Archive | September, 2011

Sunrise at 33,000 ft

30 Sep

As tiring as travelling all the time can be, both mentally and physically, seeing the sunrise from 33,000 ft never gets old.

My flight on a B-17G (Nine-0-Nine)

21 Sep

From 3-15-2008

I don’t think words can do it justice.

It was just one of those “moments” that make you stop and really think about what’s going on. I’m geeky about nostalgia and stuff… I felt like I was going back in time.

We got our pre-flight briefing, then the flight engineer asked for two volunteers. Of course my hand shoots up. He says, “Ok you’re in first. All the way up front to the flight deck. Your seat is going to be directly behind the pilots.” I sat behind the pilot and right under the top turret.

Sitting there on the floor of a B-17 listening to the pilots run through their preflight checklist. Feeling the Wright Cyclones start up, 1200 hp at a time. Hearing the roar of 4800 hp when the throttles were ramped up for take off. The sounds, smells, sights, feels… man, it was a great experience.

I took a ton of pictures at first then decided to just soak it up. For some reason everyone else was hanging out in the rear fuselage at the waist gun positions To get to the nose you have to crawl under the flight deck. Maybe people just didnt want to squeeze through there? One guy asked his wife if she wanted to go down there and she said, “Why, what’s in there?”
Pffft. The best damn view on this bitch, that’s what!

I sat with the flight engineer up front for a good 10 minutes just taking it all in. Flying low over Dallas in the nose bubble of a B-17G… yeah, I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon.

I got to the airport around 745 am. Here’s the B-24, B-17 and B-25. The P-51 was not scheduled to arrive until 1040am.

That little spot on the floor next to the flag was mine

The instant the plane lifted off we were free to unbuckle and move around (except the tail and ball turret).

Views from the top turret:

Back

Forward

Views from the nose:

Cockpit view in a nice bank:

The 1,200 hp Wright R-1820-97 Cyclone engines in action

Bourbon Street

18 Sep

New Orleans is a dirty, dirty place. Seriously. Dirty.

But the food isn’t bad and they love their whiskey so I’ll just say this… I don’t think I’ll go back on my own dime. Have I grown up too much for my own good? Or is it ok that I don’t care to see a whore’s snatch on the front stoop of an otherwise beautiful building?

Mmmmmm swamp…

I think The Absinthe House has been through its share of Mardi Gras parties and floods

Ahhhh YES! Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about!

Single barrel bourbon flight

Followed by beignets at Cafe du Mond

Hike up Grey Rock (CO)

7 Sep

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
— John Muir

I guess it’s no coincidence that during my last trip to FoCo I happened to be reading a collection of John Muir’s writings… that guy was on to something.

“In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world—the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.”

Grey Rock is about 25 miles NW of Fort Collins. Summit loop up, Meadows loop down, 7.5 miles and 2515 ft total roundtrip elevation gain (1883′ net).

You start down low on the north side of the Poudre river, snake through some valleys and heavy pines before it opens up and then battle some good steep stuff, boulders, etc near the peak. The trip down the other way takes you through the Grey Rock Meadow and eventually back to the river.

Sunrise start at the Poudre:

Starting in heavy pine, spruce, etc for the first part of the trip

Sun still trying to force its way down into the valleys

Finally opening up and giving a view of where we were headed

Starting to get a bit rockier

But the views are getting better!

Just below the peak is a damn fine looking pond

Finally getting up on top

And then the trip down through the Grey Rock Meadow and through the aftermath of the ’04 Picnic Rock fire

Another view of where we just were

Making our own trails

And finally back to the Poudre where we started

Maybe next time we’ll do Long’s?

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