John & Anne Wiley

2016/10/29

Say Uncle

Child bullies used to issue that demand when they had a victim pinned, but sometimes the pain was easier to endure than the shame of the tearful word, “Uncle!” Smoke seemed to have us down on this flight, but every time we thought of that word it seemed better. Like this pic of Grants Pass along the Rogue River as we took off after a fun night stopover with a dear Uncle.

3063 Grants Pass

3063 Grants Pass

But looking along our route South the smoke was thick as ever.

3061 Smoke Signal

3061 Smoke Signal

No, that’s not cloud on the horizon. There was a big fire off to the right, and as we climbed higher to scope out options we talked about trying the coast but decided to fly parallel to I-5 and stay high if needed. We stayed above it as Shasta bravely peeked out at us.

3077 Smoke Shrouded Shasta

3077 Smoke Shrouded Shasta

It had finally thinned some by the time we got this look down at Lake Shasta, now with much more water than our last passage.

3160 Lake Shasta Fuller

3160 Lake Shasta Fuller

We have more pix from this flight, but they’re so smoky as to be annoying for me. But we were spared a relatively boring flight home high above smoke by two of the many things we love about flying a small plane: flexible stops, and getting low. Yes, we decided to visit another Uncle and it yielded one of my fav pix from this day’s flying.

3209 Animal Island

3209 Animal Island

I love the colors and textures of it, and how sometimes it transmorgrifies into tufted fur along the spine of a giant half-submerged animal. It’s in Clear Lake, but as you can see the water was somewhat less than clear that day.

3215 Clear Lake Wake

3215 Clear Lake Wake

That dark vertical line next to another small islet in the lake, is the wake of a small boat that recently departed the dock. Minutes later on our descent we arrived at the iconic little airport, and perused the small aircraft “boneyard” as we wait for our Uncle to arrive for a brief visit.

3243 Aircraft Boneyard

3243 Aircraft Boneyard

After a refreshing lunch break chatting with him about old times and what’s new, we took off again for the short hop over to have a few minutes with our third Uncle of the day – in Marysville. More smoke of course, though thinner, but as we descended toward that airport this farm caught my fancy.

3304 Ancient Shapes

3304 Ancient Shapes

Small farms can evoke ancient times when our species settled down from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Did a boy walk from Clear Lake to the Yuba River to visit an Uncle back then?

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