Denver…was a whirlwind, but it was great. I saw a fantastic group of friends from Antarctica, then flew down on the following day to Colorado Springs to see an Outward Bound student of mine. She had been 14 when she took the course with other girl scouts, and during that time we discovered we had a shared love of aviation. Before the course ended, I made her a temporary airman certificate and told her it would be her certification until she got her real one. Ten years later, I received a letter in the mail…and a copy of a US Army helicopter certification. It seems Martha wasn’t messing around!
So I flew down to see Martha to show her Freddy and for her show me the Blackhawk helicopters she flies. She looked at my 3-page checklist and asked, “Is this your whole checklist?” It was fun sharing notes, pilot to pilot. Her checklist looked like a book and her aircraft is incredibly complex. I taught her about sailing 14 years ago, and there is a lot she could teach me about flying.
Then to two nights of Dispatch shows! First at the Ogden and then at Red Rocks. Red Rocks was the special one, as I’d never been there and had so many friends in the audience. Friends from high school, college, Antarctica, NOLS, Berkshire School and more. I rushed about catching up with friends and also did some behind the scenes filming.
The show was incredible, the band sounding so good. The most memorable for me was the song Curse + Crush____ written about the death of our cousin last year from a construction accident. So poignant. There was something about being in Colorado, at a big outdoor concert, that Matty would have loved. He would have been there. It was touching and we miss him so much.
More catching up with Antarctic and NOLS friends and it was time to depart. But first a little detour to the North to do some wake surfing and water skiing with some NOLS friends! Oh man, was this fun. My arms and legs were sore as were my cheeks from smiling so much. Two hours on the lake and then it was time to head out.
I landed that night in Grant, Nebraska where I chatted with a farmer for an hour or so as it got dark. We chatted about politics, women, kids, relationships, farming, and climate change among other things. Marvin lives alone, never had kids, his wife died a decade ago and not a day goes by he doesn’t miss her. Since he never had kids, he says he has no one to pass the farm onto. Niece and nephew show no interest. Such a nice guy, we talked until it was totally dark. Before he left, he gave me his number so that if I ever fly through again, I can look him up. I most definitely intend to see him again. So fun to meet and connect with someone who just happened to be at the airport at the right time seeing off a few friends.