Thursday, August 9, 2012

From Washington to Utah – A Weather Story


After a few days of rest in a hotel over the weekend, and doing some laundry on the second floor with quarters and a tiny box of Tide, I was ready for an early-morning flight to Provo from Bremerton on Monday.

This started our second week straight of being on the road. By this Saturday, I would finally be able to see Hubby and rest in my own bed.

But we have lots of fun things to cover before that, so let’s get started!


I didn’t have a harbor view this time from the Fairfield Inn in Bremerton, but I could see the Naval shipyard in the distance. This place is so busy and keeps the town afloat.


As you can see from the overcast layer, the weather was so cool. I love low clouds. It occasionally sprinkled little drops of rain on us, too, and I love that. I just don’t get weather like this at home.

Especially in July…


Good morning, Gladys! Let’s go flying! We are scheduled to be wheels-up at 7:00 AM, but our passengers got stuck waiting at a drawbridge about ten miles from the airport. They arrived just twenty minutes late.


Which gave me time to take pictures of Gladys next to her Citation boyfriend underneath the beautiful cloudy skies. This is read-in-bed-with-hot-chocolate weather, but I’m glad that flying is my second choice today.


After our passengers arrived, we loaded bags and were on our way! Hello, Rain!


And soon we were above the clouds and the rain and flying towards a beautiful sunrise.


Just to prove what a rocket this girl is, we were doing 250 knots in our climb out of Bremerton and still climbing at over 5,000 Feet Per Minute! Isn’t that incredible?!

Man, I love this airplane.


We flew over lots of cloudy areas on our way to sunny Provo. No tailwind to speak of, again, but we were on the ground just a few short hours later.


We flew right past Boise and Twin Falls on our way to the Ogden VOR before our turn south to Provo.

This track keeps us out of the way of arriving and departing traffic out of Salt Lake International.


For some reason, parts of the Great Salt Lake look purple this time of year. I don’t know what is happening chemically to give such a color, and I also don’t know why my camera couldn’t pick up on how bright the purple was. You’re just going to have to believe me that this giant salty lake was purple this morning.

I was surprised at how low the lake was. I know it’s been hot, and that they had a very dry winter. I think everywhere in the country had a mild winter!


It’s not always possible to see the salt deposits this prominently, but the lake was very low as we flew over at 13,000 feet. Salt Lake’s elevation is around 4,500 feet.


Another picture of the Great Salt Lake. Did you know that I got my Private Pilot License in Salt Lake? Ummmmm, a long time ago.


This is a picture of the Garfield Smoke Stack, which was a checkpoint that we flew over when coming back into SLC airspace after flying in the Tooele practice area.

Can you see that tiny white stack in the distance?


We flew right over Salt Lake Number Two Airport. I think it even has a new, official name now, but I always knew it as #2. Amazingly, I’ve never landed here.


This is the famous Kennecott Copper Mine. It is located on the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley. We went here for a field trip in school, and it was fascinating! They have dump trucks with wheels the size of three tall men! Just incredible!


Now we are coming to the Point of the Mountain in between the Salt Lake Valley and Utah Valley where Provo, Orem, and the Utah Lake reside. Just to the left of us were hang gliders on the mountain. I’m always worried that they will crash on the freeway and be killed.

There are many reasons why I don’t hang glide…and being killed on a freeway is just one of them.


Flying over Utah Lake was beautiful. Since it was so early, the bumps from the heat were still in bed. The entire flight was nice and smooth. Just how we like it!


I love the clouds in this picture! My home town is about twenty miles south of here.


Cleared to land on Runway One-Three. I watched for traffic in the pattern, since this is a very busy training airport for the Utah Valley University's flight program. I’m just glad that Provo has a control tower.


Here are some of UVU’s Katanas now, in fact!

For my fourteenth birthday, sixteen years ago today, my Mom got me an aviation day camp at what was then Utah Valley State College. I spent a day in ground school and then got to come back for a half-hour flight in a Katana. It was one of the coolest experiences of my life and just confirmed in my brain that I wanted to be a pilot!

Thanks, Mom!


It was a long taxi to the ramp. Or maybe it just seemed long since I had family waiting for me at the FBO?


This is my Mom and little brother Kip, who came all the way from Nephi to visit me for my short stop in Provo. Don’t they look good next to Gladys?


Actually, everything looks good next to Gladys.


Kippy and me, posing like the ganstas that we are.

Mama and Kippy before we head to lunch.

Speaking of lunch, I discovered that neither my Mama or Kip had ever eaten at P.F. Changs, one of my favorite lunch destinations. So that is where we headed during the short stay in Provo!

Kip got the honey-seared chicken. I approved. Isn’t he a cute kid? He will turn fourteen this fall.


And my Mama enjoyed some spicy chicken stuff. It was spicy, so I ignored the real name. It was a treat to grab lunch with some of my favorite people in the world.

And it was also nice to get out of the rain to enjoy perfect weather in Provo.

The day has just begun, though. We still have another flight to come!


  1. I liked "meeting" your mom and brother.

  2. Aren't they cute? I just spent an entire week with them at a family reunion, so you will be getting to know even better...soon!

    Have a great day, Barbara!


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