“All the sights we saw”
Except for two brief local hops, I haven’t flown in a month. First rain stopped me, then weeks of winds gusting as high as 48 knots.
Today I awoke to the first beautiful morning in forever. I long to fly! I’ve scheduled routine avionics maintenance next week in Prescott—perhaps they could take me today instead. Nope, I call but they’re too busy.
“Jean, want to fly somewhere for breakfast?”
“No, I’m playing tennis this morning.” (No kidding; she really says that to me all the time.)
Okay, if I can’t find anyone to join me I’ll go myself. No way am I letting a morning like this pass after being grounded for weeks, mission or not. I grab a weather briefing to Payson. It’s a mere 30-minute flight, but scenic, and the field’s Crosswinds Restaurant boasts great affordable food and a “million-dollar view” of the towering Mogollon Rim.
Who might consider joining me for such a mission, at the last minute on a weekday morning? It’s a long shot but I phone my nature-photographer buddy Don Hill. He and Barb are usually booked busy but today she’s out of town visiting relatives, and…
“Yeah, I’d love to go, Greg! I’ll just load my camera with a fresh memory card and battery and meet you at the airport.”
Don starts snapping photos as our wheels leave the ground. It’s bumpier than I expected, but Don says it doesn’t bother him. I guess a guy who served in Vietnamese river ships in Viet Nam has experienced worse than a little turbulence…
**READ THIS MONTH’S ENTIRE COLUMN, “MILLION-DOLLAR BRUNCH“**
Top photo: Don Hill enjoys the Crosswinds Restaurant’s “million dollar view” at Payson Airport, Arizona. (KPAN)
Lower photo: “Don’s email-blast photo of the San Francisco Peaks, annotated with sights from our morning flight.”
(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)
©2016 Gregory N.Brown
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!
2 thoughts on ““Million-Dollar Brunch,” Greg’s September, 2016 Flying Carpet column”
Read your article in alpca magazine. Went looking for that airmail marker. I found it search these coordinates 34° 25.083’N 111° 24.522’W
Very cool, Matt. Thanks!! Too bad Google Earth shot the location in wintertime, but if you look close you can still see it. I’m sharing this with my editors for possible use in a letter to the editor!