On some days flying is better than on others, and as I learn more, the better days come more often. Today the goal was simple, fly to a landing strip over 50 knautical miles away. I had prepared, I had planned, I had daydreamed of where to go, but the night before the flight, all of those thoughts washed away and I figured I would instead go to somewhere 'else'.
Sun Valley Idaho, it's a 3 and 1/2 hour drive away from where I'm at, it's the resort town and 'tourist trap' where the rich and famous go. It's also over 50 knautical miles away. (Actually a bunch more.) I had come up with this idea that I'd like to go there to prove that I can fly somewhere farthere away. My thoughts went like this:
"I need to go somewhere far… if I go somewhere, it'd be nice to have lunch there, if I go somewhere for lunch, I'd like it to be somewhere nice for lunch, hey; I bet there are some really nice places to eat in Sun Valley… okay." I'm a pretty simple man. Before taking off I called their control tower, asked for permission to come (They are doing remodeling and don't want 'just anyone' to fly into their runway.) With a special permisison number, a fancy map, and a pile of communication frequencies I took off.
The plane I'm using is to airplanes what a moped is to motor vehicles. It's true that it'll get you there, unless the wind is blowing. Even with that, it only took me an hour and a half to make the journey, which felt good, especially being able to avoid going around the mountains that, in a car, would have taken about forty five minutes to go around.
I'm learning to talk on the radio with people who talk on the radio for a living. I mentioned that I was about 15 miles away, told them my altitude, direction, and gave them my permission number. The other day I flew into Twin Falls Idaho, and what I noticed about that airport is that you can't see it. After landing a nice maintenance guy came up to me and explained that even people who had flown from there for 20 years would get lost looking for it so 'don't feel bad you had trouble seeing it.' With this thought a firm fear in the back of my mind I crested the mountain, looking into the valley I saw the runway. The runway is on a hill, stark white in a valley of pure green, I couldn't have seen it better if they had painted it neon orange. My heart leapt, they gave me final permission to land, and I made one of the most smooth landings of my limited aviation life.
That's all just the beginning of the story, having called ahead, there was a car waiting for me (think of it as a courtesy car) I used it to drive into town, go to one of the most amazing restaurants I've ever been to, and return. This is the part where I couldn't help but glow with a feeling of absolute gratitude… and luxury.
It was Posh … with a capital P.
I took pictures, they are amazing, I look forward to being able to share those … later.