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August 7, 1998

One thing about this trip that is consistent.  We get up early, rushed to breakfast, rushed to pack, rushed to the bus, fly to the airport, and then we wait.   I have been doing this since the 27th of July and I still have not figured out the main reason for waiting. Trust me, I ask!  Permission to fly, weather?, permission to land, etc.   I promise you, when I get back to the states, I'm going out to the airplane, crank it up, and take off without talking to anyone.  Never again will I take for granted the way I get to fly in the states.  I am going to fly from the East coast to the West Coast and not not talk to anyone.  HEAVEN......... We were up at 7 AM for a 2 hour flight to Magadan.  We got here at 4 PM.  Now see, 9 hours from a 2 hour deal.  Yuri, our camera man was in Magadan with the other media.  It was good to see him.  We were able to do some aerial footage for him.  Then the AN-2's left to go fuel at another airport.  I ended up causing a commotion when I wanted to know details about our departure from Russia.  Seems, details were not all finalized.   I caught Peter (engineer) looking in the back of the Maule.  He was sizing it up for another fuel tank.  The red-hair kicked in at this point.  I told him "no more fuel tanks."  I started asking about fuel from here to Nome.   Well, I got the same statement I have heard everyday.  "We have a small problem!"  I have learned one thing.  Any slight kink in the system is a problem.  Where we are used to working around problems, these guys aren't.   This is a side effect of the Russian system.  But, it all gets worked out.   Valery told me that I was an energetic woman and so was Khalide.  I asked Khalide what that meant.  She held up 2 fists and laughed.  But since then, I have gotten more details and feel more informed.

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