|"Wheeling" over the San Juan's and the Salish Sea |
- a different perspective than from the kayak cockpit.
Back in the early "eighties", when we were living in Banff and serving at Rundle Memorial, there was the opportunity to check off an item on the "bucket list" - learn to fly. On one glorious day, Joan (who always knows what to do!) slipped a "Discovery Flight" ticket in an envelope and said, "If you really want to do this, here's your opportunity." Six months later, licenced and checked out in the sturdy Cessna 172, I rented an aircraft and flew out of Springbank Airport, just outside of Calgary. It was great flying over the foothills and prairies, in sight of the Rockies with the usual trips out to Red Deer, Drumheller, and south of the city. Joan came along a number of times - always appreciated her, um, trust!
Several years after learning to fly, I joined the Canadian Forces, as a chaplain, and following Officer Candidate School (at the former military base in Chilliwack), was posted to Cold Lake, Alberta. Yes! It couldn't have been better - designated padre to 410 and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadrons - the world of F-18s on Canada's premier air base! :))))) (BIG smile!)
|Hitching a "ride" with the visiting USAF - a "few" years ago.|
"Air force" hair cut, eh?
We were in Cold Lake three years and, during that time, there were lots of opportunities to fly "backseat" in the F-18 "Hornets" as well as in 419 Squadron's Northrop F-5s, Canadair Tutors, and even a venerable Lockheed T-33. Our next posting was Lahr, Germany - 1RCHA (artillery) and 444 Tactical Helicopter Squadron. Ahhh...there was definitely "no life like it".
Fast forward >> a lot of years...I would still love to fly but reaction times and situation awareness are both probably past their "best before dates". So, as I said, life's been full, and when a friend extended the invitation to fly to Chilliwack, on the mainland, for lunch - I was in! Big time!
Lined up and cleared for take off at Victoria International.
In a right turn above the BC Ferry terminal at Swartz Bay.
"Traffic" - down below.
The Cessna 172 nav instrumentation has improved over the years!
Majestic Mount Baker in Washington - just off the starboard wing.
Flying high, above Abbotsford International Airport.
My friend, and pilot, Dave.
Thanks for making it happen, Dave. Hope you all enjoy the pics - another perspective of land and sea out here.