John & Anne Wiley

2014/10/11

Constant

The old saying goes something like, “The only constant is Change.” We just had some lessons in that. We decided to fly Tripp up to visit a dear sister in Seattle who was in a terrible freak vehicle accident. Our hope is to help out where we can, and add some fun and cheer to her days. So we started to plan for next week.

Then we realized Edmonton is relatively close, and we could visit our daughter and family. Starting to look at flying weather, I found that we could actually fly direct to see them first and enjoy a Canadian Thanksgiving on Sunday. So suddenly our first plan changed and we had less time to prepare.

Then the weather forecasts began to include extreme wind warnings for Edmonton for our planned arrival tomorrow (Saturday). So we instantly went into emergency packing mode, and were able to leave SBA just before the last holes in the low clouds closed offshore. To break up the flying tomorrow we decided to fly about halfway, to Boise, ID. Because our plans were now in tatters and we got out of SBA at 9pm, and we had headwinds, we ended up flying nearly all night and arriving at 5am long after our hotel plan was out the window. Being dark except for the waning moon, we didn’t see much and took not a single photo (perhaps a first for us on a long flight over interesting terrain).

2303 Terminal Plan

2303 Terminal Problem

So we slept in recliner chairs in the “crew” room at the airport for three hours, then started making last minute plans for the border crossing. That’s when the plan met its End. Terminal error, as it were. In our haste, we’d left our passports at home. Even in our sleepy state it was instantly clear that this was a terminal problem. We had but a few hours before weather closed in everywhere, the authorities require lots of money, time and rare documents to issue a new passport, and nothing short of a friend with supersonic jet could get our passports to us in time for today’s flight.

Change is Constant.

So we changed plan to head for Seattle just before the forecast storms here.

2304 Over Boise

2304 Over Boise

At last we were flying in daylight, so there are some pix to share. Like this one of the first leaves turning in a small town along our route.

6438 Fall Color

6438 Fall Color

Much of the flight was over vast barren dry terrain, where vehicles on dirt roads stand out from the flat.

6453 Vehicle ID

6453 Vehicle ID

Or scenes like this, where the cars of a freight train trace a thin thread of colors.

2309 Colored Thread

2309 Colored Thread

Where there’s irrigated farming, lush green circles dot the land and scattered burning adds smoke signals.

2338 Fields & Fires

2338 Fields & Fires

On the aviation frequencies we heard some pilots around Boise reporting fires to ATC, but being near towns they were already known to fire agencies. So when I spotted what looked like a new wildfire in a remote non-agricultural area near Mt. Aix, I called it in and they seemed to take it quite seriously.

6473 Into Rainy Days

6473 Into Rainy Days

The storms actually arrived a little early. In fact we even flew through some scattered light snow flurries that were falling thru the clear air between cloud layers.  Happily we could see that Renton (Seattle) was still clear but by the time we landed we were very tired. We were also feeling great disappointment, sadness and frustration at not going for such a precious time with daughter and family. Yet we were happy, healthy, and glad to see Anne’s sweet sister.

Then we went to bed early (for us: 11pm) on our comfy high-end air mattress in sweet sister’s guest room. An hour later we woke on the floor. Being so totally sleep deprived by now, we just found the least uncomfortable position and slept another two hours. When we woke again aching in our bones from basically sleeping on the floor, I pumped it up again hoping for at least an hour. It went flat immediately. So we slept a few more minutes on the floor and got up to make coffee and figure out where we’ll buy a new air matt.

So begins our PNW Adventure. What other Change lies ahead on this journey?

2014/09/10

High & Outside

One of the many things we love about flying is how it’s so different every time. When we used to drive from SB to SD, any variation was a welcome respite from what often presented as monotony at best (frustration and danger at worst). So those dreaded drives perhaps made flying to SD even more fun for us. For example, going much higher than our usual 1-4.5k’ and faster than our usual 110mph.

5836 High Outside LA

5836 High Outside LA

Here offshore looking back across Palos Verdes to LA and beyond, it felt a little like the brief glimpse from an airliner as it takes off. This was about 10,000 feet and going 150mph or so. Unlike an airliner though, we enjoyed the view through wide open windows rather than a small hazy plastic porthole. Unlike the airline view this lasted an hour rather than a couple of minutes during climb or descent. This height also gave us some fun (and safe) views of those airliners.

5815 Outside

5815 Outside

Though we were safely outside the 3D corridors in the air for airline departures and arrivals, a cropped view like this max zoom shot can give the impression of a menacing white shark. For we who know how safe flying is, it’s all about fun and excitement mingled with some concern for the thousands of people down on those dangerous roads. During our stay in SD we even took a break from fun with family to explore the area from back down at our preferred altitude, intimate with the earth but not bound by it.

5857 La Jolla Jolly

5857 La Jolla Jolly

In half an hour or so, we took in so much beauty and stoked up so much happiness it made sitting in SD traffic again almost tolerable. :)

Along the coast somewhere near Torrey Pines I spotted this spiral rip tide outside the break. Surfers seemed to be using it for access to the rides generated by a hurricane off Mexico.

5925 Outside Perspective

5925 Outside Perspective

We’ve enjoyed riding rip tides, but didn’t know how they look in context until flying. From down there on the water, we’d never have guessed this one was making an unusual spiral pattern. High and outside our normal perspective, we see the world anew.

2014/08/23

“Fuller” Flying Experience

The little town of Santa Paula has a great airport, and at the heart of the field is Fuller Aircraft Services. Our friend Glenn Fuller and his happy crew have kept us flying safely and within our budget almost since the day I started flying. His mastery of the art and science of maintaining aircraft has done the same for countless other aviators, and we are thankful.

5168 Fuller Aircraft Services

5168 Fuller Aircraft Services

Behind the fuel pump at the middle of this pic is his hangar #9 hangout where maintenance magic happens. A parade of airport regulars dropped by to say hi as he gave Tripp her annual careful inspection. He also did a few of the minor upgrades we request each year and still presented a bill within our budget. Thank you Glenn!

Tripp was all spiffy and happy as our spirits were treated to new discoveries like the paintball playground at the bottom left of this next pic.

5168 S.Paula Paintball

5168 S.Paula Paintball

Back toward Santa Barbara we again enjoyed the colorful flower fields by the red barn at the edge of this folksy little town.

5159 SP Flowers

5159 SP Flowers

Across the hills we left the warm dry air of the Santa Paula Valley past Lake Casitas and wound our way down through the broken clouds along the high foothills where mansions survey the Channel.

5154 Carp Hill Manse

5154 Carp Hill Manse

Glenn has launched us into another year of flying fun. What familiar scenes will we survey anew? Which direction will we point Tripp’s nose next?

2014/08/19

Many Horses

Tripp’s getting her annual inspection right now and we might be flying her again soon. I’m hoping we can use all the extra “horses” she has compared with similar planes. That horsepower enables her to perform much better on hot days or at high altitude, and to carry more of the extra stuff we tend to haul around on flying adventures (camping gear, all-weather clothing, tweaky tandem bicycle, and even sometimes inflatable 2-person kayak).

But rather than share aerial pix (or anything to do with Tripp’s horses) in this post, here are some of the many horses we saw downtown back on August 1st.

4864 Four Horsemen

4864 Horsemen

It’s called the Fiesta Parade, and though some locals tell us they avoid the crowds we like the old-timey quality of it. Some really beautiful horses, trick ponies, antique horse-drawn transportation, lots of mules, and interesting people from far and wide who love all this.

4893 Spirit

4893 Spirit

Many of the horses are very spirited, some get spooked by all the commotion, and the one on the right above seemed to be a concern for two guys watching from the wagon as the rider managed a sudden burst of speed. It was fun watching the equestrians show off their animals, like when this multi-team wagon made a wide circle to give everyone a closer look.

4900 Circling The Wagon

4900 Circling The Wagon

Some of the floats aren’t pulled by horses, all along the route are vendors of various kinds, and at De La Guerra Plaza people gather at a colorful mercado.

4910 Mercado

4910 Mercado

We enjoyed it, but we’ll be glad to ride our horses back into the wild blue and share new pix from there. :)

2014/08/05

Cartoon Fields

Filed under: Aviation,by Anne,Flying,Has Photos,Nature,Tripp — Anne @ 01:06

Flying over rural communities and farmland, this view jumped out at me like a cartoon figure.  Most likely farmers are following some terrain, and perhaps have no idea what a delight these shapes are from above.  This first is my favorite. Notice on the right Tripp’s shoe and the city below -juxtaposing  alongside this broad swipe cartoon puzzle shape.

DSC_1605-Cartoon puzzle

These puzzle pieces were reaching far up to the hills above. ~by Anne

DSC_1606-Cartoon-b

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