Since I’m already totally out of ideas for my 365 project and it’s only been two weeks, I started rummaging through my old storage boxes for some hidden treasures. And that’s indeed what I found – in monetary terms, trash, but the stuff sure brough back some memories. I was trying to remember where I got each item, but the memories are already starting to fade so it’s just as well that I write them down while I still remember something. And thus I have a sub-theme in my 365 project: Souvenirs.


In the 90’s I went through a pin phase. I was never really a pin collector, but they are small and cheap so they make ideal souvenirs. The most memorable of the pins is this Grand Canyon Airlines pin, small as it is – the round part is only about 1cm in diameter. It’s from my first overseas trip when I lived in England, so it must be 1996… I think. It was a TrekAmerica camping trip, you know the kind where you’re driving around in a minibus with a small group of people from around the world. An adventure without a risk – a driver and guide are provided and everything is organised. Except that you have to cook and clean. A nice way to see the world, if you don’t want to travel alone but can’t find anyone to come with you.

Anyway. That trip was to the canyons and deserts in the south-west US, and Grand Canyon was one of the highlights. The trip included a flight over the canyon, I think the planes were 8-seaters so everybody got a window seat. When we got to the canyon, the plane just dived right in – some people on the plane actually screamed but I just thought it was fun, like a rollercoaster ride, and was part of the experience. Then when we got back for landing, I saw the runway below the plane. And were kept flying. And flying. Above the runway. Just when I got concerned that the runway is not going to last forever, the wheels touched the ground and we stopped around those strips that mark the end of the runway.

When we were at the terminal and met with the rest of the group who had taken another plane, I asked them if their plane had dived over the canyon rim. Nope, it had not done it. It turned out that the dive was not at all a part of the flight and that our pilot was a newbie… which also explains the long flight over the runway. There’s a reason why you don’t want to hear that your pilot is green. Just like you don’t want to hear that the doctor who will operate you has never done that before.

I can’t really remember what Grand Canyon looked like from the air. But I won’t soon forget the dive and the landing!

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