Last Leg

We woke at 6am in Blythe, wondering why we felt so rested so much earlier than any other morning on our trip. It was pretty surprising then that we didn't actually take off until 1:30pm! We could probably recreate all we did during those seven hours plus, but it would take a lot of effort. Just a bunch of little stuff and an easy feeling based on no set schedule, no impending weather, and plenty of time for the short hop home.

Here's how it looked as we turned briefly back toward the East to fly over the town for a different look at where we'd just been.
Flash was parked minutes before this, in front of that large white arched hangar with a door open and another plane parked out front. You can see the end of a runway, but not the perpendicular one we just took off from. Down the frontage road angling to the left up the pic you can just make out the town beneath the distant hills. The river doesn't show, but it's fairly far beyond the city and surprisingly the verdant banks near the freeway are given over mostly to RV camping.

Here's a shot looking North at the town center where we shared an especially good chicken tostada last night at Rosita's for less than $4.

Heading toward home, we saw lots of interesting desert features pass below. Some of the pix came out ok in the relatively clear air, but not long after Palm Springs things changed. I've sent a few other pix to EdHat.com (see Local News or the "More Words" link here), and posted a few larger ones on my Photo page (see the "More Photos" link here).

Over LA the smog was so thick we thought for quite a while there was a wildfire burning. It had a defined edge that you can see at the left of this pic. My guess is the wind was moving it to the left and then winds just a bit higher just below the 6,500 feet we were at blew it back toward the right creating the edge effect you can see.

By the time we neared Ontario's busy airport, jets descending below us virtually disappeared as their passengers were getting those tray tables latched and preparing to breathe visible air.

We flew over Lake Cachuma and feasted our weary eyes on our favorite places across the mountains to the sea. After stopping in Santa Ynez to fuel up Flash for her next adventure with another Club pilot tomorrow, we delighted at the sights of scenic Santa Barbara all over again.

The welcoming sunset was delicate, with wisps of cloud on the peaks, air brush colors above, and the SBA control tower blinking just above trusty Flash's protective wings. She seemed at once happy to have flown us so far and safely, to catch a night's rest on her home spot, and to anticipate feeling the touch of a different Club pilot for the next few days until her routine annual inspection Monday. That's when she'll get some extra pampering, and we might go out to pat her nose appreciatively one more time. We added 75 hours to her tachometer reading on this trip, flying many more hours than that by going slowly rather than full power.

Tomorrow we'll start making a list of every airport we stopped at, and trying to write up some of the experiences we didn't blog for our own savoring. If anyone's still reading this, you'll probably be treated to a few more words and pix from the trip. We'll also probably respond to some of your previous Comments, and Anne says she might add Comments of her own as a way to share some of her memories without learning to do a full blog. For now, sweet dreams...


Nancy said...

Awww! Sweet dreams to YOU, too, dear ones! I am so happy for your wonderful trip. Last night here at work Javi and I were looking at the beautiful sunset outside. I never thought you might be in little Flash right at that moment, coming over the Santa Ynez Mountains and seeing it too.

You said, "If anyone's still reading this, you'll probably be treated to a few more words and pix from the trip." I'm so glad! I was getting blog withdrawals on the days you didn't write, and I'm feeling this sorrow coming over me at the end of this story right now, thinking the beautiful trip has come to an end. I'm so glad to know there will still be more.

And of course the beautiful trip isn't actually at an END ... this leg of it is ... but there is much more to come. We just don't know what it is yet!

I will look forward to seeing you real soon.

THANK YOU for taking me on this wonderful trip with you!!!

Love, Nancy

John said...

Fun to think we might've been crossing the ridge from Santa Ynez as you two enjoyed the sunset. :)

Thanks for all your comments over these weeks. The whole trip has been SO much more fun, sharing it!