Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tilmann Flys Like a Pro!

Tuesday, June 14th--The shuttle picked me up at 9:45 this morning. I was going to have Tilmann (in his case) and the Chinese Shopping Bag (CSB) already out waiting in the driveway, but it started to rain. They made it as far as the porch. I was the last one to be picked up, and we were a full load. The guy I was sitting next to in the very back told me his entire life story on the way to Seatac. His name Peter, and he was an older gentleman, originally from Germany, but had been in the US for a long time. He lives in LA in a house he bought 40 years ago (you can imagine what it is worth now???). He still had his German accent. He was actually quite fascinating to listen to, and made the boring trip to Seatac very enjoyable. Usually the van can be full, yet no one says a word.

At the departure curb I got a cart (now $5.00!!!) and loaded everything on it. I went in to the Alaska kiosk and printed my baggage tags, then dropped Tilmann and the CSB at Bag Drop. Tilmann weighed in at 44.5 lbs. the CSB came in at 39 lbs. Subtract 8 pounds for the case, add about 25 pounds for the other rear pannier, handlebar bag, and food, and you'll get the total weight I'll be carrying. Yep, about 100 pounds. 

I moseyed my way through security and to my gate, stopping to grab a smoothie for lunch (my flight was at 1:00, but would start boarding at 12:20). Although the flight was mostly full, it was a small plane so it didn't take long for everyone to board. As I was going up the back stairs into the plane, I could see Tilmann's case in the baggage hold. Whew! Tilmann was on board! I didn't think to look for the CSB. 

We took off, and about an hour later, landed in Spokane. I made my way to Baggage Claim, and waited for Tilmann and the CSB. Annette's husband, John, was waiting for me just outside the doors. Tilmann came out of the mysterious black baggage hole on the conveyor belt. I grabbed him and put him on the complimentary cart (thank you Spokane Airport!). I waited and waited for the CSB. Pretty soon the display board no longer showed the flight, and no new bags were coming out (it was very quiet in the mysterious black baggage hole. Well, CRAP! The CSB didn't make it onto the flight. I went into the Baggage Service room and reported my missing bag. The gal said it was probably on the next flight, and they would deliver it to me (of course you will!). John and I headed home. It's about a 40 minute drive from the airport to John and Annette's house.

When we got to the house, I was dying to check on Tilmann to see if he survived intact (well, really in pieces). Since I didn't have the bag with my tools for assembling Tilmann, I couldn't put him together. I did, however, open up the case and kind of give him a cursory looking over. Everything seemed okay. It all seemed to be in the same place I put it. That shows that I packed him in there firmly. 

While Annette and I were running some errands in town (getting food for our tour, a quick stop at the bike shop), the Baggage Finder called and said they had located my bag, and it was out for delivery. The gal delivering would call as she got closer. We made it home before she called. The gal called, and about 30 minutes later she arrived with my bag. The CSB survived its journey except one of the handles was ripped apart. I reinforced the handles where they join the bag because that's where they generally get torn. But, this handle was ripped in the middle. I guess they're not making Chinese Shopping Bags like they used to (said with total sarcasm--at a few bucks a bag, what can I expect).

Annette and I ate some dinner, then set about putting Tilmann back together. With Annette's help, we got him back together in about 1 1/2 hours. I also put the handlebar mount on. I'm really hoping to be able to keep the mount on when I have to repack him. We'll see...

Tomorrow I will take him for a test ride to make sure everything is working okay. Our planned departure is for Thursday evening. John will drive us to Chewelah.
All back together...again.

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