John & Anne Wiley


Great White

Filed under: Flying,Happiness,White North Adventure — John @ 06:01

We’re on another adventure, this one I’m calling the White North. Monday we left sunny SBA and flew to cooler San Jose for an all too short visit with family. Tuesday we flew via Reno to Boise, ID. Tomorrow we’re going to probably scoot East around the mountains and fly to Lethbridge just across the border in Alberta, Canada. After assuring the customs folks there we’re model visitors, we intend to carry on to Edmonton. I’m hoping to have more time once we’re snuggled into a hotel there, to write more about what we’re up to and share some of the fun pix we’ve snapped already (though so far we’ve fallen far short of our typical one pic per mile ratio).


Filed under: Flying,Happiness,White North Adventure — John @ 21:02

Got to Boise airport early, but took a little while to clear ice off Tripp and a LOT of time to hassle with border stuff. Did you know that permission is required for US citizens to leave the US? Don’t get me started. 🙂

So we landed in Dillon, MT after a magnificent flight. We’ve filled Tripp with fuel and are now taking off again, landing at Lethbridge, AB for Cdn customs and probably stay there since it’s likely to be getting dark by the time we get there. More news as it happens…


Into White

OK, Tripp’s happy in a heated hangar and we’re cozy in a nice new Lethbridge hotel, sated with especially tasty food, and ready to share some pix from our new adventure. This is the first time we’ve flown into hard Winter and it’s a whole new beautiful. But first a few snaps from SBA to RHV (San Jose).

For example, here’s a Barbie version of what we were leaving. Mid-70s, sunny, calm and bucolic. Easy to take.

5271 Villa Barbie

5271 Villa Barbie

The view, though pathetic compared with the panorama we were taking in a quarter mile above, must be rather remarkable for ground level. The little red car looks so like a toy to me, the whole scene takes on the quality of a Barbie dream set.

After a fuel stop in SLO, Morro Rock looked magical as usual but this time with a “volcano” top.

5282 Misty Morro

5282 Misty Morro

After a leisurely landing at RHV, as Anne rummaged for something packed in Tripp I strolled toward the terminal to look at a murder of crows. They were sitting quietly in the tree enjoying the cooling evening breeze. Well, not completely quietly. OK, they were raising a horrific raucous din cackling and trumpeting in their loudest grating harsh voices.

5310 Crow Congretation

5310 Crow Congretation

Now you may know I’m sometimes impish, prankish and annoying. So of course I had to “humiliate” (my niece’s term for it) the poor gentle crows. Suddenly raising my hands from my sides as if to take off, I made a loud “Caw!!”

5312 Fear and Loathing

5312 Fear and Loathing

There was a varied and unmelodious response as they first startled into flight, then realized I was vastly too fat to fly as they so easily do sans airplane, and they began to diverge. Some flew directly away giving alarm calls. Others seemed almost embarrassed to have been tricked and formed a scold choir. A few left the flock to fly a little closer, perhaps to examine this idiotic creature or maybe to memorize me as enemy of their murder. One of these days I must learn to speak crow, and possibly also some avian manners. As it stands though, I quite enjoyed the exercise and pretend it was artistically motivated to get an interesting photo. Am I bad? 🙂

Courage Under Flyer

Well, last nite after posting I took a look at one of the last photos from yesterday’s flight and just about choked. Just across the border into Canada approaching Lethbridge I noticed something moving a few thousand feet below and perhaps half a mile away. Looking closer it turned out to be a helicopter flying along a power line, and when it stopped to hover over one of the towers I snapped a few pix. Well not only was it hovering within a few feet of the tower in strong gusting winds well below zero – in the photo you can see there’s someone standing with one foot on the tower and the other on the helicopter skid. I’ve posted a larger version of this on the Photo Page (link in the right column here), but here’s a crop at full res of the helo and high-wire performer.

5369 Daredevil

5369 Daredevil

We’re preparing for a bumpy flight to Edmonton, but this pic is so amazing I just had to take a moment to share it. More when time permits…


Comfort and Suffering

We’re totally cozy in our Edmonton hotel, but Tripp’s shivering outside in the cold again like Boise missing the heated hangar she got in Lethbridge. Hopefully she’s just hibernating, huddled under her spiffy new Kennon cover. If we get a chance to fly her while here in the next few weeks, we’ll pay the Edmonton Flying Club to put her in a heated hangar overnite to give her a gentle waking from hibernation.

The journey was magnificent, with vistas and adventures aplenty. Flying was mostly uneventful, though slow due to strong headwinds. We had one short bumpy passage between Butte and Helena, MT but the rest was smooth. Unlike my notion that it could be boring to fly over nothing but snow, it was simply breathtaking. Though we snapped relatively few pix, I hope some of those we did take will give you an impression of the vast views we traversed.

So we’re holed up amid two tons of cargo spread out in the room, with more words & pix to follow as we catch up on rest between helping with chores and babysitting. Meanwhile, here’s part of our view on final approach to Edmonton City Centre airport.

5433 Edmonton Winter

5433 Edmonton Winter

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