destination puddle jumper, usa

I’ve had the opportunity to travel for some work related projects recently, and the travel has involved getting on a plane. Maybe to some place a little interesting, like New York or Europe, the plane flight itself might be an experience, but I’ve been going to Rock Springs, Wyoming. If you’re not familiar with Rock Springs, it’s a major metropolitan center out on the western side of Wyoming. Which, if you consider that Wyoming has the smallest population by a long shot of any state in the US, means that Rock Springs is a small mining town with some hotels along the interstate.

I flew there in January and as I got off the plane by walking down the steps, I saw my bag being unloaded onto a cart pulled by a garden tractor. I asked the guy if I could just grab my bag right then, and he informed me that doing that would be a breach of airline procedure and I could claim my bag at the appropriate luggage pick-up location at such time it became available. Whatever. I walked inside the one gate of the terminal and heard the lawn tractor pull up outside. Then a garage door on the side of the building opened up and the same guy I just talked to handed me my bag. Thank goodness for procedures, because I would hate it if someone else took my bag out on the runway…

The planes that fly to this type of airport aren’t the world’s largest jumbo jets. I’ve had my fair share of flying in small planes when I went home on vacation from college, so I’m not really surprised or shocked when getting on and I find I’m unable to stand up. Apparently, this is not the case with other passengers, and I always seem to be pretty close to people who are already uncomfortable being on a plane.

On the last flight, there were two comments that stuck out in my mind from the lady sitting across the aisle from me. The first was “This plane has propellers? I didn’t think they made those anymore,” and the second, when the landing gear thumped in retracting about the same time we dropped a little due to some turbulence was “Dear God, we’re all going to die.”

I don’t listen to music on these flights, as the engines are loud enough I hate to think what I would do to my ears if I turned my headphones loud enough to hear anything over the plane. I’m seriously considering investing in a pair of the noise cancelling headphones and testing them out if I continue to fly this route. The dull roar of a turbo-prop kind of numbs your senses, so on the flight out, I heard a rumbling noise and attributed it to the plane until I realized that it wasn’t consistent and it was coming from behind me.

Oblivious to everything, the guy behind was fast asleep and snoring, and this was no gentle snore. You may have heard snoring described as sawing lumber, but this was more equivalent to pulling the starting cord on a chainsaw than using a handsaw. Maybe a little bit more primer or a better fuel mixture and it actually would have fired up for him.