Zebulon Montgomery Pike Trail to the sources of the Mississippi 1805 — 1806

Day 1: August 11th, 2002 Munich — Pittsburgh

Now I can enjoy the checkin from yesterady. I can directly walk to security. As expected they check more precise than last year. But it’s still reasonable. Still I am glad that I brought my self made car battery charging unit last year to the US.

There is no relaxing time at the Lounge this time. But there is plenty of space in the regular seating area for me. I sit down and starting reading my book about my trail of this year: The Expeditions of Zebulon Montgomery Pike — Volume 1

The boarding starts almost at time. The flight is pretty booked. Next to me is a guy from Halle, who is traveling as technician for a printing machines company. I have a window seat again. But the view is not really great this time. That’s why I have no flight pictures. Maybe the connecting flight is more interesting.

We arrive in Chicago only a couple of minutes late. Then my usual trail through Immigration starts. The line looks endless this time. And as usual I get the slowest lane. Great, especially because I have to check in again. After an hour I eventually made it and I can pick up my suitcase. Then I have to pass the belts who would usually take my suitcase to the connecting flight. I know, I will never try this early check in again!

Now I have to drag my suitcase up the escalator and then have to enter the already full train to the departure gate. There I have to go another escalator down and go to the next endless line at the United counter. But it’s not as bad as expected. After half an hour it’s my turn. The black lady at the counter asks me in her deepest slang, which I almost didn’t understand. When I receive my ticket I see, that she gave me an aisle instead of the window seat I requested. I never had someone such unfriendly in the US like here. I am not in the mood to start a discussion after this long flight. I leave and search for my way to the departure gate. The usual way I went in the past is now only for business class. But were do the regular people go?

After a little bit of searching I encounter the security at the end of the hall. The security checks are as always. Then I go through the sounding hallways to my departure gate. I still have an hour left. Looks like this worked out. As I dropped my suitcase now personally at the right gate I am sure it will be in the right plane.

At 6pm my flight leaves for Pittsburgh on time. I look longingly to the first rows which are almost empty and where I have been when I had my silver card status. Now I am back in the regular economy back in the plane. There are advantages for a silver card holder…

The plane arrives a quarter to nine local time in Pittsburgh. After leaving the plane a small train takes me to the main building. There I pick up my suitcase and look for a quiet public phone. I call Helen to ask her to pick me up. Hopefully she is already back from her business trip. She answered the phone already after two rings and is ready to go.

Now I look for a decent spot to wait outside. It’s already dark now. But it is still comfortable warm. I assume it is around 75 degrees. There was still light last year when I left the building. It was getting dark when I waited for Helen. It looks like my flight is around an hour later than last year.

Helen arrives around a quarter past nine. I almost missed here because she has a new truck. But I see here right on time and get all my stuff to put it in the trunk. Then we drive to her house. She also came home this morning and she still has a lot of work. She shows me my bedroom and I start sorting out my stuff a little bit. We talk for a while until we go to bed around 11pm. Tomorrow morning we want to pick up my truck from the mine. Let’s see if my truck starts.

  • Sights
  • General
  • Breakfast: Home
  • Dinner: Plane
  • Motel: Home
  • Distance: —