Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Unknow Factor

One of my favorite things about flying cross country is the "unknown factor".

There are so many variables that affect what happens on any given flying day, that all you can really count on is the unexpected. On the day you flew the farthest you've ever flown, you didn't know you would set a personal best, you didn't know where you would land, or how you were getting home, or how many hours you would spend in the air, and best of all, there is a good measure of luck tossed in with it - these are the ingredients of a cross country adventure.

A flying buddy of mine is always telling me to think big. Then he tells me to think even bigger. He tells me this because we are our own biggest limitation - if you don't think big, you won't go big, and long XC flights have a way of burning themselves beyond just your mind, the oxygen deprived adventure can burn itself into your deepest dream states, and I think they can actually change who you are.

The situations a pilot faces on a flight that last most of the sunlit day can be just as extreme as most other endurance sports, and you might be thinking that flying is not physically demanding, but just like other sports we use a very specific muscle groups - a lot of neck, stomach and some arm muscles. We are exposed to rapid changes in altitude and the extreme temperature changes that come with it. But it has to be done because the journey is the adventure.

Next month I am taking 3 weeks off to fly my guts out just because it's what I consider to be a life worth living. See you out there.


Friday, May 25, 2007

East Side, Baby

I think the flying this year is going to be really good compared to past years. Not having a job could be affecting this observation...

The pic is of a little hill called Pine Ridge which is near the town of Terrebonne, Oregon, home of the famous climbing spot called Smith Rocks.

The East side of the Oregon is the place for XC. A week ago I got above 14k and found some convergence that made for a long glide.

Stay Tuned!