Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day 2: Clarion, PA to Osceola, Iowa

An incredible day of flying, perhaps a few of the most stellar flights I've ever had.  I was smiling, laughing, saying things like, "Holy Shit!"  I was flying at just above the base of the clouds.  And such that it was a mostly sunny/partly cloudy day, the clouds were not continuous.  So I was able to pick my way amongst them.  But to this extent, I had not done before.  

I suddenly found myself working with the mind of a mountaineer.  Analyzing the terrain for each safe passage, but this terrain was moving, albeit, slowly.  It was an incredible feeling.  I would be flying straight towards some big bellowing mass and have to pick left or right, unsure of which would provide a clear passage.  I would pick one direction, bank that way, then back to my on course heading and look for a way through.  A few times, I would be planning to soar over a cloud when I realized it was growing faster than I could climb, so I'd have to bank this way and that making my way through.  It felt like the lost combination of all my years of mountaineering and sailing.  The mountains of water vapor, moving ever so slowly, the mesh between the mostly stagnant mountains and the ever-alive ocean.  

I would soar with a wing past expanding mountains growing as if they were molten lava before my eyes.  It felt like a month of mountaineering route finding compressed into a 3 hour flight.  Incredible flight with a reckoning with the clouds as I had not had before.   I will remember this one forever.  

Here's a time lapse of one of the flights:  Crossing the Mississippi

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