Anchorage International Airport

May 21, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

anchorage-alaska-airport-vintage-airplane

Fairchild Biplane In Anchorage International Airport

    The international airport in Anchorage, Alaska is a place I got to spend about 12 hours in. It’s like no other airport I’ve ever been in so, here we go; it’s an airport that houses mounted grizzly bears, vintage airplanes and many great places to eat and drink. I arrived in Anchorage via Dutch Harbor, on my way to Denver.

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World Record Kodiak Grizzly Bear

    The full title of this airport is Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and it happens to house the largest Kodiak grizzly bear ever killed by a human being. This kind of record is not governed by the weight or height of the animal; it has to do with the length and width of its skull. Anyway, back in 1997 a guy named Will Gay shot this bear and now it’s on display in the airport.

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Local Art In Anchorage International Airport

    I mentioned that I spent 12 hours in this airport so I got to see the night and day difference between… Night and day. What I can only assume is a typical winter storm moved in whilst I was there so the overcast day turned into a snowy night.

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The Natural Light Of Anchorage

    I had my camera but it was still a challenge to drag my luggage around AND take pictures. As it turns out, Anchorage International has a baggage storage service that worked out rather well. They stowed all my gear for about ten bucks so I was able to roam the airport without looking like some dumb ass American tourist.

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Snow At The Airport

    As I mentioned before, day turned into night and it started to snow while I was in Anchorage. I’m not a scaredy cat traveler that frets over weather or maintenance of whatever vessel I happen to be traveling on. In my eyes, everything is an adventure, whether what happens is good or bad, perfect and planned or all goes horribly south, I’m in it for the journey and not the destination.

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Night and Snow In Anchorage

    I eventually flew out of Anchorage without incident. The plane was de-iced and seven hours later I was in Denver. Cheers!

San Diego International Airport Terminals To Tarmac Tour II

May 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Airport Terminals To Tarmac Tour

On The Tarmac At San Diego International Airport

        For the second time in four months I was fortunate enough to go on the San Diego International Airport Terminals to Tarmac Tour. This tour is a great way for you to involve yourself with and educate yourself about the larger than life role Lindbergh Field plays for San Diego. Back in February, when I went on the Terminals to Tarmac Tour for the first time I tried to be as meticulous as possible, recording video, snapping photos and taking copious notes. This time was a little different because I just wanted to have fun. And take pictures, so that’s what I did.

San Diego Airport Terminal Two Green Build

San Diego Airport Terminals To Tarmac Tour People

        When you take a tour you are, in effect, gambling because you know what the best and worst case scenarios are, agreed to them and then rolled the dice. The quality of the tour, the tour guide, the weather and your tour mates are all beyond your control and that’s what makes tours into the unknown so exciting. If you don’t know exactly where you are going then you don’t know exactly what will happen and that should add some bloody EXCITEMENT to your life! The Wright Brothers made their first flight in 1903, nine years before my grandfather was born and yet here I am, for the second time this year, learning about an industry that didn’t even exist when my dad’s dad was in elementary school! Just imagine what American citizens in 2111 will be learning about. No one knows for sure, but what I can tell you is that on this tour you will learn why San Diego Airport is a leading economic engine region for the region, get to walk onto the tarmac and stand right under the west end of the runway as planes from all over the world make their landing approach and roar past you, right over your head. There is an interactive, multimedia employee blog featuring Lindbergh Field from the perspective of front-line Airport Authority employees called, The Ambassablog that is full of “in the trenches” info about the airport. It’s a great read and is a great supplement to what you will learn on the tour. The above right photo shows my tour mates looking skyward at a plane while the above left photo shows the progress of the new addition to terminal 2.

Thinking About San Diego International Airport

Flower, Shadow, Sunlight, Bee, Blue Sky

        It’s worth noting that my tour mates on the San Diego Airport Terminals to Tarmac Tour (besides my cousin) where a group of about a dozen home schooled kids, along with four or five of their moms. My cousin & I were the only other adults on the tour so we had a discussion or two about home schooled kids. My opinion is that home schooling is stupid because the day a kid steps out of home school is the day they realize the real world has nothing to do with their home, or their schooling. Just like saplings need wind to develop bark so they can grow into a tree, children need to know that the funny part of a joke is called a punch line, which means that in order for a joke to be funny, somebody has to take one on the chin and that person might be them. I don’t believe that’s something that can be taught, I believe that’s something you’ll only appreciate after personally giving or receiving a crack on the jaw. You can’t accurately describe a rock concert or being in love to some one that hasn’t personally and physically experienced them because these are life experiences that are personal and different for everyone, as opposed to what your mom tells you it should be. Seriously, can you imagine being turned loose on the world at the tender age of 18 with only your mother’s knowledge as a basis for how to function in society? Maybe it’s not that bad but I’ll tell you what, I needed school and I had to take some licks that were real world lessons no home-school can provide.

San Diego Airport Terminals To Tarmac Tour

February 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jet Plane About To Land At San Diego International Airport

About To Land At San Diego International Airport

        I recently had the pleasure of going on the Terminals To Tarmac Tour at San Diego Airport. From the website:

See behind the scenes of San Diego International Airport! The Airport Authority is offering free tours of the airport and airfield, including up-close looks at the runway, endangered species areas and public art. Tours are two hours long and are offered four times a month – each second and fourth Thursday at 10 a.m. and Friday at 1 p.m.

Ryan - Tour Guide For Terminals To Tarmac Tour At San Diego International Airport

Ryan, Our Tour Guide Through San Diego Airport

        Ryan, our tour guide is a great ambassador for the airport. He has a great sense of humor, was very informative and really brings a lot to the table so the tour was much more than just a photo op or an endless barrage of boring statistics and facts. What Ryan was able to do was show the relationship between the airport and the city of San Diego, and how that relationship leads to exciting things happening at the airport, which in turn makes San Diego an even more exciting city to live in and visit.

Inside Terminal 2 At San Diego International Airport

Inside San Diego Airport’s Terminal 2

        In a nutshell, the tour breaks down into two parts, each part is an hour long and there’s a ten minute bathroom break in the middle. You start out by meeting your tour group at the commuter terminal, receiving a visitors badge and then jumping into a shuttle bus that takes you to terminal 1 to begin the first part of the tour, which is a walking tour of both terminals. After that the shuttle bus takes you “inside the wire” and out onto the tarmac for a slow, circling tour of the runway and it’s operations.

Puff The Magic Dragon In Terminal 2 Of San Diego International Airport

Performing Art In SD Airport’s Terminal 2

        The puppet show version of Puff The Magic Dragon you see above was going on as part of the Airport Art Program. This was going on in the baggage claim area of terminal two during the tour break so I though I’d throw it in.

Ryan Explains The Geography Of San Diego International Airport

Tarmac Worker At San Diego International Airport

        Over a very helpful model of the airport, Ryan explained several things about the airport to us. The tour is very much one of those “have to be there” kind of things, so you should just take the tour because being there, seeing it and listening to the tone and excited inflection of the tour guide’s voice compliment each other in a way that probably won’t be adequately represented here. The video at the end of this post is about 6 minutes long and in it you can here Ryan talk about just a couple things about the airport. He really packs a lot in during that time, so if what you see in the video or in this post seem even remotely interesting to you then go to the San Diego Airport’s website and sign up for the tour! As we walked through the terminal, Ryan told us the trifecta of nouns that make up the theme of the airport are sky, sea and surf. As soon as he said that and pointed out a few things, it all came leaping to the foreground like pieces from the Da Vinci Code… The weather and/or the beach is why people live, move and visit here. I’m one of them. I can proudly say that I’ve been clean and sober from snow and sub-freezing temperatures for over five years, since moving to San Diego from Denver, Colorado. If the weather and the beach are the main reasons people come here, then it makes perfect subliminal sense to remind people of that in the airport. I learned on the tour that San Diego is not a “connecting” city which means that most visitors to our airport are either starting or ending their travel here, so the airport being themed as it is helps people to have a great San Diego experience that starts as soon as they get off the plane. This tour really shines a light on the amount of thought that goes into parlaying our weather and beaches into tourists, the experience they have and the money we want them to spend.

View Through Windshield Of San Diego Airport Terminals To Tarmac Tour Bus

Through The Windshield Of The Terminals To Tarmac Shuttle Bus

        I’ve been through both terminals of San Diego airport before, so I didn’t take too many photos during that portion of the tour, I did a lot of listening. Once our shuttle picked us up and drove us out onto the tarmac… I was listening a little bit less. San Diego Airport only has one runway, so all the action took place right in front of us as the shuttle slowly circled around the runway, eventually stopping on the north side, where I was able to get out and take some photos.

US Airways Jet Plane Lands At San Diego International Airport

US Airways Jet Plane Lands At San Diego International Airport

        Landings and take-offs all happen in the same direction and that is to the west. From our photo op area on the north side of the runway we had a great, window-free vantage to get some pics of the planes coming and going.

Private Jet Plane Taxis At San Diego International Airport

Private Jet Taxis At San Diego Airport

        After that the shuttle drove us to the eastern end of the runway. This put us directly under planes as they came in on their final approach to the airport. From here, we literally had a view of the underbelly, front and back of planes, full of people that are the reason San Diego Airport is not just a place. It’s a thing. It’s an organism that lives only because there are people that live in and visit San Diego, California.

Right Under A Jet Plane Landing at San Diego International Airport

Seconds Away From Touchdown At San Diego Airport

        I didn’t want to plan on learning anything during the tour, but I did. I just wanted a great photo op, but now I want to go back again not so I can take more photos, but so I can listen to what the tour guide will have to say about the airport, and the slight variations that each tour would have because Ryan was not reading from a script, he was telling us a story based on inside information he has as an employee and a guide for the Terminals To Tarmac tour. My destination was the San Diego airport, but my journey didn’t begin until I got there. I’m not an airport, aviation or airplane buff, but after this tour I can see how it would open up a whole new world of photography to me if I was. Coming to San Diego does the same thing for other people in an infinite number of ways. I took these photos yesterday, early in the second week of February and just look at those blue skies, look at all that sunlight streaming in through the terminal windows! The temperature was perfect, the barometer was gorgeous and rising and the humidity had us at a dew point that might make the glass that’s holding your margarita damp. We live in San Diego people! The five plus years I’ve lived here have helped me forget what wind chill, coat checks and winter are, and if you don’t know what any of those things are then consider yourself lucky. Do you like apples? Yeah? Well you can fly from San Diego, nonstop to Maui and London, among other places. How do you like them apples? I thought so. Cheers, and happy traveling!

Video From Terminal To Tarmac Tour At San Diego Airport

San Diego International Airport Before Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

San Diego Airport Terminal 2

San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 Baggage Claim

        I went to the San Diego International airport today to see if I could get a glimpse of some TSA agents and perhaps even get some shots of them patting down some travelers. No such luck. Without a ticket, I was only able to get to the very fringes of the security checkpoints.

Vacant Security Lines At San Diego Airport

The Calm Before The Storm

        As I strolled through the airport, I realized that I haven’t been to an airport for almost three years. I really need to travel more, here in San Diego and around the world. Anyway, being at the airport today, less than one week before the busiest air traveling day of the year made me think I should return next weekend for some real photographic fun.

TSA Agents At San Diego Airport

TSA Agents At San Diego International Airport

        I suspect that any employee at Lindbergh Field will have much less free time than these three over Thanksgiving weekend.

People At San Diego International Airport

Taking A Break At Lindbergh Field

        The giant piece of art and the chairs above are in terminal 2 at the San Diego International airport. Another idea I had was to shoot the scene above over and over with different people in the chairs each time. The boldness of the art, the reflection on the floor and a mixture of travelers using the chairs at different times of the day over the course of a long time could generate an interesting theme.