And the journey begins...

Trip Start May 02, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, May 2, 2013

Last night was stressful to say the least. I made the unfortunate decision to procrastinate until the last minute on packing clothing and loading the plane full of all the necessary equipment (life raft, immersion suit, extra oil, water, spare parts, snacks, MRE's, etc.)  I spent the entire day running errands with my girlfriend Eden Dolarian.  Yesterday was definitely a bittersweet feeling.  I was successful in holding off the nerves until the day before.  I was excited to be leaving on my around the world journey but was also getting a little sad that I would be leaving family and friends for such a long time.

My eldest sister, Jenna, flew in yesterday from San Francisco with my flight instructor of 7 plus years, Harold Gallagher.  I did not see her until around 8 PM last night.  We had a nice dinner with the family (minus my youngest sister Betsy) and my girlfriend, Eden.   I ended up getting to bed a little late because of my last minute packing.  This did not matter at all because I hardly slept a minute; I was way to nervous and excited for my flight around the world.

I woke up around 6:30 AM and hoped the shower.  I caught myself questioning why in the world I was getting up this early for a 5-hour flight to Boulder.  It was frustrating considering the little sleep I got.  I then remembered the main reason for getting up early and that was to meet some press at the airport. 

We got out to the airport a little late (7:50 AM.)  There were already two local media stations out there and I gave a general welcome and thanked everyone for coming.   The morning was full of many emotions; I am not even usually an emotional guy.  There were many prayers and we actually had the trip blessed for safe travel by a preacher.  It was nice to hear all of this before my departure.  I took pictures with many people.  It was great to see the support of all my family, friends and people that were just interested in my flight. 

For all the pilots out there my routing and power were as follows:


17,000 feet MSL 16.0 MP/2400RPM Rich of Peak @ 14 GPH

It was a long climb up to altitude because of the warmer temperatures and heavy load.  It is surprising how much extra gear you have to take to complete a trip like this.  Because I was at 17,000 feet I was on oxygen the entire flight.  Oxygen is required above 12,500 feet for more then 30 minutes.  It is not all that comfortable breathing through a cannula for hours on end but you get used to it. 

The flight was actually quite uneventful.  It took me about 4.5 hours and there was no adverse weather for the duration of the flight.  I had about a 10-knot tailwind through California, Nevada and part of Utah.  When I got into Colorado the winds decided it would be fun to switch direction and gave me a 14-knot headwind.  I would say that my average speed on that flight was 170 knots.

I was excited to come into Boulder because that is where I go to school.  Boulder, Colorado sits right on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, making a very rapid decent into the airport necessary.  A storm had just come through and you could definitely tell, the flat irons looked beautiful with a coat of snow.  When I arrived to Boulder I had a greeting crew of about 15 people including my sister Betsy, a couple of her friends, a few of my close friends, my flight instructor Earl, Aunt Patty, Uncle John, cousin Siena and some family friends from Africa

After talking with everyone for a while I proceeded to go to my fraternity (SAE) where I met up with a lot of my friends.  Everyone was very excited about what I was doing and it was fun to see all the guys for a few hours.  My buddy, Finn, then drove me to my aunt and uncles where I had dinner and got some much needed rest.  Before going to bed I checked the weather for the next days trip to NYC (or at least I thought NYC.)  At the time there was a LONG line of precipitation going from the northern most part of the country to the southern most part of the country.  This precipitation did not contain thunderstorms but did contain icing conditions.  My hope was that the weather would pass in time for me to be able to go all the way to NYC. 

The first day of my around the world journey was a success and I was excited to get started. 
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Ryan Caglia on

I was excited to see that you started filling in your blog Jack! I've been following your flight everyday since you left and checking your blog for your first post (don't tell my dad because I'm supposed to be working :) I think you're in Canada right now probably getting ready to head to Greenland. Congratulations on your progress. Keep it up buddy. You'll be the world record holder soon enough. Proud of you!!! BTW, all this pilot talk you include in your blogs is really making me want to get current again. Maybe even brush up on my IFR skills. I remember really enjoying flying under the hood. Instrument flying is a serious challenge and an awesome experience. Thanks for the motivation buddy!

Tom on

Your passport story made Yahoo front page publicity and got me to read your blog. Love your trip pictures and stories. Gook luck on your long adventure and break the record. God bless you!

Julie on

I too just learned of your story via Yahoo and will be following.. Best of luck on your grand adventure!!

T45IP on

Phi Alpha. Fly safe.

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