Friday, August 3, 2012

California in the Dust


After a wonderful five days in sunny (and sometimes rainy) California, it was time to fly back home to Bremerton. Our passengers live here for the summer, so all of our flights are from this airport until late August.

There were lots of pretty airplanes on the ramp in Van Nuys, but Gladys was the prettiest girl at the ball.


I loved the giant American flag on this airplane based in Ideeho. The paint was pretty cool, too. Obviously a custom job.


We have to taxi in between all of these parked airplanes to get to Runway 16R for takeoff! Tight quarters on this busy ramp, and there are six other FBOs at Van Nuys that are just as busy!

This place is a hoppin’!


As always in such busy airspace, we had to hold for an IFR release at the beginning of the runway. As long as it isn’t more than a few minutes, I always enjoy this wait because I get to see some pretty airplanes land at Van Nuys.


And we’re off! It’s just over two hours back to Bremerton from Van Nuys. The cooler temperatures are going to be wonderful. But it has been a great and busy week in California.


We flew past Van Nuys Airport again as we continued our climb to FL400 for the flight home. We were just down there at that little strip of an airport in the middle of a busy city!


Some beautiful lakes could be seen as we crossed the saddle of mountains towards the Seattle area. These are just north of the Los Angeles valley, and I cross them every time we come to LA.


Now we are flying near Palmdale just past the Angeles National Forest. The best views are always from the sky.


After we leveled off, I had a good feel for what the fuel burn would be for the remainder of the flight. That let me compute the landing weight and thus enter the landing speeds from the checklist into the information boxes in Gladys’ flight computer.

Micah Math at work. Scary, I know.


This was about as exciting as it got for weather during the flight back to Bremerton, and we were way above it. I love when we have great weather for our flights. We weren’t lucky enough to have a tailwind, but that just meant more time in the sky.


As we got closer to Seattle, I had a great view of Mount Saint Helens. Doesn’t this thing still look like it’s about to blow?! See how the clouds just hang around the opening like it’s volcano steam?

I was glad that we were still at 24,000 feet right about now.


And here we are flying over the south end of one of my favorite cities in the world…Hi, Seattle!


It was a gorgeous day to land at Bremerton. It was busy in the traffic pattern, of course. And the Seattle Approach Controller told us to keep an eye out as we flew past Tacoma Airport since they were having an airshow and a B-1 Bomber was there. How cool!

We didn’t see that giant guy, but I could see a formation of what looked like F-16s flying over the field for the show. Pretty awesome!


It’s so green and lush here in the Puget Sound. I love landing here at 65 degrees. It was a beautiful day to fly.


Can you see Bremerton Airport? They shut down one runway years ago and presently use it in drag racing. It’s funny to hear those loud cars going when on the ramp in Bremerton.

They have their priorities mixed up, though. Cars over airplanes?! That’s just crazy talk.


It was late Saturday afternoon when we landed at Bremerton. Since we had a very early-morning flight on Monday, we decided to get our fuel for the trip now. This would prevent anyone having to show up early for us on Monday morning.

This fuel truck is always about to die. Rumor has it that they are getting a new one, but I will believe it when I see it.


Gladys was buttoned up for a few days on the ramp in Bremerton.


And we were allowed to use the crew car for the entire weekend! We drove the eight miles into town and pulled into the Fairfield Inn near the harbor. This is my favorite place to stay while in Bremerton, which we’ve done a lot this summer!

It’s just two blocks from the ocean, and about the same distance to several restaurants in the area. I feel like I’ve tried them all lately!


I walked up to one of my favorite eateries, but it was closed. In fact, almost everything in downtown Bremerton was shut down on a late Saturday evening.


So I walked to another place that I knew would be open. I took some pictures of the fun downtown area of Bremerton as I went.


And over by the Naval shipyard was this neat old building. I love old stuff.

But I was hungry!


Luckily, just liked I hoped it was, the Bremerton Bar and Grill was open.


And I timed it perfectly to get their Happy Hour Food Menu.


And a Caesar salad and sweet potato fries were just the perfect ending to a great day in the sky. Unfortunately, I don’t think the salad canceled out the fries.

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