Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We are now alone . . . . last flight.

The last plane of the season coming in.

Today, April 17, 2008 was the last flight of winter. The plane brought a few new people, fresh vegetables, six triwalls of mail (!), and other miscellaneous cargo. It took science cargo and some of our best people back out. I'm sad to see them go, but also excited to get into a winter rhythm with the people who are here.

I had planned to just head up to transport in town to say goodbye to all of the extended season folks. However, on my way up I was detoured into a van heading out to Pegasus. I had never been out at the runway when a plane left, so I jumped at the chance. It gave me the chance to see things up close and have a little more time to say my goodbyes.

The last plane, a C-17 Globemaster, at Pegasus Field.

Chris in the reflection of her compuer.

On our way out to the airstrip, we were lucky enough to see the plane come in and land. It was only a dot in the sky from where we were, but it was exciting to see. I wonder how different everyone's emotions will be the next time they see a plane come in. Once I got out to the airstrip, we had a lot of downtime while they plane was unloaded and loaded back up. It was a lot of time to idle, but it was a gorgeous day out.

Last goodbyes at the airstrip.

Chris on her way back to Denver. She'll be missed.

It was certainly sad to see so many good people leave, but it wasn't as emotional as everyone suggested it would be. A lot of people had talked about regret, wanting to get on the plane, relief, etc. For me, it feels like another day so far. That might be because I told myself that I was staying long ago and this plane was just a formality. Kind of like graduation. The deed was done in my head, the ceremony didn't matter.

Last call . . . . all aboard.

When there are no more goodbyes . . .

I think the biggest difference that I am really excited about is everyone is in a good mood. It is a transition period and the last flight injected a ton of great energy into base. I hope it stays that way. There are definitely a few people who are hurting because their best friends have left, but more people than not seem excited. I just got back from a start of winter champagne toast and moods were definitely cheery. That might be the alcohol though.

Goodbye plane, goodbye extended season.

One pass over the airfield

and one final pass over town, then winter started.

I don't know what experience holds for me yet. I'm not sure what to expect or even what I want out of it yet. I just know I am here and that is enough for now. There were a couple of times where I almost decided to come home. I am not going to get to see En Sabah Nur play this year a single time and they'll most likely be playing at nationals in my backyard. I'm definitely missing Alicia and Lucas' wedding. Also going to miss Joe and Lidia's wedding. I might end up missing John and Cecilia's wedding. These are people that are important to me and it is tough to turn my back on them and these one time events to pursue my own dreams. Yet, here I am. Here it goes.

Sunset rays over the peninsula and winter, but every exit is an entrance to some place else.

I also want to wish good luck to Cabrini who had her first day of Peace Corps training in Philadelphia on her way to Botswana to fight the AIDS epidemic.

Chris and I at the runway.

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