John & Anne Wiley

2011/03/04

Closeness

When we were in Edmonton, the closeness we enjoyed with our delightful daughter and her new little family was heartwarming. All the conversations, activities and just hanging out were a treat. Maybe all that closeness is why California seemed so far away, and even relatively nearby Calgary seemed far. As we approached that city, it looked much smaller than we’d imagined.

5767 Tiny Calgary

5767 Tiny Calgary

In that expanse of snowy prairie it looked as far away as Edmonton had seemed before we got up close. Our plan had been to fly by it at some distance, over Springbank airport, but ATC routed us closer to keep us out of the way of airliner traffic at the international airport.

5799 Calgary Closer

5799 Calgary Closer

I’d forgotten that Calgary has a “space needle” and noted that like all the great Canadian cities we’ve flown so far it’s nestled next to a river.

Even as the hours and miles increased the distance from my daughter, we savored our increasing closeness. Yesterday there was a special warmth in the hum of Tripp’s engine as we flew over the frozen landscape, reminding me somehow of the safe warm feeling of a small child in the back of the family car on a long trip passing through King City where we flew just days ago. Today we take another long flight, with our goal being San Jose to visit my sisters and share more closeness. Flying and family are an excellent combination. 🙂

 

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Migration

We feel like happy ducks. We started off the morning here.

1661 Hard Winter

1661 Hard Winter

There’s a man (feet visible under Tripp) and a tractor working hard along with me, pushing Tripp through the snow so we can hook up a Tannis heater to warm up the engine and battery. It’s -10F in blowing snow with a chill factor about -32F. I used that brush I’m carrying to clear snow off the plane twice before it finally cleared and we took off. Anne was worried about some accumulated ice on the rear of the fuselage, but we managed to get most of that off by thumping it gently with our gloved hands. When we landed in Spokane five hours later, it looked like this.

1694 Golden Greeting

1694 Golden Greeting

On final approach to Felts in Spokane, it was 34F and felt like Bali. That’s liquid water in the river. Something we’ve not seen outdoors for quite a while. I know why ducks migrate. But everything that goes with that 66 degree temperature difference is only partly why we’re happy tonight. We’ve just met our new grand daughter and enjoyed a Winter wonderland. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post more pix, but our migration continues early tomorrow so we can stay ahead of approaching storms.

Made It!

Filed under: Flying,Random,White North Adventure — John @ 01:47

We got out of Edmonton late due to a lonely snowstorm hovering right over the city. Still managed to arrive in Spokane just now, 20 minutes early. In normal scenarios that would be good news, but CBP is making us sit waiting in the plane until they arrive for their suspicion dance at the appointed time. Anne’s bladder will be gladder then.

Pix to follow in a few hours once we’re settled in our hotel. Some remarkable scenery we’re excited to share.

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