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Happenstance in the parking lot

July 6th, 2011

I had just picked up some supplies and was nearly back to Sam when something caught my eye in the next parking lot row.  It was an RV with the Minnesota vanity license plate “Travel”!  Naturally, I felt compelled to meet the person with such good taste in license plates.

Travel! Explore!

I went up to the RV and knocked on the door.  The owners greeted me, and I returned the favor.  We were making pleasant small talk when an even more remarkable coincidence came to bear: Pat and Dianne were from the northeast corner of Plymouth, Minnesota.  That’s about three miles from where I grew up!  It’s quite probable that we have mutual acquaintances.

I think this guy likes to kayak (Another neat license plate, seen in Whitehorse, YT)

It’s incredible to think about the number of pieces that had to fall into place to precipitate that encounter.  At a minimum, it took me making a wrong turn trying to find a Starbucks, finding a Walmart instead, deciding that I needed more Febreze for my hockey gear, and parking in a particular section of the lot.  Not to mention everything leading up to my being in Fairbanks in the first place, which for other reasons ended up happening several days earlier than planned (mostly having to do with, of all things, the existence of direct flights to Whitehorse from Frankfurt and Zurich).

Amazing.  A butterfly flaps its wings, indeed.

  1. July 6th, 2011 at 12:58 | #1

    I am truly amazed that Condor can make enough money on a ZRH-YXY flight (priced at 2/3 of the nearest competitive routing) to do it even weekly. A 767-300 isn’t a small plane to fill. How did the existence of those flights change your plan?

  2. Jeff
    July 6th, 2011 at 17:27 | #2

    Yeah, it surprised me. I never did get a good explanation about why there were so many Germans and Swiss in Whitehorse. Maybe some sort of cultural link? There were a bunch of German flags around, and the alternate language in the tourist material was German, not French.

    As for how it affected me, the weekly influx of Europeans pushed up the cost of lodging and filled the hostels, do staying would have meant paying through the nose or camping. Fairbanks was cheaper.

  3. Jeff
    July 7th, 2011 at 17:40 | #3

    After a bit more research on the subject, I’ve learned that Germans are, apparently, obsessed with the “cowboys and indians” mythology of North America. It seems that they also like the idea of the wide open spaces in the Yukon, which has a far lower population density than their native land. Still seems surprising that so many would fly to Whtehorse specifically.

  4. mom
    July 8th, 2011 at 10:57 | #4


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