John & Anne Wiley

2014/04/16

Plan?

Big News! :)

I’ll say it again, for us there are Five Trips in every Big Adventure. The trip you Dream, Plan, Take, Remember, and Dream. Yes, we Dream them twice, because the dreams before it happens are powerful yet distinct from the powerful dreams we have after every Big Adventure. So the news is, we’ve just advanced from Dream to Plan on a new Big Adventure: “4C.” That is, the Four Corners region of the great American Southwest. Maybe this will clarify for you:

4C 1st Plan: Avare

4C 1st Plan: Avare

Maybe not? Well, this is from a screen capture in the free Avare aviation app I helped develop with my good friend Zubair (more on that later). The little red “airplane” icon at bottom-left shows where we are in SB. The purple line from there is vaguely our route flying four hours or so to Sedona. There we might tent but however we sleep, the next day we’ll meet up with Zubair and his family of four who will have flown commercial from Boston and rented a plane in the Phoenix area. Then we’ll set off in loose formation to explore the Four Corners, vaguely on an initial route we dreamed something like this:

4C Trip Drive Map

4C Trip Drive Map

There was a line in Back To The Future something like, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” Well, we’ll be fine with roads, but as you can imagine we’ll be going places roads don’t reach and seeing marvels invisible to all but those who fly as we do. We’ll probably enjoy about 2 hours a day or so of flying around, punctuated with some drives and hikes and maybe short boat trips. Even so, that dreamy magic carpet ride will probably be less than half of the 22 grueling hours gMaps estimated it would take to roughly drive that route with no detours. I love to fly! :)

So if you’d like to “fly along” with us, stay tuned to this blog for more on our Plan and our Trip as it unfolds. I’m hoping to have more ease with posting updates along the way, because this year Verizon has seen fit to allow us access to the cellphone data we’re paying for, on our laptops.

In case you’re wondering about that green line at the lower-right of the top pic, that’s where we’re heading after Zubair and family head back to Phoenix for their return jet to Boston. We’ll then carry on into Phase Two of 4C: our first adventure into the high Rockies and more detailed exploration of Colorado!

2014/04/12

Pretty Light

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,People,Random — John @ 10:37

On the Marin side of the Golden Gate shines a pretty light. Pretty in Spanish being bonita, is the name given to the rocky and storm ravaged point of land jutting out into the ocean. Bonita clearly refers not to the lighthouse on the point, nor to the point itself, but to the spectacular view from here.

4009 Bonita Point Perspective

4009 Bonita Point Perspective

Reaching the light from shore involves both a tunnel and a bridge, and the elements do their best to batter all structures here.

4006 Bonita Point

4006 Bonita Point

But theĀ Bonita Point Lighthouse itself is also pretty, for anyone who likes lighthouses. It has some interesting features I’ve not seen at other lighthouses, like that porch at the tip.

4109 Bonita Point Light

4109 Bonita Point Light

Was that semicircular room once enclosed with windows, so that the keeper and family could sit out there and enjoy the view?

2014/04/11

Hazards

We flew Tripp to Santa Paula for an oil change and checkup, because we’re starting to plan yet another Big Adventure (more on that soon). Often when driving on the freeway we think about how dangerous it is. Less so than when I used to ride a motorcycle, and less even than undivided highways. We feel much safer in Tripp, but as with anything in life there are some hazards to be aware of. Today as we left, Anne worried about whether the wispy low clouds over the beach at Hope ranch might come ashore before we returned.

5431 Beautiful Hazard

5431 Beautiful Hazard

These similar wispies were near La Conchita, and to me they’re far more beautiful than hazardous because of course I fly well clear of them. Worst case if Anne’s fears had materialized, we’d have flown to Santa Ynez and hitched a ride home to wait for a clear day. We also saw evidence of another travel hazard on the beach nearby.

5439 Final Hazard?

5439 Final Hazard?

Will they be able to save it, or was this the final hazard for a dream boat? Presumably nobody was hurt, as is usually the case with all hazards. But every time we see a mishap of any sort, it’s an reminder to both take care and enjoy the moment.

2014/04/08

Scale

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,Has Photos,Nature,Random — John @ 08:45

Yosemite Valley was clearly carved by glaciers, and it’s easy to lose perspective on the scale of the place. While driving in and out, you get glimpses beyond the forest towering over the roads. Taking the time to stop at vista points you get a few impressions of distance, and looking up you often see the towering rock cliffs. But flying, even high overhead and at somewhat hazy zoom lens distance you can compare the size of Half Dome with the height of the “tiny” eighty foot trees surrounding it.

5224 Half Dome Scale

5224 Half Dome Scale

 

2014/04/07

First Park

The idea of a nature park began here in California, when John Muir helped to protect the area now known as Yosemite. All these many years later, it’s still beautiful both from the ground and from the air. We drove in from Pine Mountain Lake today with my sweet aunt, and then flew over it on the way home. The noonish drive offered clearer air, and brighter light for these first two pix.

5101 Yosemite Intro

5101 Yosemite Intro

There are some great views on the drive in, but this first glimpse up close and personal that like a few other drivers I stopped and ran back to snap it. Then there was this other spectacle across the valley.

5165 Spectacle

5165 Spectacle

A few hours later we were there again as sunset approached, lighting the rocks around Bridal Veil Falls in a different hue.

5209 Lifted Veil

5209 Lifted Veil

Though the haze had increased and we were much further away to preserve quiet in the valley, seeing it all again from the air lifted the veil of isolation between points. We savored the day’s delights for the whole beautiful two hour flight home to SB. I wish we could share a pic of the whole breathtaking Yosemite aerial panorama with you!

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