My fourth and final day in the United Kingdom was a mix of meetings and sitting in Heathrow waiting for my (delayed, again!) flight. It was a ten-hour flight back to Denver, and since I can’t really sleep on airplanes, I spent my time reading a book, learning to play Go, and looking out the window.
It’s amazing how big the Atlantic Ocean is. I mean, it’s just blue from one horizon to the other. It was kind of dull for a few hours, and then suddenly I saw chunks of ice floating in the water. Before long we crossed over land. Assuming a great-circle route from London to Denver, I assumed we were passing over the southern tip of Greenland (later I checked, and indeed we were). It was so cool. The land was nothing but snow and rock, with ice floes easing into the ocean and huge rivers of glacial ice moving through the valleys. It was sheer white with a little black rock interspersed here and there. No sign of civilization, or life at all. The snow was perfectly smooth and unending. There were points where the clouds were literally sitting atop the snow– I assume it’s because of the cold or something.
Later we crossed Newfoundland and Hudson Bay, again seeing a lot of floating ice and vast expanses of snow. Over Minnesota I saw why that state is called the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. There seemed to be more water than land. There were quite a few small villages, some roads connecting everything, and lakes peppered across the landscape.
I left around 6pm and landed at 8pm, so we were more or less keeping pace with the sun. Since I’d been up since 7am London time, and didn’t get home until 9pm Denver time, it was basically 21 hours of daytime. Strangely, I didn’t feel all that tired… jet lag wasn’t really a problem at all on the trip.
All in all, it was a fabulous experience. I’d love to go back sometime, as long as I could avoid so many meetings!