Monday, October 17, 2011

NW District Conference Day 1

This morning I awoke with victory! The mouse who has been making a ruckus was caught in the trap! I was happy. I finished packing and then was off to the airport. Jamie Walters, and Gretchen McCullough (DCE's from Palmer and Homer) gave me a ride and are my two mentors for the trip.
No more Mr. Mousey!
 After we got through security a large crowd of Alaska Pastors and DCE's gathered at gate C1. For all you Minnesota folk (specifically Mankato Area), I got to meet Pastor Andrew Richie who transferred up here from Mankato and is now serving at Anchorage Lutheran.
Alaska church workers including a plethora of pastors in the background.

Leaving on a jet plane...

 The plane ride was an adventure. It was, in my short life, the WORST plane ride I've experienced as far as turbulence goes. I have not flow a ton but this was bad. The pilot came on several times saying he was trying to find the best pocket (altitude) to fly at as the plane went up and down. They had to stop service of serving snacks and beverages because the flight attendants couldn't stand up or control the cart even with the cart breaks applied.

There was also a baby on board who cried for the greater portion of the flight. I give the mom credit as she was doing everything possible but nothing could soothe the crying baby. Nothing until there was the worst patch of turbulence and then the infant quit crying at least for some time. It was not all bad because after a half hour of crying it became background noise.
Leaving snow capped mountains
 The pilot came on again saying that the turbulence would continue for another 45 minutes, and it did. After that there was mild patches but nothing as severe as that 45 minute spell. Three hours later the pilot pointed out Mt. Rainier which was a sight to behold as the largest mountain in the state of Washington. Although Mount Rainier is an active volcano, as of 2010 there was no evidence of an imminent eruption as it's last documented eruption was between 1820 and 1854.


Mount Rainier

Mount St. Helen & Mount Hood
After landing in Portland we left the airport and checked into our hotel. Then, the three of us (Jamie, Gretchen and I) went shopping. We hit up Ikea, Ross, and went out to Buffalo Wild Wings. While driving around one thing I did notice was that fall is just beginning here, where as in Alaska fall is at the very tail end.
Leaves just starting to turn color

After that we went back to the hotel for a short while and then met up with Carlee (One of Jamie's youth) who is a student at Concordia University, Portland. It was interesting being on campus. It is small like CSP, and they have a brand new library like CSP (except newer). They also have old dorms like CSP. There are lots of similarities but one thing it lacks is the iconic Luther statue.

We took Carlee out for dessert at McMenamins Kennedy's School which is an old elementary school that is now a restaurant and hotel.
Carlee, Jamie, Gretchen and I. Dessert time!

Tomorrow we get up early and drive from Portland to Seaside, OR. The conference itself starts at 1:00pm. It will be a time of fun and learning. I'm can't wait. Stay tuned...

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