Volcano strands Janesville native

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010
— When you travel, be prepared for the unexpected.

That may be the lesson for the non-Boy Scouts stuck in Europe or elsewhere because the volcanic ash cloud emanating from Iceland.

Kathie Kinnaman, who grew up in Janesville, was shepherding 14 high school students around Paris when the cloud grounded flights all over Europe, reports her mother, Jan Kinnaman of Janesville.

Kathie teaches French at Neenah High School. The group was supposed to fly home Saturday after a two-week stay. They were hoping to catch a flight south to Spain today to avoid the ash and then fly home, Jan said.

Many would love to be “stuck” in Paris in the springtime, Jan agreed, but Kathie reports some of her charges are getting homesick, and she’s running out of free places to take them. They have enough to eat and a place to stay, but they’re running out of clean underwear, Jan said.

Planes began to fly in Europe again Tuesday, but the backlog of people waiting for flights home is huge. Meanwhile, scientists have raised concerns about a possible second eruption in Iceland.

Kathie is a graduate of Craig High School and UW-Madison by way of UW-Rock County. She’s been teaching for about 25 years and has taken students on the Paris trip many times.

She lamented to her mother that in previous years she was in Paris when the subway was shut down by a terrorist threat, and she was there for Paris’ hottest summer ever.

But Paris isn’t the worst place to be stranded.

Neither is Janesville, for that matter. Carol Roherty has friends from Ireland visiting. They arrived a day late because of the ash cloud, and now they’re not sure when they’ll be flying back to Dublin, Roherty said. Her friends are retired, so there’s no urgency.

“They can stay as long as they want, so it really isn’t a big inconvenience,” Roherty said.

Turns out, one good substitute for good trip preparation is good friends at your destination.

Last updated: 1:23 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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