Well, we didn’t leave SB until just before dark. So our flight was all of an hour, including a long slow climb over SBA to gain altitude for extra safety in the dark passage North. Once up at eight thousand we stopped circling and zoomed at about 140mph to SLO (San Luis Obispo). Since it was dark, I hadn’t set up my camera (though I’d probably have been able to get some good snaps). I was pretty busy flying, talking to ATC, and navigating anyway and probably wouldn’t have snapped much.
So here’s a verbal image for you. Taking off the sunset colors came into view in the west, because when it’s dark on the ground there’s still light aloft. Turning toward the coast for the circling climb over SBA we enjoyed the lights of UCSB and IV, with Hope Ranch and Santa Barbara twinkling into the distance. The dark outlines of the mountain ridges were still visible against the deepening purple sky. Lights inching along Hwy.101 made veins of life in the darkness toward Gaviota.
The gals commented on how different our familiar town looks from the air at night. There are sharp outlines at the edges of the developed areas, and landmarks disappear. I pointed out some roads as we flew over them on our second round, starting with Fairview. That helped them figure out some of the other roads and neighborhoods, and before long they recognized shopping areas and other major features. When we turned North the lights of Santa Ynez, Solvang, Buellton, Lompoc and even Santa Maria were in clear view by the time the mountains were slipping silently beneath our wings.
Our AB (Alberta) Joy adventure thus began with a fast trip to SLO. Tomorrow we cruise up the coast perhaps to Florence, OR. The photo ops begin.