I was thinking today about how flying can become remarkably ordinary. For most people, flying means being hundreds or thousands of miles away in a fraction of the time to drive. For those who get over any irrational fear, this remarkable experience tends to quickly become ordinary. Not for us. Why? Well, there’s the constantly changing stream of vast and fascinating diversity of stellar views that people will drive for hours to see from a “Vista Point.”
Then there’s the travel aspect. We saw this alpine lake South of Grants Pass on the same day we landed about 600 miles away in Santa Barbara. That’s about 11 hours by car just for the driving without all the detours, visits and exponentially more striking and numerous scenic wonders we so enjoyed. Also on that day we visited with three Uncles in two states and three counties, took off just before noon, arrived before dark, and saw countless more scenes of remarkable beauty like this.
After the third Uncle visit we headed directly home along the parched and smoky Sacramento Valley. The interactions of terrain, agriculture and nature offer endless fascination. This view is so different from yet evocative of, the quietly immersive joys of standing in such places.
Also on this stretch are innumerable human fascinations, like Mc Clellan AFB where the story of airfield changes over decades is so visible from above.
For those who share this interest I’ve circled in green at upper left the place where dedicated volunteers and sponsors maintain the lively Aerospace Museum of CA. A smaller blue circle below that is where more aircraft are parked close together in front of a hanger. The purple circle shows areas off a taxiway where aircraft used to be parked during the military era of the now mostly public airfield, like the ones where B-17 bombers once parked at the Santa Maria Airport. The yellow arrows point out old pavement that was probably asphalt runways before newer concrete ones were built.
So much beauty, adventure, travel and other remarkable experiences are available to those who enjoy aviation. Yet for so many people it can seem scary or ordinary. We feel so incredibly fortunate that for us it is somehow both relaxing and exciting!