Vicktor Petrov was watching a BBC documentary about the Pacific ring of fire and took a keen interest in David Attenborough’s description of the 11 o’clock position on the Asian side of the world. We’re talking about Kamchatka Peninsula. With over 300 volcanos and 29 active smokers, this Peninsula resembles an airport smoking lounge. Vicktor, a non-smoker and a resident of the US, had seen North American volcanos in his travels and remembered all the landscape changing machinery of the Mount Saint Helen’s 1980 eruption. Walking amongst the flattened landscape and seeing the power of a pyroclastic flow 5 years after the fact, Mr. Petrov was hooked and went on a mission to find a travel agent to get him to far eastern Russia. This was 13 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union and a slight relaxing in the tensions of the Cold War. The first attempt had an agent flying Mr. Petrov east from his Midwestern City nearly all the way around the world to get there…STUPID. Pushing a seasoned travel agent, named Kelly, that he used in the past, she hit those computer keys and found a Russian commercial flight that leaves once a week to fly from Anchorage, Alaska to Petropavlovsk, Kamchatsky. Perfect. Now, he just needed a flight to Anchorage and a Russian Visa, and he was all set. Having 12 years of various international flights under his seat belt, Vicktor was now forced to obtain his 3rd passport. It seems that a US passport, that is good for 10 years, is really only good for 9. With a stroke of the pen, the US immigration service dictates that your passport must be active 1 year after returning from a foreign country. In Vicktor’s case, it would have only been 11 months. God damn lying government. So off went his application, new photo, old passport, and a padded fee to make it happen quicker. No sooner did he get it and it went right back in the mail to get a Russian visa for entry into their country. The crap 1 must go through to see a smoking cone. 

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