This was "suppose to be" a Good Morning, but if you've read my "Coming Clean" post, you know that circumstances, for lack of a better word, make it a little difficult at times, for me to post over the week end.
I saw this picture, and it took me away...
Flying through this valley would be a dream,
I can see it in my mind...
A little Story :-)
My Dad was a pilot, not for work but for pleasure. In his younger days, he flew all over Canada and the USA. He would go on fishing trips up north, and take aerial photographs of towns and bridges he flew over. He would even do stunts in one of his smaller planes. I wish I would have been around during those days. I have pictures and stories but very few experiences. He got married at the age of 50. I was born when he was about 54. And sadly, he passed away when I was just 17. My biggest regret is that I didn't really get to know him. I was too young and immature to realize how these moments would be so precious to me now.
He still flew when I was young, but only took me up one time, when I was about 15. I remember every second of it,the feelings, the sounds, the smells. I remember noticing that I wasn't scared to be up so high. Actually, that kinda took me by surprise, since I was very nervous before the take off. At the time, he stored his plane at a friends house, another plane enthusiast, who had a private runway in his backyard. It headed out into the potato fields, basically blending into the scenery with a row of tall grass in the middle. The surface was quite narrow, uneven and dropped down at least a foot on either side towards the end. The little Cessna was warming up at the time, and I was taking everything in.
Then he let me know that it was time, and we climbed in... I still remember the smell of old leather and oil, a smell that was familiar to me since I had sat in the plane many times as a child. The engine got much louder as he proceeded to head towards the runway. I really liked the feeling of the tail lifting as it pulls ahead. And when he turned the plane on the ground with a swing, and it bounced off the uneven pavement of the first section of the runway. I was excited, and nervous. The rest seemed like just a second as he sped up to take off speed, and reached the end of the runway. Which at the time felt like a close call, especially since the plane went slightly sideways as he lifted off the ground. But looking back, I think he planned it that way. He was very good at taking off and landing in short distances. He liked to control the plane and maneuver in tight corners. Like flying under bridges as they do in movies. I've seen it many times in my mind, but never in real life. I wish I had, but that was mostly in his younger days.
So back to the take off. My heart sunk as I watched everything shrink in a matter of seconds. I don't think I blinked once after that. I remember how much of a rush it was to be up in this little Cessna plane that was barely big enough for two, feeling it shake and vibrate from the engine and the wind. Realizing how thin the doors were, that we were basically sitting in the middle of the sky. And that feeling of freedom took over me, limitless freedom... we were flying. It felt like time was frozen, and I didn't want it to end. Moving slowly over a miniature world below.
I close my eyes and I can see all the tiny little houses and cars. The school buses, and the cows made me laugh. The piles of rocks in the fields, scattered about, in relation to how they looked from the ground, fascinated me. I saw all the familiar back roads and trails we use to drive on with the 4 wheeler. And how awesome it look from overhead, so high that you could see for miles. To this day, my mind still goes in areal mode when I look at a map, I like that feeling. How small everything was. Like it was miniature versions of the real things. Almost like I could open the door and touch them. That feeling was very surreal to me. Then he let the plane drop a little and he turned at an angle, feeling the g's in a way I had never felt before, as my side view was now focused towards the ground below, every thing changing direction giving us another amazing view as the plane evened out once more with the horizon.
Then we flew over the house. By car, it takes about half an hour to get to the private airport. And it only had been a few minutes. I smiled as I saw our home from above. We kept flying for a little while, but I knew we were heading back. Not too long after, we were on the runway, safe and sound. The whole thing lasted just about 20 minutes.
All those moments are tattooed in my mind. I never thought about bringing a camera. Honestly I'm glad, because I may not have been in the moment as much as I was. I am sad that I don't have pictures to share, why I try to paint the pictures in words as much as I could. My Dad and I, we didn't talk much, but I loved to watch him work, and I learned so much from him. Those are the moments I remember the most....