John & Anne Wiley

2014/11/23

SB Slices

Lately I seem to like wide panoramic slices of many pics, maybe because they evoke some hint of the vast panoramas we see. Tripp basically gives us, aside from a few window posts, a 270 degree panoramic slice. Here for instance is what a slice of UCSB looked like as we approached along the shoreline.

DSC_7276 UC Slice

DSC_7276 UC Slice

SBA runways show at the left edge, but the main attraction is UCSB with the lagoon highlighted by the mountains beyond. A moment later we took in a similar scene looking back toward Pt. Conception far in the West.

7290 UC West

7290 UC West

Because the pix I post here are reduced they look blurry compared with my full size originals, so I sharpened this one slightly to give an impression of how crisp the views are. After a pleasant cruise along the shoreline past Hope Ranch beaches and mansions, downtown SB comes into view past Shoreline Park (now brown in the drought) at the bottom-center edge.

7421 Shoreline To SB

7421 Shoreline To SB

Soon we’re closer to SBCC and turning toward the northwest, the changed angle further away from sunlight yields a little less haze to emphasize how this campus snuggles into scenic SB.

7427 SBCC Slice

7427 SBCC Slice

Then looking back more toward the west we see colors shift again, along with the different perspective of this small piece of the slice we saw from Tripp. The first point is Shoreline, almost at the horizon is Campus Pt. (UCSB) with a slice of SBA visible to the right of it, and far in the distance is Pt.Conception.

7438 Looking Back

7438 Looking Back

Many scenic slices later we turned over Montecito Village where a few mansions shine green and even sport tall fountains, amid the brown yards of conscientious neighbors.

7457 Oprah's Green

7457 Oprah’s Green

Then on our way back to SBA from this brief tour of paradise we looked past Laguna Blanca allowed to dry up in the drought, to More Mesa, UCSB, SBA and onward toward the west.

7536 Beyond Hope Ranch

7536 Beyond Hope Ranch

2014/11/16

Always New

Flying the SB region is always new. We’ve logged many hundreds of hours flying here and as we’ve said many times it’s always fun, refreshing, beautiful, and we invariably discover something we’d never noticed before. When we flew Tripp up to Santa Paula for her oil change a week or so ago, we went higher than usual and got new views of familiar places like Padaro.

7920 Padaro To Carp

7920 Padaro To Carp

Looking past the point at Padaro Lane, Carp nestles in the hills with mountains beyond and the broad Oxnard plain in the far distance. Over our harbor, I got this reflective view of Stearn’s Wharf.

7924 Stearn's Reflections

7924 Stearn’s Reflections

Late afternoon sunlight glinting off the restaurant windows, paints a shimmering reflection of the day.

2014/11/12

Return To Paradise

I’ve said it before: After flying every State in the U.S. (except HI) and all the Canadian Provinces, Santa Barbara is still our favorite.

Put differently: There’s No Place Like Home. :)

So as we coasted over the Oceano Dunes near Pismo Beach just over half an hour from SBA, our hearts were swelling.

7124 Home Dunes

7124 Home Dunes

Glancing up we saw the coastal Santa Ynez Range in the distance, and after a few blinks at familiar and always some new scenes we were looking back from our coast at the Gaviota Pass through those mountains.

7183 Home Pass

7183 Home Pass

A few more scenic blinks and we cruised offshore of Refugio Beach, our dancing hearts pulling with increasing magnetic force toward all that sings Home.

7205 Home Refuge

7205 Home Refuge

Now skimming to the last of our pix from the PNW Adventure, a serene calm softens my memories. If the world ended right now, my last moment would overflow with appreciation for the good fortune of a full and amazing life. Living to the limit, hard times in the past are healed and expectations for the future more easily released.

2014/11/11

Steps To Happiness

“How far can you fly?” That’s a question we’re often asked. Around the world would be one correct answer. Tripp can fly from Portland to SB without stopping is another answer, but we don’t. Usually. It’s much more fun to fly low and slow, stopping every few hundred miles for a stretch, some exploration on the ground, and maybe a meal. When friends and family along our route can accommodate the semi-scheduled nature of nearly all our flying trips, we stop for a visit. So almost always we make long trips in “steps” of a few hundred miles each.

6868 River Life

6868 River Life

Our first step toward home from Marysville gave us this peek at the river, where people eke out a life in ramshackle camps among the trees. Soon we saw Sacramento slip by far in the hazy distance, where the upscale and wealthy set policy.

6888 Sacramento

6888 Sacramento

Tripp transforms the Seattle to SB trip from a grueling drive or cramped airliner into scenic pleasures punctuating a series of discoveries and precious memories formed in such steps.

It was a short step to San Jose, where we cherished some sweet times with a sister and family. When we took off on our final step home the next day, there she was waving warmly.

2696 Sweet Step

2696 Sweet Step

The last step triggered memories of visiting cousins in Morgan Hill. A peak that seemed impossibly high then, is now an easy glance.

6908 Morgan Memories

6908 Morgan Memories

Many refreshing and memorable views unfolded gracefully below in the hour after takeoff. Then we crossed the coastal mountains and descended toward the beach as we passed high over Hearst Castle.

7015 Hearst Descent

7015 Hearst Descent

Having taken some of the tours there, it’s always interesting to see from above at different angles on each passage. Over the beach at our comfortable quarter mile or so up, we turned more directly toward home. Tomorrow I’ll chose a few visions to share from that final hour of wonders on our PNW Adventure.

2014/11/10

Say Uncle

As we cleared the mountains near Redding, we had to say Uncle and stay at relatively high altitude. Everything is much clearer down lower where we like to fly (especially in the haze typically cloaking the central valley). But we were racing to a brief visit with one of my Uncles on our way to visit another, and higher = faster in many cases. We were covering 140 miles in an hour, rather than our typical lazy 100 or so down low. Although we saw many scenic wonders, the haze up there isn’t conducive to interesting pix. So the first I’ll share in this post is as we were taking off from Lakeport having missed Uncle #1 due to a text message mistake.

6831 Clear Lake

6831 Clear Lake

We haven’t seen him in a long time, so we really want to go back. But on this day after an hour waiting in vain at Lampson Field we zipped out to the East. Toward that end of Clear Lake is this little islet with a house that commands an expansive view of sunrise over the water.

6841 Rising Sun Setting

6841 Rising Sun Setting

As for us, just as sunset was approaching we landed at Marysville for a visit with my other uncle. Flooded fields punctuated the dust plain here and there as the distant Buttes stood witness in the haze.

6860 Fields & Buttes

6860 Fields & Buttes

As we took off the next morning after a surprise visit with family, I snapped my Uncle and Cousin watching us circle back overhead going South just after they finished waving.

6883 Fond Farewell

6883 Fond Farewell

It’s a special feeling, being with people you love who have known you all your life. Especially those who share my tradition of waving farewell.

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