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Fly Me To The Moon 01 January 11, 2012

Posted by Tom Wells in Tom's Posts.
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I’m embarking on a trip to Eureka, California traveling from Sacramento.  Most causal web observers may not realize how isolated Eureka is from the rest of the continental United States.  The California coast rises dramatically from the beach up to a coastal range of mountains formed by the continental plate intersection.  What that means is the land route to the Northern coast has no alternative but to wind through the mountain ranges of the coastal range and the CA central valley ranges.  There are no rail services to the area so the only land based option is to drive seven hours on winding single lane each way highways.  The airport in Eureka is small so the flying option can be likened to flying to the moon, but for a three-day business trip, that sadly is the best option to get me there and back on a family friendly timescale.

The first obstacle to the travel is the available flights straight from Sacramento to Eureka, namely one.  One flight leaving Sacramento at 6:30 am as long as obstacle number two doesn’t pop up.

Obstacle number two is the Eureka fog.  The locals tell me a story and it is too amusing to verify, so as the story goes, the army aircorps was supposed to have installed an airstrip in Eureka in the nicest, most level area that just happened to get the most fog to obscure enemy bombing.  After WWII, the airport was supposed to be too developed to abandon, but everyone had forgotten that the fog was the reason for the location and new sites were never developed so now the Eureka Arcata airport is constantly under a blanket of fog that is hard to guess when it will lift.  I have arrived at the Sacramento Airport at 5:30 and not boarded the plane to Eureka until well after 10:30, which is like sitting at mission control for 5 hours waiting for the weather to lift for take-off.  The flight lasts for a brief hour so even after 5 hours in the airport and one flight air time, I still arrive an hour ahead of driving.

And that is where I am now.  The forecast is clear and the ship is a go so I board my craft in 15 minutes fog willing.  I will check back in with my moon-flight.  The one saving thing to sitting for long stretches is my chance to write.

Comments»

1. Jessica Black - January 13, 2012

Hi tom, can’t believe you are in Humboldt Co. I’m Jessica. Chandra’s old friend. It only takes 6 hours by car from Sac, eh!! But 6 looong hours. I’ve driven them too many times. We live in Arcata now, it’s a beautiful place. Today was Gorgeous, after the fog cleared, so i hoped you enjoyed.
for your title:

It’s a great song!

Tom Wells - January 13, 2012

Well shoot, I wish I knew you were in Arcata these days. Last we knew you were still off in Spain. I suppose in keeping with the theme, welcome back from Jupiter and Mars. It’s 3:20 am and I am prepping for my flight back that takes off at 5:17 (fog willing). I have enjoyed the nice weather, but it is colder than I had thought it would be on the coast, especially in the mornings. I grew up in a similar community to this one, only a few hundred miles further south and the winter weather is definitely warmer there.


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