John & Anne Wiley

2014/04/16

Plan?

Big News! 🙂

I’ll say it again, for us there are Five Trips in every Big Adventure. The trip you Dream, Plan, Take, Remember, and Dream. Yes, we Dream them twice, because the dreams before it happens are powerful yet distinct from the powerful dreams we have after every Big Adventure. So the news is, we’ve just advanced from Dream to Plan on a new Big Adventure: “4C.” That is, the Four Corners region of the great American Southwest. Maybe this will clarify for you:

4C 1st Plan: Avare

4C 1st Plan: Avare

Maybe not? Well, this is from a screen capture in the free Avare aviation app I helped develop with my good friend Zubair (more on that later). The little red “airplane” icon at bottom-left shows where we are in SB. The purple line from there is vaguely our route flying four hours or so to Sedona. There we might tent but however we sleep, the next day we’ll meet up with Zubair and his family of four who will have flown commercial from Boston and rented a plane in the Phoenix area. Then we’ll set off in loose formation to explore the Four Corners, vaguely on an initial route we dreamed something like this:

4C Trip Drive Map

4C Trip Drive Map

There was a line in Back To The Future something like, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” Well, we’ll be fine with roads, but as you can imagine we’ll be going places roads don’t reach and seeing marvels invisible to all but those who fly as we do. We’ll probably enjoy about 2 hours a day or so of flying around, punctuated with some drives and hikes and maybe short boat trips. Even so, that dreamy magic carpet ride will probably be less than half of the 22 grueling hours gMaps estimated it would take to roughly drive that route with no detours. I love to fly! 🙂

So if you’d like to “fly along” with us, stay tuned to this blog for more on our Plan and our Trip as it unfolds. I’m hoping to have more ease with posting updates along the way, because this year Verizon has seen fit to allow us access to the cellphone data we’re paying for, on our laptops.

In case you’re wondering about that green line at the lower-right of the top pic, that’s where we’re heading after Zubair and family head back to Phoenix for their return jet to Boston. We’ll then carry on into Phase Two of 4C: our first adventure into the high Rockies and more detailed exploration of Colorado!

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2014/04/17

First Things

First on our list is packing for scenes like this view of Sedona from our 2009 flight there. Not just packing like you would for a driving, hiking, boating, tenting or an ordinary flying trip. Packing for all of the above. Since that last item has some special constraints, it greatly affects the goal and process. The goal is to minimize both weight and bulk, because in Tripp there’s no surplus capacity for either. She has a lot of a quality pilots love: “If it will fit, it will fly.” That is, unlike most planes of her size, she has enough power to reach 17,000 feet carrying over 1,000 pounds more that her own weight. Still, packing for Big Adventures is unique.

4723 First Destination

4723 First Destination

I’m guessing there’s been some new construction since then, so the city may be reaching further toward those colorful buttes. By the way,  on Zubair’s blog you can see pix of some places we “plan” to visit. When we drove there many years ago, it was striking but from the road we didn’t know that nearby are scenes like this.

4745 Sedona Secrets

4745 Sedona Secrets

Lots of them. Many of which, only patient hikers and rock climbers ever see. Oh, and pilots of course. 🙂

This time we’ll stay longer, hopefully wake with the sunrise on our tent, probably fly around more and several different times, and drive to some of the scenes we liked from the air to hike around a bit. All with another camera even better than the one used for these pix. If we’re lucky the weather will cooperate. …But that’s about the trip we “Take”

2014/04/18

24 Hours

What a difference a day makes. Twenty four little hours. Right now we’re savoring scenes like this from our flights around town with the hills showing patches of color. We’re wondering, “Why leave?”

5951 Lush Lauro Reservoir

5951 Lush Lauro Reservoir

We’re flying into severe brown, and by the time we get back the colors will probably have drained away here too. The delicious air here caresses our faces, and out in the high desert we’ll be dessicated by blasts of dusty hot winds.

But 24 hours from now we still look forward to camping somewhere in Sedona to await the arrival of Zubair and clan. The fun of seeing our dear friends and exploring the Four Corners together by air still overwhelms any urge to stay here in Paradise.

2014/04/19

Sedona Sunrise

Sunrise at the airport this morning was both memorable and “unphotographable.”

6096 SEZ Moon Sunrise

6096 SEZ Moon Sunrise

The airport code here is SEZ, and the moon over the buttes sez a lot. 🙂

Because we couldn’t get a campsite (Easter rush), we tried out my new configuration for sleeping in Tripp. Unlike the crazy hour of fitful sleep we had in Terrace on the NxNW adventure, this time we got about 5 hours. C-172 pilots, contact me if you’d like to know how we did it.

Today we join up with Zubair & family, and right now the plan is to first fly the area scouting out our fave spots. Then we’ll share a rental car to cruise the town and maybe drive out to one of the spots we liked best. Early evening we’ll get back in the planes and take one more short tour of this area, then fly in loose formation to Flagstaff for the night. Delights await…

2014/04/20

Room Contrast

Today we hooked up with Zubair & clan, and while they strolled Uppity Town (or some such prefix) Sedona, we did an aerial tour and saw remarkable things like this.

6262 Sedona Scenes

6262 Sedona Scenes

Few tourists ever see this. Even those who pay large sums for helicopter rides, and few pilots even seem to make the climb. Back on the ground, we drove together out to Red Rock Crossing and enjoyed these views.

6375 R R Crossing

6375 R R Crossing

A little further up river I snapped this zoom shot of the spires.

6380 Red Rock Spires

6380 Red Rock Spires

By the time we got back to the airport, we had to rush the short hop to Flagstaff so Zubair didn’t get his own aerial tour as planned. As we waited for them to take off I snapped this view showing how much hazier it had become. Also, that slack wind sock belies the gusty variable winds we encountered on takeoff.

6412 Lying Sock

6412 Lying Sock

I’ve found every landing at Sedona to be interesting, and frankly fun. Many pilots don’t share that enjoyment. 🙂

Tonight we catch up on sleep, and with this free wifi I’m able to post all these pix. Hope they give you a flavor of how much fun we’re having.

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