The moment has come… I’m now one of those aging pilots who find something else to do instead of fly. Gone is the enthusiasm to jump in the plane and go no where. Winter came and went, lots of days of clear, brilliant sunshine. Days flow downstream without a lift off or touch down. The plane remained tucked away in the hanger for it’s long winter nap. What a pity party! I managed to remain current with the basics. Yet there was no great adventure to write about.
This lethargy had to stop. We rediscovered some fun flights that didn’t cost days or a bundle of money.
ANGWIN, which is just a 20 minute flight away has some of the best hiking minutes from touch down. The Sonoma and Napa valleys were carpeted in luxurious mustard while vineyards remain skeletal prior to bud break. On Saturdays Angwin is a ghost town. It’s their sabbath day so no traffic in the pattern. The airport environment is great for special effects. Downwind feels like the airport is at your altitude, short final has some very tall trees and a really long displaced threshold. Runways like these shake out the cobwebs and remind me why I love to fly. On the east side of the airport follow the trails beyond the hangers where the trail drops down into a valley and miles of single and double track. Head easterly and you’ll end up at a rocky promontory overlooking the Pope Valley. It’s one of the prettiest views of our CA coastal range. Take a picnic and lap up the sunshine.
MONTEREY has another great secret. Call ahead to the Monterey Jet Center and let them know you’re coming and would like to reserve a car. They loan out crew cars for free. By having them top off your tanks it’s a nice reciprocal of their generosity. The Jet Center is at the west end of the airport. You park, pick up a warm, just baked cookie, hop in the car and off you go. Our destination was Garland Park in Carmel Valley. Drive east from the airport then head over Laureles Grade to Carmel Valley. Garland Park has trails that climb up and out of the valley into some of the most beautiful native wild flowers, oak forests and redwoods. Hours of great hiking to enjoy! For something more urban you can always stroll the cliffs of Monterey or Pacific Grove and the aquarium. Or for a wilder aquatic experience drive north to Moss Landing and rent a kayak to explore Elk Horn Slough. You’ll be surrounded by sea otters and seals in languid waters. The Jet Center lets you keep the cars until 9:00. Lots of time to play and then a coastal sunset flight home.
So no more whining, dusty, aging pilots. Flying is our E ticket to joy and fun. Don’t let life get in the way of your flight time!
Sunday April 7th, 12:00, Gnoss Field terminal building
Bring a lunch food to share
Kristin Winter will be our guest speaker about I-pads in the cockpit (Foreflight)
Bring your I-pad if you have a navigation app