Ah, the Pacific Northwest. It’s one of my favorite places on earth.
For years, I’ve been selecting future summer home residences from the air! Someday, it would be great to escape the Phoenix heat each summer by running away from home to another less-sweltering home somewhere else. Portland has always been my runaway city of choice, simply because of all the wonderful things held by this beautiful part of the country.
Beaches are within an hour’s drive. Great mountain hiking and camping are found just outside of the city proper. The summer temperature is mild and doesn’t see triple digits. And everywhere you look is green green green. But it is also a bustling city complete with an airport…that is a requirement for a dream city of mine, after all.
I got to spend just a few hours in Portland this past Friday. Since Terry’s replacement is still in Beechjet Initial Type Training, I got to fly the day with a contract pilot. I met Tim at the airplane at 7:00 AM for our 8:00 AM departure. He was very nice, and I was relieved that he knew a little something about the Beechjet.
The five passengers arrived, and we had a nice 2.5-hour flight to the land of the Sasquatch. No, I haven’t personally seen him up there. But if I was a tall, hairy beast, Portland is certainly where I could prefer to call home.
I expected from rumors to be here all day. I pulled up their rental car and tried to get a word from Big Boss before they drove away into the sunrise. He surprised me by telling me what to expect! They would only be about four hours and then would come back to the airport for a flight home.
I spent those few hours ensuring the fuel was on the airplane and properly balanced. I got to “oversee” the servicing of our lavatory, which just means some poor line guy has to discard of some bodily fluids in a not-so-nice manner. Not a pretty job, and it’s only been used once before in all my five years with this company.
Yep. Five years next month. Isn’t that crazy?
I received a call from Big Boss (another shocker) to let me know they were half an hour out, and coming back with an extra passenger for the flight home. With six passengers and enough fuel to make the trip, we took off at full gross weight of 16,000 pounds. Even that full, My Baby lifts off and climbs like a little rocket.
Nope. Not biased in the least. I have yet to find an airplane I didn’t really like.
After a chilly flight home at 41,000 feet (who goes that high, honestly?!), we landed at Phoenix Sky Harbor twelve hours after we left. Due to some technical difficulties, I froze the entire flight home. It felt great to open to cabin door to 74-degree weather! It was minus-88 at altitude!
Even for just a day trip, it felt wonderful to get out and enjoy the sky. Best office ever.