24 March, 2010

Only 33 Million Bugs Committed Suicide

March 24, 2010
We went flying this afternoon. Just for a half-hour or so. The annual was done last weekend and the plane got buttoned back up Saturday morning. We were going to go try her out that afternoon - but then the wind picked up.
A slight delay for that first flight of the year.
We pulled the plane out and I grabbed my helmet and headset and strapped myself in.
"I should have grabbed the camera. But then I have to unbuckle and get out...it'll be okay."
A real string of random thoughts tore through my mind during the entire flight and I feel like trying to recreate the craziness of my brain.
It was quite warm - nearly 70' and I am going up in just my t-shirt. A little worried about getting cold up there but, nah, it'll be okay.
The engine starts with a huge cloud of smoke - this is from the oil that gets trapped in the bottom of the cylinders and we idle for a few minutes while the oil warms up.
Then we taxi to the end of the runway, one neighbor's backyard  over and do our run-up. This is where we run the engine up to about 1600 rpms and check our magneto function, carb. ice and assorted other little checks. We line up to take off and get about 200 yds down the runway when my hubby lowers the throttle. He forgot to pull down his goggles. Back we go to the start of the runway and this time we get airborne with an ease that never ceases to amaze me for all that the plane weighs a bazillion tons and then the airflow over the wings lifts us up. We're flying.

We climb out over the blue barn and circle back over Canbyland - over Randy's house on 10th because he expects it.

My hubby keeps the altitude about 1000 feet. I'm just in a t-shirt and it is just right. Another few hundred feet up and it would be brisk. My job is to look for other planes and they seem concentrated west over the Aurora airport doing touch and go's. Nothing else in the sky.
I'm thinking about my yard and weeding and rain tomorrow and I should transplant all those volunteer poppies tomorrow. All of the farmers have tilled their fields and my garden isn't turned over yet.
Spring green is the color against the fresh- turned dirt of the fields. Seems like all the nurseries are growing evergreens, hard to find anyone growing rhododendrons - at least nothing is blooming en masse in the fields. Rhodies and azaleas have fallen out of favor.

We turn east towards Mt. Hood. Northwards, I can see Mt. St. Helen's in a little bit of haze. Jefferson is a tad south for me to see over the horizon.
It's been warm lately, so all the snow has melted off the foothills.
Between the Ireland fields and the Canbyland fields is some similarities - animals grazing, Spring green colors, white plastic bales of manure - composting. The distinct perimeter lines of the fields show up the differences - lack of ROCKS everywhere in Canbyland. Ubiquitous in Ireland.
Rocks, rocks and more rocks there.

None of these pictures are from today - they are from August last year on the trip to Madras for the airshow. Very dry and clear weather going over to the east side of the state.

Approaching Canbyland again, we buzz the other airpark.  Except for one person out mowing, no one sees us go by - but they hear us.
A round engine, one of the loveliest sounds next to a Harley motorcycle.

I'm thinking momentarily about my latest doctor visit and the new medicine. I'm tired from it but I'm not reacting to it as much as the antibiotics. I'm also not as hungry. I had the extra cube steak this afternoon after I did a bit of yardwork and then I took a nap. I think I'll skip dinner - we'll get back around 6:30pm.
We putz around for a few more minutes and then land it back home with only a bounce in the landing to remind us to practice flying more often.

We land, taxi back to the hangar, flip the prop to horizontal and put her away.
If you want another ride in a Stearman, it's time to debug the wings and wipe the excess oil off the plane.
I can assure you that there were a thousand thoughts during that flight but they seem to have drifted out and away at 1000 feet. I can only recall a few now.
I love flying.

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