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Motor Coach Tour 2011
Thursday, May 19th
Toronto to Denver via Dallas

As noted yesterday today had to start very early. Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00AM I got up. I had not slept very well for what are likely obvious reasons. I looked out the window and could not see much of anything due to the fog. You can imagine what sort of thoughts someone going on a flight might think about this. I got ready and headed down to the lobby to check out and catch the 3:40AM Airport Shuttle Bus. It left promptly and I was at Terminal 3 less than 10 minutes later. There was already a lineup at US Customs. I had to check and pay for the one piece of baggage I was carrying and by 4:00 I was in the line.

Around 4:30 a US Customs person came along to check that the form was filled and at about 4:45 the doors opened and the line entered the customs area. All this time the line had been getting longer and longer. At about 5:00 the gates opened and processing began. I do not remember exactly how long this process took but I think I was at the gate between 5:45 and 6:00AM.

It was still very foggy out. and it was hard to see the plane (a Boeing 737-800) at the gate. It was there and boarding began about 30 minutes before departure time which was 6:50AM. The planes door was closed and the push back from the gate happened at almost exactly the appointed time. There was still lots of fog and one could not see to far out of the window of the plane. The engines were started and off the plane went heading for the runway to take off on. It was still foggy enough that it was hard to tell which runway the plane was headed for. Eventually the plane arrived at one and without stopping started roaring down the foggy runway.

Less than 30 seconds after lifting off the runway the plane came out into a bright blue sky and I was able to tell that the plane had taken off from one of the two runways near the highway 401 side of the airport. After that there was not much to see because of the fog that was still covering a very large area. I do not think I saw the ground for at least an hour (or more) after leaving Toronto.

Clouds Flight 1

This is what it looked like most of the way to Dallas.

The flight was not all that smooth There was lots of shaking and bumping. It was not violent but it was just enough to be annoying. The winds were with this flight and it arrived just over 30 minutes before the scheduled 9:20AM Central Time arrival. The next flight was not until 11:20AM so I had two and a half hours to look around and have some food which I had not had until then. MacDonald's filled the food bill and things proceeded on towards the departure of the second flight. I have some pictures taken on the trip home of what Terminal "D" at DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) International airport looks like. They are not great but if you want to see them you can click here to go there.

The plane, this time an old MD80 jet, boarded on time.

DFW Gates

What the gates look like at DFW airport taken from the
MD80 at 11:06AM while waiting to depart.

The departure was very slightly late but did not cause any problems. One of the things I noticed at DFW airport is that sometimes planes need to taxi on the ground very long distances to get to their assigned take off runway. I do not know if there is a speed limit but boy do they ever taxi fast. They really get going. It is almost exciting.

The take off was uneventful and off I was on my way on the final flight to Denver. Here are a few pictures of what it looked like out the window during the early part of this two hour flight.

@nd Flight Clouds 1
2nd Flight Clouds 2

2nd Flight Ground 1

The weather deteriorated as the plane approached Denver and it was cloudy, misty and quite humid there. The flight landed pretty much on time with a fair bit of bumping and jolting on the way down. Things were pretty dreary in the "Mile High City" at that time which was just about 12:20 noon Mountain Daylight Time. The airport is reasonably well laid out but they could use better signs to tell you how to get to the baggage carousels. Once there though I have never seen the baggage carousels so close to the outside exits. I had to backtrack slightly to buy a ticket for the Super Shuttle into the city but that worked well too. Interestingly I bought the ticket for the shuttle at 12:46PM only 26 minutes after the plane arrived. There was a van waiting and in less than 10 minutes myself and several other people were off for the almost hour long ride (including one stop) into the city.

I do not remember the exact time but it was between 2:00 and 2:30 when I arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Denver for my two night stay. I was on the 10th floor in room 1020. Not long after my arrival a thunderstorm started over the city. Below are some pictures taken from my hotel room window.

Invesco Field 1

The very first picture taken in Denver.
This is Invesco Field where the Denver Broncos Football Team
and the Denver Outlaws Major League Lacrosse team play.
This field is located in the same area as the old Mile High Stadium
that was made famous during the time John Elway
was the quarterback of the Denver Broncos Football team.
In fact, the full name of this stadium is Invesco Field at Mile High.
The old field was a bit further back and to the right of this one.

Colorado Convention Centre Daytime 1
CCC Nighttime 2
The Colorado Convention Center from my hotel room window.
The same place at night.

I just rested for the rest of the day after not sleeping all that well last night. I spent much time walking around downtown Denver on the 20th. So on to the 20th!!!

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Created: July 31, 2011
Last Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:45 AM