Planes, Planes and Plains

Trip Start May 17, 2010
Trip End Oct 10, 2010

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Where I stayed
Springs East Airport (Jim & Darlene's)

Flag of United States  , Colorado
Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Oh I crashed the first plane I got twice" said our pilot once we were buckled into his plane and taxiing out to the runway. With that confidence-instilling statement, we were racing down the runway and soon airborne in Pat's Cessna. Pat is one of the few pilots that keep their planes at the small airport at which we were living. Another favorite I heard from Pat is “if you shake 'em out of the tree, you get to hunt ‘em a second time”. He was referring to the mountain lions that he hunts (but doesn’t kill, just chases them up trees to take photos). He even showed us a photo of a mountain lion way up the top of the tallest tree around…with his dog only about two feet below it. In fact, Pat loves to chase all sorts of critters. On one of our flights, I heard “look a bird!” and suddenly our wingtip was perpendicular to the earth as we made a 180 turn to chase the terrified creature.

We stayed at Springs East Airport for just over a month, with our wonderful hosts Darlene and Jim. They must have thought that we needed to put on weight (and we both did), because they seemed to spend the entire time cooking for us. Every meal was huge and delicious, and it was quite a shock when we went back to camping rations and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Darlene is another pilot who took us flying and gave us lessons, although her flying was considerably more cautious than Pat’s.

One day Bud drove up and told us he was moving his 1945 open-cockpit biplane to the airport, and asked us if we wanted a ride sometime. So we spent the next week desperately waiting to see that plane come in. When the day finally arrived, we both agreed that it was the new trip highlight. There’s nothing like flying along a mile above the ground with the wind blowing in your face and with nothing between you and the sky. Although I can understand why Bud is half deaf, because there’s also nothing between you and the roar of the propeller.

In nearby Colorado Springs, we established a favorite watering hole. The Mill Hill is a cowboy/biker bar that has cheap beer, friendly people and great bands. In fact, the friendly people kept buying us the cheap beer because we danced to the great bands. The only problem was that the more beer they bought us, the worse our dancing got.

Eventually we decided that if we never left, we’d never make it to the East coast on our road trip. Actually, I’m starting to think that we still won’t, as we’re quickly running out of time. So we said a very sad goodbye to our new family and friends, and started driving. Although we still hadn't determined our next destination.
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Lucia on

Hi Amber and Michael...

I really enjoy reading about your adventures in America. I'm sure you are both having the time of your lives ha! Keep safe and have fun xx


Darlene on

You got some real great pix. I hope you are having a great time and look forward to seeing you again.

Dawn Newland on

Hello Amber and Michael,
Love your photos of the flights, looking forward to watching your hAppenings now that I know where to look. Hope you are traveling well. Thanks for sharing

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