Monday, July 03, 2006

To the Continent!

Well, readers, the aviation blogging with probably slow or stop for the next few weeks, as Dawn and I are heading to Europe on Thursday. Whenever I can get online I'll post updates to our travels, with pictures if possible, but there probably won't be much aviation content.

One last thought: Yesterday I was flying from Spokane to Boise, and we had quite a few thunderstorms to go around. Even the benign stuff had decent vertical development, presenting an obstacle course of towering cumulus clouds to weave our way through. I hand flew much of the way, gracefully slinking around one column after another, picking my way through clear air. Sometimes I would find a dead end, and a solid wall would loom up before devouring us with a shudder. The airplane would howl the whole way through the cloud, a peculiar Megawhacker characteristic. Then we'd pop out the side into brilliant sunlight, and I'd jink the airplane over and weave down a cloud canyon, occasionally dipping one wing into the side.

I couldn't stop grinning the whole time. There are many aspects of flying that I enjoy very much, but I think that more than any other exercise, playing in great cloud temples distills flying into its purest, most joyful form. There are no distractions, no earthly references, no connections to the ground - only the machine and I slipping through this fanciful sky world of billowing cottony clouds from childhood dreams.