    Oh come on! Edmonton is not that bad, but glad you made it home safely-it is always nice to get home..Nice to be able to read the posts that I follow- been logged down with other stuff-like seeing the Californian gull – saw one once in Edmonton in early spring hanging out with the ring-billed ones stuck out like a sore thumb considering its size.Funny seeing a Scoter riding the surf.

    Like

    • Lyle Krahn says:

      Edmonton is great though I couldn’t quite see the point of flying there instead of just staying in Calgary when we are aiming for Saskatoon. It’s always interesting to see who the birds hang out with – even the elephant seals as I found out!

      Like

  14. Dick Trew says:

    Good to have you back, Lyle! It’s an unusually warm winter… I think the gulls will return sooner than usual. The zebras I’m not betting on.

    Like

  15. Melinda Kucsera says:

    I feel your pain. I’ve been through this before. Be glad you had a companion and that you spoke the language! Travel woes and snafus are magnified by language barriers!

    Like

  16. Ginny Alfano says:

    I must say that I commiserate with you about your travel woes. On February 5th, we (my husband and I) traveled to Kissimmee, FL by train to join our daughter and family on their vacation. The trip down was flawless and actually quite fun. It took 22 hours, but seemed to fly by with the aid of an over the counter sleep aid for the night :). We arrived in Orlando in the pouring rain. Luckily, I had made arrangement to be met at the train station by a nearby car rental place. After completing all of the paperwork we took off to our destination. That’s when the wall of traffic hit – like you, we were shocked! We really thought we would die that day. What were we thinking? After all, we were right outside of Disney World!! What a joke. I was never so glad to reach a destination in my life. We quietly parked the car, walked into our daughter’s rental property and sat down with a glass of wine. We live in the middle of nowhere and if five cars pass by our house in a day it’s a lot. Being thrown into that area was a huge shock in more ways then one.

    During the day when the “kids” and grandkids left for all the attractions, we took off for the wildlife refuges. We found every back way we could to get to them. What a huge sigh of relief we expelled each time we entered a refuge. The birds were amazing and it thrilled me to see the joy on my husband’s face as he saw one life bird after another. I’m the photographer in the family, so I was able to get some fairly good shots. Our favorite refuge was Merritt Island at the Cape Canaveral Seashore. It was truly amazing and teaming with birds and other wildlife – I liked the Armadillo’s the best :). We were ecstatic to come across two of the endangered Florida Scrub-jays. Of course, they were right in the sun, so my photo’s aren’t the best, but they will do. We spent a few hours on the beautiful white sand beaches at the ocean. We had them almost to ourselves – what a treat.

    We left for home on February 13th. During the night, our train was delayed for two hours by a broken down freight train. We made up some time, but missed our connection in New York City by about 20 minutes. Now it is February 14th and it turned out to be the coldest day of the year – well below zero and too cold to get the engine out of the train yards for the next connecting train. We sat and waited, and waited, and waited with hundreds of other coughing, sneezing people in Penn Station. Almost seven hours later, our train pulled out and continued on its journey to northern NY. We walked in the house at 4:10am to frozen pipes and no heat. A friend checked the house on Friday and all was well, but at some point after that, our power went out and the furnace never came back on. It was 28 degrees below zero and the house was like a solid chunk of ice. We have two cats, and they were beyond frozen. I really thought they were going to die. Luckily, we have an electric blanket, so I turned it on and put the cats underneath it. Thankfully, they did survive. Thankfully, as well, our pipes did not burst.

    Like you, we are still so glad to be home to our little house in the woods without any traffic or neighbors :). We did bring back a lot of good memories of family and wildlife. We also managed to bring back nasty colds from all the sick people on the train! The sickness will pass and we can start looking forward to Spring in a couple of months in our own quiet corner of the world………………. GA.

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