Well, it’s 2:00 p.m. local time in San Francisco International Airport, and reality is starting to set in: After what amounts to 15 years of anticipation, I’m headed out to engage in FAA-certified civilian scientist-astronaut training at the NASTAR Center (reviewed in my previous post here)!
After a grueling morning – I was awakened well before I’d been intending with what can only be described as heinous bout of food poisoning – I managed to blearily finish packing and head out to the Las Vegas airport (with more than a little assistance from my outstanding wife).
It hasn’t been the most enjoyable way to travel so far, mind you, but I wasn’t about to let anything derail this outing.
In any event, with the first leg of the trip in the rear-view mirror and with the help of an electrolyte-stuffed commercial fitness drink, my wits are returning to me… and the thrill is rising.
Now, using logic only a delirious flight controller may be able to understand, I had to travel west to San Francisco in order to backtrack and head over to Pennsylvania. (I suspect it has something to do with the availability of long-range flights, but still…). However, despite the irrationality of the route, this waystation seems strangely fitting.
Looking around, I realized that SFO has a permanent association in my mind with the annual American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, which is always held in San Francisco and was the site of my first research presentations on englacial hydrodynamics.
In essence, my decision to engage in professional field science all started here. It’s only right that I tip my hat on the way by.
I board in about an hour. More to follow…