Have Airplane, Will Travel
Have Airplane, Will Travel
Last year I had the pleasure of using our Cessna 182H or what I call, the Traveling Hotel, to fly to Lake Grandby, CO for an EAA Fly-in and earlier in the year see Mount Rushmore. Unfortunately, later in the year, the Traveling Hotel was suffering a broken cylinder so I had to make do with the “puny” Remos. But have airplane, will travel. Yes, the Remos GX is a Light Sport Aircraft, only a 2-seater and considerations need to be made for length and breadth of travel, but she is an airplane nevertheless, and a wonderful one at that!
But if you hang out in the airplane community, sooner or later others take pity on you and give you free rides. Thus, was my fun trip to Grand Island, NE in my wonderful friend's Beechcraft Bonanza A36 while I planned a trip in the Remos to see the eclipse. My friend had just had her engine replaced in the Bo and needed to run the required 10 hours off the engine before another of her friends would borrow it to see the eclipse. An engine break-in requires flying low and fast for a long distance so we pointed the airplane downhill and flew from Fort Collins to Grand Island, NE. Not a place I would have necessarily have chosen as a destination worthy of sightseeing but really, anything new is a sight worth seeing! Besides seeing the Rocket Bob wooden sculpture in front of the FBO (Fixed Base Operator), their very nice office was getting ready for the influx of eclipse watchers as well.
The Bo did wonderful and had no problems. We also took the Bo on another trip from FC to Colorado Springs to see my son and then land at Pueblo for lunch. Had never been to the Pueblo Municipal Airport and was able to see lots of different things like the Osprey aircraft in CSPGS and the Air Force Texan trainers in Pueblo. AND finally, I could sit back seat in the speedy A36 Bonanza and see my first long cross-country trip to Detroit which also allowed me to not only visit my in-laws there, but see the Blue Angels at the Thunder over Michigan Air Show at the Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti!
The trip for the eclipse had been a well-intention camping trip to Guernsey, WY but was thwarted due to late weather. But the next day enough good weather was had allowing a friend and I to fly into the path of totality over Jay Em, WY near Torrington, WY in my Remos GX! I can tell you with 100% certainty I would have never have considered going to Jay Em but as that is where the center of the eclipse was to be, destiny was had. Unfortunately, we did not tour Jay Em from the ground but this is a beautiful, expansive area which was highlighted by the shadow of the eclipse that amazing day.
You may be reading this blog due to your propensity to love aviation and most of what I am saying is a nod of your head in the belief that, yes, airplanes are wonderful sightseeing vehicles. And to be able to pilot one of these ocular vehicles in the sky adds to the special-ness that is hard to describe to those without their eyes to the sky. An inspiration for this can be obtained by smaller but no less enjoyable Young Eagle flights where seeing the ground through the eyes of a future 10-year-old pilot named Cameron reminds me how blessed I truly am to be able to fly!
But no matter where you are, how high or how far, all around you is beauty that reminds you you’re alive on a cool blue planet and what else were you going to do that day?