John & Anne Wiley

2011/05/19

Different

Today was different. When we woke it looked very much the same: fuzzy low clouds. But it did seem brighter. We had coffee and thought dark thoughts about another week waiting for the crazy weather to lighten up a little. Then I looked at the aviation weather.

“This is different,” I mused aloud. Checking a few dozen different pages and contemplating their collective meaning, we suddenly went from slow coffee to high caffeine mode. Rush to pack, car to the rental agent, ride to the airport, check weather again, notice sun starting to poke through, full breakfast for Tripp, pay the airport guy, and UP!! This is different!

0187 Complete Windmills

0187 Complete Windmills

We’re not looking up at windmills with a blade missing in the fuzz, we’re looking down at crisp and complete machines and feeling the power. Different is Good. The bay looks marvelous from this new perspective, with light and color!

0211 Silt 'Shroom

0211 Silt 'Shroom

The silt looks like a giant mushroom towering over the water. We see cliffs and other features we missed from our drives.

0215 Red PEI Cliffs

0215 Red PEI Cliffs

With the sky opening just in front of us, we managed to fly clear across PEI and then even made it to Nova Scotia. With half a dozen options in mind, we dared not hope to not only reach the top of Cape Breton Island, NS but have clear enough skies to try for Newfoundland after so many un-flyable days and more in the forecast. No way we can climb to 12,500′ without encountering clouds, in order to make the long water crossing in days like we’ve been having. Today was different.

0227 Leaving CBI, NS for NF

0227 Leaving CBI, NS for NF

We tried not to talk about it. When we used to frequently drive thru LA, the moment one of us commented on less traffic than usual, the entire freeway would become a parking lot. But by the time I snapped the pic above, we could already see Newfoundland completely clear. We sailed past tiny St. Paul Island and enjoyed the “wake” it was leaving in the fog blowing past it, creating the impression of a giant claw.

0233 Fog Claw

0233 Fog Claw

From 12,500′ the Newfoundland coast looked just like so much of the other terrain we’ve seen, but when we descended to land at tiny St. Andrews the crystal clear water was far more breathtaking than this photo conveys.

0269 Newfoundland Coast

0269 Newfoundland Coast

The nearby hills were still capped with patches of snow, and the whole scene was simply glorious.

0279 Sand to Snow

0279 Sand to Snow

Anne and Tripp looked even happier and more beautiful than usual at the spartan little airport.

0286 Loves in Far Lands

0286 Loves in Far Lands

We talked about whether to stay, and were tempted but decided to stay on the path opened before us and begin our long journey home from the biggest flying adventure we might ever take. We made it all the way across Nova Scotia, and decided to take full advantage of the break in weather to get further before sunset. Even though we’d flown over much of Nova Scotia we just had to land for a closer look, so we chose Trenton, NS. As if to confirm the wisdom of our choice, two kids on bikes waved as we flew over them landing. After walking around the airport where everything was already closed for the night, we taxied out to the edge of the runway for this look down into the city’s edge.

0366 Trenton, NS

0366 Trenton, NS

After takeoff I noticed the kids had made the long ride around the field to where we had just been, arriving just as we departed. Wish we’d known they were coming, so we could have waited to chat and fuel their obvious interest in flying. Still, that would have delayed our arrival in Moncton, NB where the “red sky at night” gave us some hope of a departure tomorrow.

0448 Aviator's Delight (red sky)

0448 Aviator's Delight (red sky)

Yesterday we drove a few miles in the rain after several days on the same small island. Today we toured hundreds of miles over some of the most magnificent scenery in North America, and had our feet (and wheels) on every one of the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Today was different.

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1 Comment

  1. Wow. You finally made it to NS. Beautiful scenery. I can see half dome in 0269.
    Beautiful!!!!

    Comment by Zubair — 2011/05/19 @ 20:00


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