2009 Colorado Trip (Last updated on 2009/10/17)

2009/09/17 Going to Colorado

To Airport

I worked at office until 3:15pm, wrapped up, headed to the parking lot, and took off to the airport. It's good that my office is just off the M-14 so I could start driving on freeway in no time. The traffic was not too busy but I had to drive a lot faster in order to avoid getting intimidated by other angry drivers wanting to go faster. Switched to I-275 south and then I-94 east. I got off at Merriman to the parking. I have never used this one but it was cheaper than using US Park by $4 overall. There is a grandma driving ahead of me and stopped at the merging so she build up the traffic on the ramp. I was worried at I could get hit... I arrived at the parking safe at 3:50pm. Picked up a ticket, followed a shuttle van to the lot and got a ride to the airport. It was not too bad.

To Dallas: AA1951 DTW(5:20pm EDT) - DFW(7:10pm CDT)

AA1951 at DTW under sunshine  
The sun shining down through clouds It was raining below the cloud cover...

As I was getting off, the driver asked if I am a student, maybe because I was carrying a backpack... Walked up to the counter and dropped off my bags at 4:00pm as I check in. I passed the security and walked to the north end of the terminal where the gate is at. Picked up a couple magazines and water then sat down by the gate at 4:25pm. The evening sun was shining in so I stayed in shadow side.

The boarding started at 4:50pm on time. The first class was sold out so I did not get a chance for a free upgrade. After the first class boarding was finished. They invited folks with priority access, which was almost like for everybody. Hahaha. About twenty people went inside before I can go in. At least there was no one took up the overhead bin at my row. Later, there were a couple of passengers could not find the place to put their bags, they were carrying the bag back and forth for a while. It was comical but understand them. It will be like $25 for one bag to check in. Because of this, the pushed back was delayed by five minutes and we are departing at 5:25pm. Due to busy traffic hours, we had to wait on pavement for a while and finally joining after 5 planes ahead of us. Departed at 5:35pm to the south, and then I fell sleep for a while.

I was taking things easy as the plane makes its way to Dallas, passing a couple of towns, then start flying over cloudy sky. The captain reported that Dallas is under light rain, but expecting no delay. The plane flew around 34,000ft and then reduced the throttle around 6:20pm (CDT). The descending to the airport started at 6:35pm and it entered in the sea of clouds. It made some turns so I lost the directional orientations... When the plane broke off from the clouds, I saw Texas Motor Speedway in a distance, then the plane landed at 7:00pm. It taxied for a while and arrived to the gate at 7:10pm. At the ground, it was misty so I guess the rain has not stopped yet.

To Denver: AA889 DFW(9:35pm CDT) - DEN(10:35pm MDT)

AA889 arrived at DEN

After getting off the plane and walked to McDonald's for dinner. After a quick meal, I walked toward the new gate and arrived at 7:40pm, it was a short walk since no change in terminal was needed. Watching TV and relaxed until 9:05pm. The boarding started on time and as I sat down, found out it is a Wi-fi equipped one. After the plane took off to north, I don't have much things to do. I was very much sleepy so I was taking nap as the plane fly to Denver. I got up with the noise of changing the engine settings, the captain announced that the plane is getting ready for the landing. I looked out the window, I could see some city lights as the plane approach toward the airport. The plane kept going west then to the south. The plane landed at 10:15pm. The plane had to taxi for a while and got to the gate. I get off the plane and walking toward the ride connecting to the main terminal.

To the hotel at Highland Ranch, CO

I have arrived at the baggage claim at 10:35pm, soon the bags start coming out. There was an military member waiting among us, and people around thanked him. I guess that's something about this country. Waited for 10 minutes to collect mine. then I walked to the rental car counter but all of them are closed. I guess I have to walk outside to get on the shuttle bus. The bus was there and I got in 10:55pm. had to wait for a couple more customers. There are people looking for a way to rent a car but they are only taking reserved customers. Sorry for them. Left the airport in a bus at 11:00pm to the company lot. Once arrived to the location they were telling me instead of "compact" car I served, I can only pick H3, Suburban. I was not comfortable driving those so I asked if there is anything else. They had a Ford Edge so I decided to take it. I got in the car and start driving to the hotel at 11:20pm. They had some construction works so I had to drive slow occasionally. The car had a Sirius radio installed so I had no trouble finding my kinds of music. I did not know the way so the GPS I brought is the only guidance. I drove slow, okay and finally arrived at the hotel by midnight, checked in. The room had two bed rooms. Which was pretty cool. I was tired, so I took a shower and went to bed at 12:30am.

A bedroom to my left ... and another one to my right?

Water: $1.49, McDonalds $6.16, Magazines $12.23

2009/09/18 Pikes Peak

To Pikes Peak


I woke up at 5:00am, felt not rested well but stretched my body, took a shower and repack my belongings for the day. It is 53F outside and on the TV, they are covering the news about a terror suspect in Denver who drove a car to New York. I guess this kind of stuffs keep happening then. The Pikes Peak gate opens at 7:30am so I thought about leaving here at 6:00am, but being told that there will be a "free" & "warm" breakfast from 6:30am, I decided to stay... Leaving with stomach full is better than leaving with hunger...

Putting my stuffs in the car and left the hotel at 7:00am, stopped by at nearby gas station to buy some water, then entered a freeway which has traffic control lights at the entrance. Kept driving on CO-470 to east under sun glare, which was pretty hard then switched to I-25 south. Now I can see better... Kept driving to south, passing the Air Force Academy, watching two Cessnas practicing the patterns, arrived to Colorado Springs, then exit at 141 to CO-24 West to Cascade, after driving on a winding road while watching the peak is to my left, I found the entrance to the peak on left. Kept going for a while then arrived to the gate at 8:20am. The sign says, 28F at peak, beautiful view. Used $2 off coupon I downloaded for the admission, then I started to drive up the road.

The road is as narrow and twisted as usual. Since I am driving a little bigger and heavier car than I normally do, I had to be careful. Made a brief stop at Crystal Reserve around 8:40am. Under morning calm, I can see the reflection of mountains, people fishing, and fish make jumps occasionally. It was quiet and nice. A part of trees got yellow leaves, but not all. I guess the view could be a bit nicer if I come here later in the month. Took some pictures then headed to the peak. I kept driving up but looks like the car in front of me is a patrol vehicle, I should behave for now... When I reached Devil's Playground, I felt happy about that I can go further today. Kept driving on gravel road, the rest of portion got very limited space so I had to drive steep hill slowly. Finally arrived at the peak at 9:30am. There are some slow left there, and a couple of building. Parked the car and start walking around the cool, breezy field under sunny sky.

Reflection Leaves turning their color Driving up to the peak I am almost there

At the peak



Soon after I arrived there, three trains arrived to the peak, and start unloading many people. I have heard of the railway, and this is the first time seeing abt system.

I needed to get myself adjusted to high altitude so I geared up and start walking in circle around the peak. Each step I take is a such a hard work and I was breathing hard but I need to be okay for the hiking starting tomorrow so I had to get to use to it. I spent about 1 hour walking around, with some rest. I did not bring my lunch here, and thought eating at the cabin could be expensive... In addition, I got headache, I don't want make bad choice due to my irritated head... I kept drinking water, trying to ease headache.

Some part of the ground is frozen, so I had to walk with care, and saw a park ranger scooping sands and throwing on the ground. I walked around and found out that the observation deck had a statue with America the beautiful lyrics written. The cabin had no postcard of I like, so I only used the restroom. Started to seeing clouds coming up later on. I guess the weather is changing. It would be not funny driving under thick fog on the way back, or under thunderstorm, so I made up my mind. It's time to go... but I wanted see the train moving so I waited until 11:20am. After the trains left I can move on. Get back to my car, saw the external temperature is 33F. Started to going down but I have a plan on the way back.

The car I rent, Ford Edge with Sirius radio. Sweet

Playing at Devil's Playground

While driving down the road, I stopped at mile 16, where Devil's Playground is located. There was a construction work nearby so I had to pick a place to park a bit away. One of the reason I stopped was to make the trip up, just like last year. I started to walking up around 11:40am. It was not so bad until the middle point, then started to count 60-100 steps and took a short break each. I made it to the top in about 20 minutes, the sky was getting cloudy so I could see some parts far away, and others not. I rested a bit then decided to come down. I actually had harder time on descending for getting a good grip on my feet. Anyways, I made it back in another 20 minutes. Get back in my car and kept going down, stopped at mandatory brake temp check point. A car in front of me got pulled to a parking. My brake was 170F, according to the ranger. Kept coming down, and reached the lake at 12:50pm, Made a stop to buy postcards to my friends. Passing the gate around 1:15pm and start heading back to the interstate. I was getting hungry also so I decided to go to Colorado Springs for lunch.

Stopping by Colorado Springs for lunch

Drove to Colorado Springs downtown. I did not have changes, and everywhere I see have parking meters. Hmm, but could not hold anymore so parked in front of Pita Pit for lunch at 2:00pm, as soon as paid, I used the change to get the meter started. I don't want a ticket... I had a gyro, which was okay, just had hard time eating with severe headache due to the high altitude sickness, even with Dr. Pepper. I hate to chew right now as much as I want to eat it. Each time when my upper and lower teeth come in contact, I get a jolt. Ouch... That's enough of suffering for now. I get back in the car, left there around 2:15pm, I think I should rest in a bed for a while. Even when I am driving, I could not turn my head otherwise I suffer more pain. I get back on I-25 and start driving north to Fort Collins, Co.


To Fort Collins


Arriving to Denver, I can see train to the left

Stuck in traffic, I hate big city Stuck in traffic, I hate countryside, too...

The road was not so congested so the traffic was flowing smooth. I saw a tractor trailer in the middle of freeway, soon it was pulled over by police for staying in passing lane too long. Around 3:00pm, I entered metropolitan part of Denver, started to see commuter train running along the freeway to my left. I got stuck in a traffic jam nearby downtown at 3:25pm. Slow moving traffic is just killing me because my head hurts, keep driving water so I want to stop by at a restroom but cannot move. Once passing there, the flow is back to smooth one. I thought it will be just a cruise up to Fort Collins, but wrong....

My dinner

Kept going up the I-25, the traffic is getting less and less, so the speed got faster. I was thinking of the comfortable time on the bed to deal with my headache. Oh I just cannot wait then just 6 more miles to go, I am stuck in traffic jam again at 4:25pm. None of the cars moves and the road along the freeway has a long line in north bound. Is there an accident??? I saw some SUVs and trucks on the freeway getting off to the local road. Ah, although it is illegal, they can drive unpaved part without a problem. How nice... Later I found it was for a some kind of concert, but at the time, it was no way knowing it. Anyways, soon the traffic start flowing again and I got off at Exit 265, which is CO-68, also named as Harmony Rd. (funny if the address is east side then E Harmony... Hahaha!).

Driving along the road, I see a lot of cars, probably from commuting. There are a couple of well known companies like Intel and HP had offices there. I guess a bunch of Tech. companies like these have offices outside of Denver. Finally arrived at hotel at 5:15pm. There are a couple of people at the hotel lobby drinking beers already. After unloading all the stuffs from the car, I went out to get dinner at 5:35pm. There is a shopping mall to the east so I stopped by at a Noodles Company for Indonesian Peanut Saute, and at a gas station to buy bottles of Gatorade for tomorrow. Come back to the hotel at 6:00pm and start eating while using internet. I had to prepare for tomorrow, so tweaked my iPhone on GPS application by loading the map and Navigation units. Updated the blog also. Took shower and went to bed around 9:00pm.

Noodles Company $7.74, Gatorade $3.07, Pikes Peak $8.00, Gifts $10.23, Snacks $6.85, Gas $24.07, Water $2.97

2009/09/19 Rocky Mountain Day 1


At dawn

I woke up at 4:20am, I thought it maybe too early but mornings are always the best time to start the ascent. So I took a shower, stretched my body and carried a backpack to the car. The outside was pretty dark and chilly. Almost no traffic on the road. I left the hotel at 5:20am, and I was hoping to eat my breakfast at IHOP nearby but it was closed, so I decided to drive to the national park straight. Driving south on College Avenue (CO-287) for 20 minutes to Loveland, then switch to CO-34. I get there around 5:40am and start driving in dark. I had to drive through a canyon, so it was tense moments until the outside is getting bright. When I arrived to Estes Park. I stopped at a gas station near the park entrance around 6:30am, bought Poptarts and orange juice as my breakfast. The entrance to the park had no people on duty, so I could go on. Where do I pay the $20?

Start walking into the woods making a sharp turn here





Flattop Mountain (12,324ft / 3,756m)

On the way to Bear Lake parking, I made a stop to see a nice view which the mountains While I was looking at the scenery, I heard elk making flute like noise. It's kinda weird tone but surely reach a long distance. After taking some pictures, I continue driving to the parking and arrived at 7:00am, there are many people already. I was talking to some people coming down, they went to take some pictures of the lake at dawn. I guess that's another way of enjoying the nature. Changed to hiking boots, brought out my backpack from the car and checked the contents. I am ready for the day. I started to walk up to the Bear Lake at 7:25am. The weather is simply nice. I started to taking a path up to the mountain.

As I start walking up, realized that carrying 4L of water is simply too much, but I just don't want to take risk, so I cannot afford losing any at this moment. I went up for a while then saw two guys resting, one of them told me that when I go the very top, there is a big reward there... I see I guess it's a nice way of thinking. Arriving at first division at 7:35am (Flattop and Bierstadt Lake?), the second one at 7:52am (Flattop Mtn and Odessa Lake) . I kept climbing in the woods, by 9:00am, I reached to the place where trees no longer available. The sky is still very clear and no sign of bad weather. I hate to get struck by thunderstorm where I have no cover... I expect the higher up would be windy and cold, so I put my jacket back on, brought out my gloves and a cap. I saw a guy coming up with pretty good pace and we chat a bit and I shared my trail mix. The path gets rocky from here on.

Finally reached to the dragon tail at 10:00am. When I tried this path last time, I reached here and had to turn around due to fatigue and too much snow left on the ground. I could see the summit of the mountain from here. Okay I am almost there. The road from here was not too rocky, I could walk along the route by following stuck up rocks. I could just walk for a while, rest a while, walk a while and rest a while. Looking at a glacier nearby, which is only a small chunk about 20 minutes past. It's only a few more to the top, so I kept walking up. The top of flattop mountain is just as the name. It was "flat" I could not tell where is the highest point but it does not matter. I made it to the top at 10:40am.

Hallett Peak (3,875m)

After arriving at the summit around 10:40am, I felt I still can go on. so I set the next goal, which is Hallett Peak (3,875m). I started to walk and saw a Kaman K-Max flying by, dropping some supplies. I rested for 10 minutes then start heading up to the peak but I picked a wrong path, so I had to get myself coordinated again to the peak. It was only 1 mile walk, with 300ft ascent, but the path was not easy. I finally arrived at the summit at 11:45am. I am so glad that I am here right now. I took pictures and chat with folks at the peak. They are from Texas, and kindly asked me to sign their log. Why not. People come up the mountain share a lot. We all have the same goal, regard less of the way they enjoy. The top of the mountain make me feel good. I still see a helicopter coming and going, and some airliner flying high leaving lines of clouds. Started to snacking on my trail mix, and other stuffs. I see some people actually eating sandwich... I wish I had a decent lunch, though...


GPS comes in handy I am very tired...


Coming down to the parking

The line of clouds are still far away, but a lot closer than when I get here. I'd better get going. Start coming down at 12:20pm, first I had to come down from the Hallett Peak, to Flattop Mountain, which took me about 40 minutes. The path was rocky so I had to go slowly. Once coming down from the peak, it is faster. Walking down on yellow, dried soil, greeting with people coming up, arrived at the dragon tail at 1:20pm. I took a short break for every 30 minutes. Since the weather is unpredictable, I wasted no time and kept going straight. I took a break around 2:00pm, when I reached the place where I can hide in trees. I kept going down, although it is only a down hill, I felt it is a lot harder. Arrived at the dividing point of Flattop/Odessa Lake trails at 3:00pm. The last one hour, I was almost finishing up the 2nd bottle of water but was not quite starting the third one yet. I was walking thirsty a bit but thinking about the water in the vehicle parking at the parking. It's getting cloudy but no sign of stormy weather. Along the trail, it is not completely but the yellow leaves looks so bright and nice. I took some pictures of them. Reached the Bear Lake finally, my leg could not keep the weight any longer so I was barely walking. Arrived at the crowded parking where many people lined up to get a lot for their cars... Went back into the car at 3:20pm, drank the water which I left in the car to avoid opening 3rd 1L bottle to save money.

Shuttle bus running inside of the park

Driving through canyon road Getting out of the canyon


Back To Hotel (Fort Collins)

After offloading my stuffs into the car, I took a short break and then start driving back down. Reaching to Estes Park at 4:00pm. There seem to be some kind of event going on there, so there are a lot of people on the sidewalks. Keep driving on the CO-34 to east, cleared the canyon at 4:30pm, turned north at Loveland and arrived back at the hotel in Fort Collins by 5:15pm. The very first thing I did was to call my dad to let him know that I am okay. Then I took a shower, headed to Red Robin for a hamburger. I was very thirsty and hungry, I got refills for both iced tea and fries. Hahaha. On the TV, Colorado Rockies were playing at Arizona. I come back to my room at 6:30pm,  I need to change the hotel tomorrow so I was repacking. When it was done, I wrote cards, checked emails, and hit the bed by 9:00pm.

Banzai burger

Breakfast $2.96,  Red Robins $15.39

2009/09/20 Rocky Mountain Day 2


Woke up at 5:00am. I took shower, loaded bags to the car and checked the hotel at 6:15am, it's already getting bright so driving on the road was a lot easier, just need to watch for falling rocks and deer. While I was driving through Bit Thompson Canyon, and saw a fast car following me, later found out it was a police SUV as the sky gets brighter. Oops. Because I was driving at the speed limit of 40mph while ignoring the 20-35mph suggested, I was okay not getting pulled over. Arriving at the Estes Park, where I see a lot of clouds over the mountains already, stopped at the same gas station to buy orange juice and Poptarts for breakfast, chatted with the clerk there, expecting bad weather from the afternoon. In this area, the wind in the winter gets really nasty, like 80mph wind. Drive to the gate at 7:25am, and paid $20 for the weekly pass.

From Bear Lake Parking to Mills Lake

Once enter the park, I had to follow many cars. I hope the Bear Lake parking is not full already. Stopped at my favorite spot to take a picture. For today, the sun is already up and many clouds in the back, the mountains look pretty. Arrived at the parking at 8:00am. I started to walking toward Alberta Falls. It was mostly down hill and passed by at parking for Glacier Gorges, I guess I could stop my car here so I could skip up hill portion on the way back. Arrived at the fall at 8:30am. Took a short break and headed to Mills Lake. The road was mostly up hill at rocky place but suddenly I came to an open space around 9:00am. The trail was easy in this part but the wind was pretty strong. I had to get my gloves and cap on. After a while, I entered forest area, where is a bit darker but less windy. Walking across small rivers with wooden bridges, and I kept walking toward the lake. Right before arriving to the Mills Lake, I met a older guy who is a volunteer guide to Rocky Mountains. I was looking up the sky and check the change in weather while taking a break. He recommend me to go to the Loch after stopping at the Mills Lake. When I arrived there at 9:40am, I saw a couple of people already. The view of the lake was nice, I get to see the mountains occasionally covered by clouds, and wind waking waves on the surface. Took a short break and then left to the Loch. I spent about 10 minute there


The Loch


I came back to the 3-way dividing point and head to the Loch this time. It's only 0.8mi so this should not be bad... However, the path to the place was simply hilly. Going up breathing hard, I started to wonder if I made a bad choice. I start wondering how far I need to go as I kept going up. Finally the rate of ascending slowed and the Loch showed up in front of me when I made the last turn. It was 10:20am. The view is much nicer than the last lake but pretty windy and felt cold even just sitting and resting so I decided to turn around after a short break.

Coming down was not so bad. I had to stop more frequent to let people coming up to pass. It's a kinda thing you should do. Going up is harder than coming down. Arrive to three way point then start walking back toward the parking. I am not sure how long I have before the weather is changing. Walking in an open area along a path by a mountain then went back in the woods. Arrived at Alberta fall, I see many people resting and taking pictures. As I continue walking, I start feeling rain drops on my face. It's only half hour more to go so I'd better hurry. The path between the Glacier Gorge and Bear Lake parking are simply up hill. I was tired but I don't want to get soaked. So I had no choice... When I reached to the Bear Lake at noon, shower finally started. I guess hiking is over. I thought about getting a meal, and also to pay a visit to the state capital. I went inside of the car, get changed. I thought wearing hiking cloths in downtown would look funny. Started the engine and driving down to the gate. On the way out, I made a short stop at the field to take some pictures. Okay then. It's time for me to go now.


The rain finally started

Moving To Denver

There was an accident at the intersection with state road, I saw a black car which was driven by an elderly woman veered to left and lost front bumper... So, there are many cars slowly moving toward east. Finally getting on CO-36 and passed Estes Park, driving along the ridge area, with many curves and up/downs, arrived to Lyons, then Boulder. I stopped at Wendy's for lunch. The cities around here are very much the same. There are shopping malls and with same brand of stores. It lacks a kind of uniqueness in shopping wise. It is a boring nightmare that every place, every city is the same...

Because this part of the state is not populated, the sceneries between cities are nice, it's simply an open place. I feel like the only freeways are the only method to travel around. Continue driving on CO-36, and to I-25 finally. I drive toward Denver downtown, so that I can see the capital but it was not the right idea. The place I finished was where many homeless people are walking around. I guess staying here with no direction could get me in trouble. I'd better get out of here...

Colorado State Capital

I did not do my homework and my navigation unit does not show me the location of the state capital so I went to the plan B. I used iPhone, looking up Wikipedia for the address. I found it and start driving. Arrived at the state capital at 3:00pm, I found a parking nearby, which was like $5 a day, no hourly charge... I walked around the building, which is not massive as Kansas one but still a big bulging.. They had a couple of cannons and statue of soldier in the front. Took some pictures, and realized that a group of people nearby is taking a tour. I went around the building and felt it was enough, so I set the GPS to the hotel, driving down on the road for a while and finally get on I-25.

To Hotel in Greenwood Village, CO

Driving from the capital, I entered to south bound of  I-25. Kept going down toward Greenwood Village. and arrived at DTC area. The hotel was pretty difficult to access. There are many one ways around the property, even in front of the hotel, and only one entrance available... Arrived at the hotel at 3:40pm. I checked in and carried all the stuffs to my room. I had to clean my gears so I can pack to bring them home. Relaxed for the evening, and left to get dinner at Chipotle right before 6:00pm. Come back to the room, updated my log a bit and then went to bed around 10:00pm after taking a shower.

Parking $5.00, Wendy's $5.52, Breakfast $5.96, RMNP $20.00, Chipotle $6.39

2009/09/21 Coming Home

Relaxing, packing for the returning trip

Woke up at 5:00am, relaxed until 7:00am while watching TV. The outside was 44F but it is believed to be coming down to 41F by noon. I did not want to spend any money in the morning so I had some snacks I bought for the trip. Opening the curtain, looked outside and out that it must have rained, since the pavement is wet and sky is cloudy. The news were reporting of snow in mountain area. The last day of summer is today so I guess it's alright. Stretched my body, took a shower and updated the log, also packed up for the returning trip. When I looked outside around 10:30am, it was actually snowing. Oh man... The snow ended in half hour without any accumulation. I put the bags in the car and checked out from the hotel at 11:00am, still raining outside.

To the airport

I headed to a Mexican restaurant nearby. I had a Burrito and Taco. Their stuffs were all cold so it was not tasting good at all. I guess I won't be using that place next time. Stepped out after finished, and start driving under rainy condition to the airport. I get on I-25 and drive to the north, then switched to I-270. I stopped at a gas station to get the car fueled, then drove another 20 minutes to the rental car return. I got lost last time but this time I did well. Arrived at the location around noon, had to wait for the shuttle to pick me up. After a short hop in the shuttle, I went into the terminal building for the check in. to drop me off but checked in okay. The attendant at the self check in was from Michigan after seeing my destination. I talked to her a bit about the climate here in Denver and Detroit. Today is totally opposite..

Snow is falling in Denver My lunch...
Denver Airport Terminal station

To Chicago: AA612 DEN(2:25pm MDT) - ORD(5:50pm CDT)

Passed the security at 12:30pm and took a ride to terminal C. The gate C37 was just a short walk from the exit. The plane was at the gate yet but soon it came. The outside is still cloudy and depressingly dark, probably windy and rainy, too. I hope the plane won't be delayed. I was typing up my blog while the plane is getting ready. Just as the boarding starts, I stepped out for a while to grab a water. The boarding started on time, and I got inside. Again, a couple of people had trouble putting their carry on bags to the cabin... The plane departed, and taxied for a while. Took off to north then turn to east. It's a 2 hour flight to be in Chicago. I was playing Scrabble on my iPhone, and took nap whenever I get sleepy. At 4:45pm, I woke up with a voice which the captain making announcement that it will be 45 minutes more to go but expect choppy air.

As the plane prepared for landing, flight attendant informed that gogowireless to be automatically turned off at below 10,000ft. The plane few over north of the airport to east at 5:20pm, turned around over Michigan Lake to the final approach. At the plane near the landing, I could see the streak of water vapor from the tip of the wing... I guess is the air is pretty humid. The plane landed at 27R at 5:38pm. The taxing to the gate was such a trouble, had to turn back to east, going around the terminal to arrive. By the time I get out from the plane, the clock was already 6:10pm, which is the boarding time for the flight to Detroit. I'd better hurry up.

AA612 at Denver International Airport Rain clouds come so low, so close
Departing from the airport Looking at the ORD to the right


To Detroit: AA4309 ORD(6:40pm CDT) - DTW(9:00pm EDT)

I had to hurry because the boarding for the flight must have been started already. However, I still needed to go to restroom, as well as buying dinner so to get comfortable in the plane. At the gate G9, I saw the door was shut. Since it is a small plane, I thought the boarding is already finished, but something is wrong, because there are many people around me. To find out what's going on, I asked a clerk what's going on but she does not know anything yet. Okay, at least I have some time. I had a bagel sandwich for dinner. Soon an announcement was made to inform us that the crews have arrived to the airport but not sure what time we can go. The boarding started at 6:50pm, well behind the schedule... After a quick boarding into a small CRJ, it's got pushed back at 7:00pm under twilight sky. Taxied out to runway 32L and took off to northwest within 5 minutes. I guess because they were behind the schedule, they wanted to avoid canceling the flight plan. The plane changed its heading to north by Milwaukee, WI and turned around to east at 7:20pm. When the flight attendant asked to press call button when the customers want to buy beer, many people pressed them. I guess people are in the mood of drinking, but I just took a short nap instead. The plane started to descend at 8:45pm in EDT, and kept flying east then turned to the south. I can see some low clouds, I hope it's not raining. The plane landed at 9:00pm to the south. The plane taxied to the middle of the north terminal and let us get off within 5 minutes after the landing. While waiting for the jet bridge to be ready, I was overhearing conversation between a passenger and a flight attendant about why she carries her own pillow for avoiding to come in contact with other people's facial skin cells and stuff. Thank you so much on "sharing!" Arrived at baggage claim at 9:10pm, picked up my stuffs and went to ground transportation but the bus was not there yet. The air must be warm and humid. I felt so warm.

Heading up to Wilwaukee, WI before turning to east AA4309 is back in Detroit.

Stopping by at office, then coming home

Arriving at the parking in a shuttle bus with some other customers, one couple just came back from Russia and Switzerland trip. Hmmm, I want to go there. The rain gets harder as the bus left the airport terminal, and keep getting worse. I got to my car by 9:35pm, had to drive under moderate rain to home. I stopped by at the office around 10:30pm and stayed until 11:00pm, then finally headed home. Still raining a bit. Start unpacking some items, then went to bed after midnight.

Dinner $7.57, Lunch $8.45, Water $2.15, Gas $33.09, Budget: $428.83

Track of my paths for the past two days. dotted lines are while my iPhone was off to conserve battery



Temp Drop -4F/1,000ft.

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