Another day, another bunch of dramatic views, including Mount Hood.
No, this isn't paramotor flying but it has some cool moments. Just don't
blow a launch.
Today was a long one. Five legs from Spokane (GEG) to Portland (PDX)
to Sacramento (SMF) to Las Vegas (LAS) to Kansas City (MCI) and finally
to Saint Louis (STL). We never spent more than 30 minutes in each place.
Check out Flight Attendant Dana with a D at right. Besides a
wonderful personality, she doles out a mean confection. Cookies,
that is. They're for sale at
www.BellePetiteSweets.net, a web-based bakery of unique and very
tasty goodies. I'll vouch for them, too.
Cruising the Coast
This trip went mostly up and down the left coast, as many do, with
perfect weather the whole time. Nary an instrument approach was needed.
1. This picture lacks the resolution
to show what was so intriguing. Water was flowing southbound and this
island caused what looked like a bow wave as the water flowed around it.
2. The marine layer holding just off shore from Torrey Pines gliderport.
3. An airplane landing while Fedex awaits his turn at the runway.
4. Enjoy the green for soon it will turn brown. Coming into Oakland, CA
puts you over these luschous green hills to the south. I've paramotored
just west of here and it's even prettier when you can drag your feet
through it. My boss frowns on that in the 737, though.
1. Lake Mead east of Las Vegas is
shrinking. By the time they finish the new high bridge downstream of
Hoover Dam, there won't be any water to cross.
2. Coming out of Spokane, WA, we had very few passengers and minimal
fuel (very lightweight.) The "Guppy" has a lot of get-up-and-go as you
can see by the pegged climb rate indicator. It shows we're rocketing
skyward at 6000+ feet per minute (fpm). That's impressive on its own
but, in this case, we're doing it at 29,000 feet!
3. Arriving into Portland, Mount Hood was sporting a hood. This cap
cloud forms from the rising air forced up its slope.
4. Another gorgeous way to see San Francisco Bay. Just be glad you're
not in that traffic Jam.
1. The view out my hotel window in
Spokane was great.
The view out the cockpit windows is even better.
2. Golden Gate Bridge.
3. San Diego and Torrey Pines.
For what seems like forever, projects have ruled my life, keeping me
holed up behind computer screens and documents and other distractions.
That will continue, I'm sure, but with the latest major project in
production, it was time for a break.
I enjoyed that welcome freedom and spent some time with my
particularly entertaining fellow crewmembers.
With the right folks, it can be a mighty fun time, and these guys
certainly qualified! Flying with them was enjoyable but hanging out was
Time is the one thing we'll never get more of, so we best use it
wisely. Sometimes, that means just having fun with it.
Dana not only makes tasty cookies, she is quite the songstress and
funny girl. They were all were great to be around. It was a good time.
1. Dana models one of her treats just
before Jim scarfed it down.
2. Jim takes us out of Reno, Nevada.
Yes, they still let us touch the controls. It is still work but
can be beautiful in the process. Below about 18,000 feet we do have to
be particularly alert and businesslike.
3. PPG Pilot Mark Ares wound up on my
flight from Portland to Sacramento. He made the mistake of letting me
know about it. After the flight, I swapped seats with him: "Ah, this 737
is just like my ParaFlyer!" Launching is sure a lot more reliable. Mark
shares air with the fanatics of northern California: Sacramento's Sod
Flyers. He was a trooper because my enroute P.A. singled him out as a
celebrity aviator. Sorry Mark.