Well. What a pre adventure adventure we had!
When last I updated you we were stuck in Boston and it was still only Thursday… After spending all day on standby Thursday (along with about 40 other people) we finally gave up and got a hotel for the night, safe in the knowledge that we had new flights booked via Ohio the following afternoon. Just one change, we thought, it’ll be easy, we thought. Alas no.
Arriving fresh faced and hopeful at the airport on Friday, we were gladdened to see that the queues were no longer around the airport to rebook flights. A good sign, we felt. We had exhausted the limited entertainment opportunities of Boston airport the day before, and were keen to move on.
We had a brief flurry of worry when the plane to Ohio was delayed for a maintenance issue, because there wasn’t a long gap in Ohio before the next flight, but after only a small blood pressure increase and a few bitten nails we flew off, through the turbulence (I only ended up holding the hand of the lady next to me once, as the wing dropped sharply and we both grabbed the arm rest) and made it to Ohio, all intact, with time to spare…
Plenty of time to spare in fact, as we arrived to find our onward 5pm flight to Altanta delayed by 3 hours, then 4 hours… Finally our plane turned up, but they were 2 crew members short. ‘We’ve found some crew!’ They announced cheerfully at 9pm, ‘but they’re in Minneapolis, they’ll be here about 11.30pm, so we’ll get you going by midnight. Have some snacks’
As the situation became ever more surreal, we bonded with fellow strandees and gave ourselves indigestion with junk food. At about 11pm we were told the flight of our alleged replacement crew had been delayed (‘but we’ll get you going around 2am, have some pizza’) and finally at 1am they cancelled our flight. Fantastic. Were there any flights to Atlanta the next day? There were not.
At this point we demanded a hotel for the night – we were beginning to think Atlanta was a mere myth, and as one Sunday flight was cancelled literally while we stood at the desk, hope was ebbing. Just then, into the breach stepped our new queue buddy, Steve. ‘Sod this’ quoth Steve (or American words to that effect) ‘I’m going to rent a car and drive to Atlanta in the morning’ he looked at us, ‘Want a lift?’
Hell yes we wanted a lift.
And that is how we ended up on a little road trip from Ohio to Atlanta. We saw the cool skyline and bridges of Cincinnati, the green grass and sleek horses of Kentucky, and the hills and woods of Tennessee that we’ll soon be hiking through. Way better than flying!
So after a night in a hotel near Atlanta airport, we finally caught the shuttle to the Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega this afternoon, and will get a lift to the trail in the morning. Whoo hoo! Apparently the hostel people were beginning to doubt we were real, as we emailed them every day cataloging sequential disasters and delaying our arrival day after day. But they were amazing, not charging us to change things, and when it looked like we were going to get there a day they were full, offering emergency futon use. What sweeties.
So we’re here at last, and will soon be starting our adventure proper. We’ll keep you posted!