We lost our dear friend Conor yesterday, treasured longtime unofficial family member, and one of the funnest, funniest people ever. Conor, you were and are a ray of sunshine in our lives. We will miss you so much…
What a way to celebrate the New Year! I scan 100 miles in every direction while tracing the boundary between Arizona’s wooded “Rim Country” and the high desert to its north.
Snow frosts forests along the Mogollon Rim to my right, while to my left multihued rock barrens stretch out of sight across the Painted Desert. Beneath my wings captivating textures and details reveal themselves one after another on the ground. What created these herringbone rock patterns? Who lives in those remote dwellings? And what might their lives be like?
Memories soon tint the mind-bending vistas on this little-traveled route between Flagstaff and Show Low. Earlier this week my son Hannis journeyed with his buddies Conor and Phil in another friend’s car to the tiny hamlet of Concho. There they celebrated New Years Eve with other members of their on-again, off-again jazz hip-hop band, Lobe. Today their driver heads elsewhere so eagerly I soar over this breathtaking land to retrieve my son and his friends. As far back as Phil and Conor go with Hannis, I treasure their company almost as much as he does. Seeing them will be even better than these amazing views…
Photo: Arizona’s Meteor Crater and the San Francisco Peaks
(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love Greg’s book, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane. Autographed copies available!