John & Anne Wiley

2014/07/16

Shared Use

Out over the water we saw lots of sharing. These pelicans were sharing the lift created by the bird just ahead as they glided low across the water off Goleta Beach.

2742 Shared Lift

2742 Shared Lift

They were also sharing the open water with these Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) guys.

2740 Shared Water

2740 Shared Water

Nearby were these two couples in kayaks, sharing some quiet fun in the sun together.

2728 Shared Couples

2728 Shared Couples

All of them were sharing with us their water level view of this magnificent gentle arc of coast from Goleta Beach out to Campus Point just moments after our takeoff from SBA.

2753 Shared View

2753 Shared View

2014/07/12

Painted

Near the nearly dry Lake Cachuma, May mustard grass was painting slopes that are now a crispy dry pale brown.

2548 Yellow Flash

2548 Yellow Flash

There was even lush wild grass on the low hill with abandoned building foundations next to the old highway with its small bridge that’s now normally under water.

2553 Atlantis Ranch

2553 Atlantis Ranch

After climbing back over the hill toward SB Harbor we looked back at the Painted Cave community with the vast San Rafael and Sierra Madre ranges towering in the distance.

2588 Painted Cave

2588 Painted Cave

2014/07/08

Over The Hill

Forty is the New Thirty, they say. But that’s not the title source for this post. It’s about flying, of course, and in this case over the 3,000 foot “hill” to the Santa Ynez Valley. (I put “hill” in quotes, because on the East Coast that’s a mountain but around here not so much). Anyway, climbing over the hill I snapped this view back toward the beach.

2446 Hill To Coast

2446 Hill To Coast

Lovely, right? A bit hazy, but the mustard blooms and blue sea more than make up for that! Looking at the full-res pic I noticed a castle. Like me, you probably don’t see it. But here’s a full-res crop from the original, showing this castle-like structure with two turrets.

2446 Castle

2446 Castle

Pretty cool! Hope I can remember to fly over and get a closer pic one of these days. For now, it’s yet another example of how wonderful it is to fly here. That same pic has two scenes I really like. :)

2460 Over Hill

2460 Over Hill

Just two minutes later I snapped this great view along the other side of the hill, toward Alisal Lake. Even hazier because I’m shooting toward the sun, but I just love the colors and shapes. So much that I descended for a closer look at this hillock that looks like a green wave breaking in a sea of yellow.

2503 Mountain Wave

2503 Mountain Wave

All around the valley are farms, ranches, orchards and vineyards, and most have a mansion or large ranch house like this out among the fields.

2505 Valley Dreams

2505 Valley Dreams

After touring the valley side of the hill, we flew up the river toward Lake Cachuma. This was back in mid-May when there were still beautiful pools like this.

2518 Lingering Pool

2518 Lingering Pool

The texture of tall grasses and mossy water punctuates the dry valley where only ancient oaks thrive among the irrigated orchards. That line of life is always fascinating to me, especially with its green season extended by the controlled releases of water from the dam most years.

2014/07/03

Around Home

Often after one of our Adventures flying around the continent, we’ll take a short flight around home. Sometimes the next day, even though we may be resting up. After the 4C Adventure, we did rest up for five days but then filled our hearts to overflowing with views of our beautiful home town.

2200 Air & Light

2200 Air & Light

SBA gives us instant gratification. The moment wheels leave runway we’re looking past the old Marine Corps bunker across the wetland past UCSB to the Channel and the distant islands. The quality of light here stimulates a deep breath, and the air that has been caressing skin fills your lungs with gentle aromas whispering, “There’s no place like Home.”

2238 Home On Hill

2238 Home On Hill

Even after many hundreds of hours flying here, every flight brings new beauty to notice. Perched among trees on this little hill just east of Turnpike is this modest mansion with a magnificent view. Looking up San Roque Canyon, our mountains offered a quiet anchoring presence whispering again in a deeper voice, “There’s no place like Home.”

2248 Home Mountains

2248 Home Mountains

2014/06/29

4C to A1

Here’s (probably) my last post about our Four Corners (4C) Adventure. Our last day began in Flagstaff, and flying essentially West we encountered the haze that typically blows in from Phoenix and SoCA. There’s an austere beauty here much like the terrain spreading beneath most of our trip.

1908 Dry Vista

1908 Dry Vista

After crossing the ribbon of green where the Colorado River divides deserts and states we paused in the heat at Victorville. We took advantage of the FBO cheap fast food and drinks, then waited as military helicopters departed ahead of us presumably for desert warfare practice.

1971 Desert Training

1971 Desert Training

Soon the air around us got more moist and cool, and then our beloved California Coast came into view luring us past Ventura homeward.

2052 Cool Moist

2052 Cool Moist

Descending toward SBA past Carp the blues and greens washed the arid desert from our eyes, and filled our hearts to overflowing with a colorful welcome.

2108 Rating: A1

2108 Rating: A1

Of all the places we’ve been, this gets our top rating. We love the people, places and things here so much that coming Home is always powerfully thrilling.

For anyone curious about our route on this 4C Adventure, here’s a map you can click or download to examine in more detail. Often when we return from an amazing exploration like this, people immediately ask what we’re planning next. Right now we’re planning to enjoy Being here in paradise for a while. :)

4C Route Map

4C Route Map

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