2015 USA - Day 1 An introduction and a beginning

By Gareth Handley

3 hours of driving, 15 hours of flying and 5 hours of sitting in airports. It's been a long day. But I'm getting ahead of myself; let me start with an introduction.

As we teased on this week’s edition of the h9cast, today is the beginning of a brand new fortnight-long series of posts here on the h9blog. Over the next two weeks I am going to be away in the US on a trip that will take me from the west coast, all the way across the country to the east coast, before heading back to the UK. This trip is likely going to provide me with a wide variety of material to write about on the blog, and so I thought I’d give something a try.

My plan is to try and write a short-ish post at the end of each day that covers some of the interesting stuff that has happened. Usually on the h9blog we cover technology and science, and documenting the numerous photographic opportunities I hope to come across over the next few weeks, and the technology I use on a trip like this, fits nicely into that ‘wheelhouse’. However, if you’ve listened to the h9cast, you’ll know that we often take a turn away from technology and science and end up covering “pretty much anything else”. I have a feeling that over the next couple of weeks there’s going to be plenty of that “pretty much anything else” stuff for me to share, and hopefully you’ll enjoy reading about it. Now, realistically it’s possible that I won’t be able to write a post every day. This is meant to be a holiday after all. If that turns out to be the case then I’ll do my best to make sure that I write catch-up posts the next day so that chunks of the trip don’t mysteriously go ‘missing’.

Anyway, that’s the plan for the blog; now back to the trip itself. As mentioned this trip is taking me all the way across the United States of America. I begin in San Francisco, California where I’ll be staying for a few days. After that I’ll be flying to Dallas, Texas and from there I’ll be slowly driving cross country ending up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of course, before I could begin the trip in San Francisco I had to actually get there, and that’s where today comes in.

I'm calling today Day 1, but it has really just been a day of travelling. I started the day by leaving home at 4am (UK time) and flying to Philadelphia where I changed planes to fly on to San Francisco. The change in Philadelphia took a little longer than expected due to a winter storm that was affecting the area, and as a result of the storm the plane we were flying out on had to go through a de-icing process. This de-icing process involved slowly taxiing behind a queue of other aircraft to the ‘de-icing pad’ and then being sprayed with the de-icing fluid (as pictured).

The whole de-icing process took about an hour, meaning we left a little later than planned. It was an interesting process to watch and I actually used it as an opportunity to try out the 'slo-mo' video mode of the iPhone 6 Plus. I'm not sure how well the video came out, but if it's worth sharing then I'll link to it in a later post.

Once we left Philadelphia the rest of the flight onto San Francisco was fairly uneventful, although a little turbulent from time to time. I did manage to take a couple of photos though and the image to the left is one I think might make an interesting lock screen picture for my phone. We arrived in San Francisco at just after 8pm local time (3am UK time), and from there it was just a case of leaving the airport, picking up the hire car, and making my way to the hotel. From here the trip can really begin.

I think that’s probably as good a place as anywhere to leave it for today. The jetlag is slowly starting to catch up with me and I think it’s time to get something to eat and then call it a night. Come back tomorrow though when I’ll be sharing what should be a good day in and around the San Francisco area, if I can get myself out of bed.

Note: You can click on any of the pictures on the blog to see a larger version, but I've compressed them all somewhat to try and improve page loading times.

2015 USA San Francisco Philadelphia Manchester 2015


Log in or sign up to add your own comment

Scott scott1

22/03/2015 11:21

I like the sky image from the window.

Scott scott1

22/03/2015 13:13

Miles and miles of square corn fields - they all look the same!

Gareth Handley gareth

22/03/2015 23:39

I thought of those song lyrics while looking out of the window!