I'm Not Afraid of Flying.. Not Really

I was five when I first boarded an airplane.  It was a big one, I think a 747, and we were on our way to Disneyland.  My mom had passed six months earlier and I think he was trying to ease our hurt.  I was most concerned with vomiting, I remember, but I didn't.  The only other thing I recall is one of the engines died during the flight and the pilot told us so.  

Jump forward four or five years and I'm in a little tiny Cessna single prop with my cousin.  From that flight all I can bring to mind is his joyful smile as he flew the thing and the that when we came in to land it felt as if we were falling straight out of the sky.  I don't remember being afraid though.

Several others since, Hawaii, Mexico, Arizona, New York...

Today we're flying on the company plane.

This is a little plane.  We're moving along the little runway now.  Six aboard, making small talk.  Plane war stories. I have these, at lease one doozy that I won't share with you right this moment.

Accelerate.  The pull.  Nose goes up.  It's really windy.  

Cars getting smaller.  Buildings shrinking.

This is a short flight, only about 40 minutes.  But it's 40 minutes over the Trinity Alps.  So if things go wrong then we've nowhere to land.

Little two-engine plane, eight seats, fruit for snacks and a fully stocked bar.  8:20 is a bit early for a shot of Vodka though, so I think I'll pass.

There's Whiskeytown to your left ladies and gentlemen.  Amazing from this point of view.  It looks a lot like Squidword.

Mt. Shasta on your right there.  It's a very clear morning and that mountain is bright and white and glorious... and solitary, the remnants of a much greater peak pre-eruption, I think.  A young man died on that mountain this year.  Massive storm cut him off from the rest of us.  Some mountains we climb and never come down.

Hey look there's the ocean.  Nice clear day, no fog, which makes landing a little less hairy.

The approach in Crescent City is interesting.  You swing out over the Pacific and then turn right.  The runway ends at a cliff formed by ages of waves crashing against it.

All ocean below us now.  And it's a bumpy ride.

Landing gear down.

Heart races a little here.

Flaps down.

Slow down.

Bump once and hit the brakes.  Dan's a good pilot.

Nothing to it.





  1. A lot can happen in forty minutes though. Glad it was a safe landing. Nice pictures. Fun post.

  2. I used to be terrified then I found Xanax.

    The photos are awesome and you caught the shadow of the plane. Very cool.

  3. TB we do have a great pilot. He's been flying for the bank as long as I've been here. And when I say war stories, I mean it. Storms, fog like soup, turbulence nightmares, itty bitty airport landings. It's all there.

    Hey Diana. That shadow picture was a must. Shows how close we were to the ground... Uh, water I mean.

    Thanks for reading,


  4. When I was stationed in Borneo years ago, I got to travel by plane frequently - Boeing 727.

    I usually asked for the seat next to the emergency door.

    More space for my feet, really.
    And for reasons I never knew, the seat next to me was always empty.

  5. I never fit in a plane, my knees up against the seat in front of me. Too much leg.

  6. Hey Casey, Thanks for the ride. I love flying-- as long as it's not raining or snowing or windy or far or a small plane or a big plane or crowded.... you get the idea. The view from your window would have distracted me though-- it's gorgeous.

    I'll be watching for the doozy you haven't shared yet.

    Hope all's well with you and your family.

  7. Thanks Joanna. All is well on this end of the state. I don't know if I'll be sharing the doozy. Just thinking about it gives me a vertigo sense of fear.



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