After over 80 hours of combined traveling, we all made it here to Portland! Here are the stories of how we got here on June 16 and what we thought when we arrived.
3 A.M. Local Time | Sierra Cleveland left to get to the airport on time for the first leg of her trip from Clay City, KY to Portland. Of course, to her, 3 A.M. was not early—it was late. She had been last minute packing into the morning. For her, sleep would come later (after the chatty woman next to her finally stopped talking).
5 A.M. Local Time | Abbie Mann-Wood woke up to catch her first plane ride of the day—on what she described as a “puddle jumper” so small she could see the pilot flying the plane. Only five other passengers joined her on her trip from Lander, WY, to Denver, CO. And they all felt the same turbulence as the wind pushed their tiny plane around.
8 A.M. Local Time | Right before Nick Simmons and Richard Van Vliet were supposed to catch their flight out of Raleigh, the fire alarms went off. Confusion ensued, but apparently middle school fire drills do not train people well enough because no one left the building. Five minutes later, the airport staff decided everyone should just fly away from the problem. They let everyone board above the sound of the blaring alarm.
9 A.M. Local Time | Jana Woerner was relieved when she made it onto her plane in Rochester, NY, without a problem. She was glad that it was not like her previous Duke travel experience when she had to deal with a broken foot and a missed flight at the same time. After getting on the plane, she had a great flight. She would like to thank 1) the person that decided it would be a great idea to let customers download Netflix shows and 2) the cast and crew of Orange is the New Black.
11 A.M. Local Time | Elizabeth Allen left for the airport where she waited (with patience) for a delayed plane before being placed in the middle seat and forced to listen (with considerably less patience) to the people on either side of her talk about conspiracy theories, horrible travel stories, and their utterly boring job.
12 P.M. Portland Time | Nick and Richard’s travel story got even more dramatic when they landed. After someone’s bag set off an alarm, TSA rushed to the crowds, yelling at everyone to stay still. Everyone in the hall quickly became both immobile and confused. Ten minutes later and apparently everything was fine again. Nothing was ever a problem, they said. All was clear.
1 P.M. Portland Time | Tracey got off a twelve-hour flight and stepped into the city he had not been to for seven years. As he saw the hills and bridges of Portland, memories came back of his childhood trip.
2 P.M. Portland Time | Margaret Overton’s plane broke through the clouds, showing her a first glimpse of Portland. She was amazed by the miles and miles of forests around the city, though she was frustrated at not seeing Mt. Hood from the air (After seeing it from the ground, she confirmed it was majestic, especially since she is from Nashville, where there is nothing comparable).
3 P.M. Portland Time | Amanda Sear landed in Portland to the weather she expected: cool and cloudy, just like the stereotypes of the city. (She was just glad it was not raining. Actually, what she really wanted was a sunny day to explore the city.)
5 P.M. Portland Time | One of the first things Carol Xia saw after she left the PDX airport was a building with thick green vines on it. She was excited because it seemed to match up with the image of the (literally) green city that she had pictured Portland to be. She now looks forward to seeing all the nature Portland has to offer.
DukeEngage Portland can’t wait to see what Portland has in store for us. The city awaits…