It’s no small thing crossing an international border these days.
I set out on a virtual trip around the world nearly two weeks ago, and the whole point (well, some of the point... a big part of the point) was to do something I couldn’t do in real life: go somewhere. With the pandemic lockdown, sure we can travel to the supermarket (in a mask) or for a weekend hiking (socially distancing from everything and everyone) but to get on a plane and go somewhere far away is a literal impossibility.
Not a virtual one, however.
It was a little disappointing that I crossed from British Columbia in to Alaska at 12,000 ft and with a thick layer of clouds between me and the rolling mountain scenery below. When you’re playing in real time, live weather, in a simulation of the planet then you get what reality throws at you... or simulates at you ... I still haven’t figured out a good way to phrase that.
Two hours in the air and as I descended into those clouds I dodged mountains and swooped through a foggy fjord as I approached the seaside Alaskan town.
Sitka, Alaska, according to Wikipedia has a population of nearly 9,000 and is (surprise!) largely dependent on the fishing and seafood industry. As I took a second flight touring over the town in the fog, there seemed to be a large number of houses and other buildings strung like beads along the coastline, making the community a kind of partial ring around the mountain that is the foundation of the island upon which it sits.
My continuing trip into Alaska will take multiple more legs, mostly following the south coast as I leapfrog the chain of islands extending like an arm towards Russia and Asia. Of course, the virtual beauty that I've seen so far is just making me long to visit some of these places in real life.