February 28 2007
A FIFTEEN HOUR FLIGHT??? LA to Hong Kong - what am I going to do for FIFTEEN HOURS? (Followed by another 5-hour flight). I had avoided looking at those flight times till now. Got drugs? I've been in the air 10 or 12 hours or so before, which was completely unbearable. Maybe Ralph Fiennes will be on my flight this time...
So, what exactly DOES one do on a 15 hour flight? I can't sit still at home for a 2 hour movie at home, and I don't particularly like watching movies anyway, and I really don't like them on an airplane. I like to read, but not for 15 hours. I like to eat, but I can't stretch a meal out for 15 hours. Same with sleeping. I can't do anything for 15 hours straight! Well... except maybe ride a horse.
Now, maybe that's the way to look at this. Count down the hours as if I were doing a 100-mile ride. The two hundreds that I've done, I was in the saddle (counting time off the horse in vet checks as time in the saddle) for 22 hours, give or take an hour.
Sometimes you get uncomfortable in an endurance ride (airplane ride) - have to stay in the same seated position for hours and hours and hours (your cramped assigned airplane seat), occasionally relieving that by getting off your horse and walking or jogging with him (crawling over your seatmates, getting up and walking or jogging around the plane).
You sometimes doze off though you can't really sleep while covering ground (dozing in your assigned cramped seat).
It can be pretty loud if the wind (airplane engine) is roaring in your ears.
Sometimes your horse bucks or shies beneath you (as does the plane), which is not particularly fun.
You can eat or drink whenever and whatever you want, especially if you pack your own goodies (same on the plane).
Sometimes you are served meals by your crew at vet checks (your stewards/stewardesses).
You can visit the loo anytime you want (same on the plane, though the preferable loos, bushes, are not available on the planes). You may have to wait in line if the only bush (loo) is occupied.
You can talk to your fellow riders (airplane passengers) and get to know them, where they're from, what they do, etc. Sometimes though, even when they annoy you, you can't get away from them unless you switch positions on the trail (move to a new seat).
You can watch the scenery go by (in a plane, way down there).
You'll probably be riding (flying) in the daylight and the dark, and maybe the daylight again.
Okay, now, since my 100-mile rides lasted way longer than my 15 hour flight will, if I can recall all those miles of, say, the Virginia City ride, and speed them up a smidgen, then I will be crossing the finish line (landing) a bit earlier than I'd normally be. I will just have to stay focused on each and every long, and getting longer, mile of my 100 mile ride (15 hour flight). Right?