Surprisingly, I slept soundly and woke later than usual, around 8:30. Perhaps it was because the sun would shine through my tent at early hours and here it was a rainy, gray day. At any rate, a quick shower and some breakfast and Katya and I are on the road. We load my bags into the car and head out to what I think are travel agencies. I have a ticket to Moscow for Monday but Katya feels it would be best if I got there earlier than my actual ticket. She knows very well how planes here can be delayed and that a four-hour layover in Moscow can be too short for a domestic plane transfer to an international flight.

First stop, the agency is closed on Saturdays. Next stop they are open but cannot help us. We are directed to go to the airport to see if the flight can be changed. Katya calls the airport and they have one seat left on a flight for today, business class. I tell her I will get rubles and pay any difference in price. We head to the airport through busy Saturday traffic in what seems like a crazy road race. The radio is playing but my head only hears the theme song from Mission Impossible. My pulse is definitely racing because now all I can think about is getting the last seat on the plane before someone else gets there. Katya turns off the radio and tells me to think about what I will do if I cannot get the seat. She wants to give me time to weigh my options; she fully understands that I need time to process all of this craziness.

When we get to the airport and ask the woman at the ticket window about my flight and possible change we are told that this is impossible because the ticket was bought in America. There are no seats for the Sunday flight so, it looks like I will fly on Monday and have four hours to get my self from point A to point B, although here it is like going through a bit of a maze. Each person has one job and so you must see many people to get the whole task accomplished. At least I have done this one time before so I sort of have the idea.

We drive back to her flat at a much slower pace, at least it feels slower because my pulse has come back to the normal range. I will spend the rest of today and tomorrow in Petropovlovsk. She is leaving in the early hours of Monday morning to go back to the field. So, I will be with her and the most famous volcanologist on Kamchatka for a ride to the airport and there I will wait for my flight at 2:30 PM.

Katya needs to get Marina to the airport so I am left alone for a few hours. I busy myself with some e-mails and other computer work then fall asleep. In the evening Katya returns and we go to the Institute for Volcanology and Seismology. It is a few hundred meters from her place, which is why she bought a flat there. Here I can upload to the Internet from a computer that works at dial up speed. I am thankful that I have Internet at my disposal.

Katya at the Institute
While at the Institute I snap a quick shot of Katya at her desk. She is there to print maps they will need on her next field expedition.

Institute Poster
While at the Institute for Volcanology and Seismology I check out the posters on the wall. Here is a picture of Katya and Jody, from our expedition, when they were in the Kuril Islands studying tsunami deposits.

With Katya heading back into the field she has tons of things to do. She is off to meetings and I have been instructed to make myself at home. For now I am sticking to hanging out at her place. Tomorrow, when I am up to the walking and the challenge, I plan to go to a place maybe two kilometers from here and do a bit of shopping for food and a comb, which I think I forgot in Ust-Kamchastk. So for now I am the confused American with a really bad hair day going on, perhaps I blend in here but I think perhaps not.

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