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Friday, October 20, 2006

An Aventurer

So today I was up in Cut Bank, Montana. In WW2 there was a B-17 fuel stop there for the aircraft that we gave to the Russians in the lend lease program. All that is left of the old base is a WW2 hanger, the control tower, and a small shack that used to be the operations building. There is also a fuel pump and a hairy guy that sells fuel... The hairy guy magically appears to sell us gas, but otherwise disappears into thin air. That is all. Other than that the airfield is slowly being reclaimed by the prairie. My crew and I were sitting in the shack, eating our lunch, discussing lofty subjects like girls and video games, and pretty much waiting for the phone call that would make us heroes. Instead of the phone ringing, the door blew wide open and in stepped a 18ish looking Asian kid. I got up and helped him close the door. (there was an approximately 39 knot wind blowing it open at the time.) He immediately asked me if this was the airport. I told him that it was, and asked what he needed. His most strange answer was "a plane ticket to LA."

Now comes the part where we find out that he is an adventurer in the middle of his adventure.

I told him that he probably wouldn't be able to get a ticket to LA, but that I thought a cargo plane lands here a couple times a week... that is about it. I didn't even know where that plane came from... it isn't marked in any standard way and doesn't stay long. I could tell that this didn't check out in his mind at all... so he asked again where the airport was. I just pointed out to the windblown cracked overgrown grassy tarmac that he had come over to get to our shack.

Still confused...

We talked to him for awhile and were able to ascertain that he was from Southern California, and that he and his cousin had driven up from LA to go work in Calgary. At the border his work visa had been declined, but his cousin's hadn't. He told his cousin to just keep going and he would make his way back to LA. This was proving more difficult to accomplish than I believe he expected. It turns out that he had just walked 20 miles back to Cut Bank from the Canadian border. (It was snow showers with 40 knot winds today.) He had assumed that he would just go to the airport and get a ticket home. Needless to say, there are not regluarly scheduled flights in Cut Bank... Hell! there are hardly even regularly scheduled runways in Cut Bank!

We recommended that he go into town (about 4-5 miles away) and find the train station. We were all pretty sure that Amtrak goes through Cut Bank... pretty sure...

Without even a disappointed look he turned around, opened the door, and with a whoosh of wind and sleet he was back out onto the prairie headed for town.

I honestly don't think that as a visitor he cold have been much more out of place if he had blown in and told us he needed dilithium crystals for his spaceship. An Asian kid from Rodondo, California in a shack on the prarie trying to buy a plane ticket to LA?!?!?!

After getting the door closed I thought about what he has ahead of him. I almost envy him. He is in the middle of a crazy random trip across the country with almost everything ahead of him completely undetermined and anything that happens to him almost completely unexpected.

The guys on my fire team figured he must be a drug dealer or something and have a lot of cash on him if he had planned to buy a plane ticket to LA from Cut Bank, Montana... they wanted the chance to roll him and liberate all his dead presidents. I guess that is another reaction!

4 comments:

amateur.sophist said...

Your team must be either very good or kind of young, because my first instinct would be to stay away from a guy who's walking across the country alone, at least if i were thinking of rolling him. Especially an Asian guy who obviously knows kung foo.

Also, i understand your envy. And Share in it.

Notorious said...

They had grenade launchers and chain guns.

Anonymous said...

No Air Force regulations. No rules. Hard not to be envious.
Sam

Chestocrates said...

Every day you be hustlin'.