If you've met any steampunk cosplayers in the last five years, odds are good they described themselves as the crew of an airship. They're wrong. The crew of a real airship look a lot like tanned Californians who forgot to borrow shoes other than flip-flops when they raided a flight attendant's closet. There's no brass, no grime and no gears. Instead, it's the best flying experience since the romance of air travel in the 1960s. The Farmer's Airship, operated by Airship Ventures, normally flies a set route from California to Seattle. To the delight of both air and tech enthusiasts nationwide, the zeppelin is currently in the middle of a six month cross-country tour. I had an opportunity to enjoy a flight when it docked in St. Louis. Although the zeppelin itself was a modern technological marvel, the entire experience had a hazy sensation of alternate reality. It was like I'd stepped into a pre-9/11 world of flight.