Anchorage Airport, 1996
We had stayed so long on the ground in Denver, because of a lightening, thunder, rain storm, our arrival time in Anchorage was late. This made our connections with the little airplane to Kenai just minutes to spare. As we were getting ready to land, Bernie announces to me, “Now when we land grab your luggage and run in the airport. We have to run to the boarding gate for Kenai, so when we get off, you just follow me.” Okay I said.
We hit the terminal on the run, she takes off to the left and I follow her, thinking she is in control and always has a plan and knows exactly what she is doing — well, I was wrong! The airport was jammed with passengers. We were pulling the wheelie luggage. We were running down behind a big line of waiting passengers for boarding, pulling our wheelie luggage and toting our large purses slung over our shoulders. We pulled them down long stairs to the lower level, making lots of bump, bump noise. Down the long hall way of the old part of the airport. All the way to the end.
She runs up to a man “Where’s the airplane?” He looks at her kinda side-ways, “What airplane?” “The one to Kenai!” she half shouts. “Oh” he says, “ this is the old part of the airport, they are at the other end of the new building.” “Oh! I forgot! Thanks!” She turns around and off she runs in the same direction we just came, pulling the luggage behind her. Bump, Bump up the stairs we go. I had a hard time catching up with her.
As we got back at the top of the stairs and behind all those people in line we just passed, I see smoke coming from her luggage. I shout. “Bernie your wheelie is on fire!” She stops, looks at me and everyone turns around and looks at these two old crazy ladies running a marathon, one way and then back the other way.
Bernie flipped her wheelie luggage over, and grabbed the wheel and burnt her finger. “Ouch!” She shouted. “That darn thing is hot — LOOK! I have a flat tire!” She flipped it back over and started running. “Come on we are going to miss our plane!” Off she goes, the luggage with a flat tire was pulling to one side and then the other down the hall. She picked it up and ran even faster towards our boarding area just in time for the lady to say, “ You ladies are luck, we were just about to close up and fly away.” We boarded the plane, flopped in our seats, and started to laugh. Two crazy ladies running around the airport with luggage on fire.
Apparently while we were running through the airport, first on way and the other, the wheel on her luggage got stuck and the friction from the carpet finally caught it on fire. The whole one side of the plastic wheel had been rubbed off before it finally caught on fire. Bernie saw the humor side of it by saying to all the people waiting in line, “LOOK! I have a flat tire!”
Unknown to us: A few days later, Bernie called me laughing, “You know when we were running up and down the airport hall way? Some of our neighbors were standing in line watching us, first run one way and then watching us come running back through the other way. They watched me have a fire and flat tire on my wheelie-thingee. They said it was a very good show!”
And that is the end of this trip with Bernie to Colorado. We are still very good friend and laugh about our memories. Bernie proofread this and by the end of the story we were laughing tears again… She is a delight and lots of fun to travel with!