I'll post pictures and video, I said. Not!!! Watching the flyby was not the idealized experience I envisioned so I conveniently ignored my promise to provide photos. Suffice it to say, the itinerary was kept under wraps under the last minute, and there was NO (may I repeat, NO) explanation about exactly how and where the shuttle would fly over Disneyland. Instead of getting the awesome pictures of the shuttle AND 747, those of us at the Big D were treated to a terrific view of the bottom of the carrier plane and a glimpse of Endeavour's engines and the duo flew over our heads. Exciting? Sort of. I still wanted to see the shuttle outside its future exhibit space so the morning of October 13th found me on my way to L.A. at a very early hour...
October 13: My alarm went off at 5:00 (yes, 5:00), and I was out the door by 6. I seriously vacillated about where to view the shuttle. Should I try a random street viewing? Inglewood Civic Center? Join the potentially thousands of spectators at the Forum and try to find a decent spot there? Decisions, decisions. The shuttle was scheduled to appear at the Inglewood Civic Center at 8:15. Armed with breakfast and a book to pass the time I was parking near the Inglewood Civic Center at 6:45. I knew I was early, but I didn't mind the wait. Unfortunately, as I was walking toward the building I noticed people coming my direction. Hm. Finally, one lady told a group of us the shuttle had been...and gone. Noooo! My first thought: There's no way I came all this way to miss this! Second thought: They say the shuttle travels approx 2 miles/hour. I can walk faster than that! So, I did. I made my way down the street, through an alley, and caught the shuttle as it rounded the curve on Manchester. I was face to face with the nose! In case I couldn't go any father, I stopped and took my share of pictures, and then continued around the corner because I wanted to actually see the shuttle coming at me. As you can see, my plan worked. :-)
Authors note: For those interested, I probably walked a total of 2 miles. Talk about the morning workout!
My first glimpse of the shuttle. I was determined to see more than its hindquarters!
Some of these clearances were incredibly close
Entrance/rescue hatch. How many times have I watched the astronauts climb through this hole at the beginning of their journey to space.
Endeavour and I!
My final glimpse of Endeavour. She was waiting to make her grand entrance to at the Forum.