OK – I confess. I don’t really have a Bucket List. But if I did have one, I’d have something to cross off today. It could be a good thing to blog about, don’t ya think? Maybe you all can help me come up with more things to add. For the sake of the blog and all. I fear this blogging thing could get me into severe trouble.
Oh, well. Here’s my list as of today:
Barb’s Bucket List
- Fly in a glider airplane with Dear Hubby
- Mush a dog sled in Alaska
So there you have it. Two things already crossed off. Bet if I thought about it, I could come up with a few more. Although I think it defeats the idea of a list, if you add things and cross them off at the same time? Not sure that’s what a Bucket List is intended to be. But it works for me. So we’ll just leave it that way for now. Be sure to let me know if you think there are things I should add.
And now for some pictures of item #1. From today. I must say that I got a bad case of nerves when I thought about the day. And almost tried to get out of it. But I had promised Dear Hubby and I wanted to be supportive of his hobby. He’s as passionate about flying as I am about quilting, so I was trying to keep things in perspective. And be excited about it for him. Of course, “excited” translated to “I want to throw up now” for me. But what’s a Bucket List item if it doesn’t involve a little fear and trepidation? And I did manage to keep my lunch down for those of you who might be concerned about those pictures. Not to worry. You can keep on reading.
This is what a glider airplane looks like. And that’s Dear Hubby behind the tree limb, pushing the plane out to the starting place on the runway. I was taking this picture from inside the little office area where the air conditioner was going strong. Did I mention that it was 125 degrees outside? At least that’s what it felt like. So I was smart and staying where it was cool. And getting wimpier by the minute. I was also thinking that anything that could be pushed on the tip of the wing with two fingers was not something I wanted to be inside of when it left the ground.
Dear Hubby checking out the plane to make sure it’s flight worthy. Don’t you love his Gilligan hat? It’s his favorite. He nearly had to let me use it for my lunch while we were flying…. if you get my meaning. Some sacrifice, don’t ya think?
Of course it doesn’t help when the signs that greet you when you arrive look like this:
Did they think I might want to stand in front of a moving plane? Just because I was green doesn’t mean I was crazy.
When I saw this one, I wanted to claim to be a small child. Or a cat or dog. Just so I’d have to stay behind the fence and off the field. Anytime you go somewhere and the signs that greet you say “Danger” in big, peeling letters, I’m thinking you might want to rethink what you’re about to do. And I was feeling very unauthorized.
But nothing doing. Dear Hubby took me out and before I knew it I was strapped in. I mean really strapped in! If I’d seen the “ask 21” sign on the side before I got in, I would most certainly have claimed not to be.
Here’s another view. Did I mention that the gray thing strapped to my back was a parachute? Another reason to get out now – before leaving the ground. And that is really not a smile on my face. That’s a “get me out of here; what have I agreed to do” look.
This is Robert, the Tow Plane Pilot. I informed him that I was the Official Photographer for this flight. And after they gave me instructions for how to jettison the canopy, get out of my seatbelt and pull the cord on the parachute in case of an emergency, I informed him that I would not be hanging on to my camera as well. But that I would get as many shots as I could on the way down and would he please recover the camera when he recovered the rest of the debris. He promised that he would post all the pictures on the internet for me. See how I’m always looking out for you, my faithful blog followers? “Thank you, Robert!” And thank you, God, that Robert didn’t have to post the pictures for me.
Robert took this picture for us. I think he did it so that when he recovered the SD card from the camera, he might remember the people that it belonged to. This was also just before they closed those canopies over us and we became an instant greenhouse. And the temperature went up to about 350 degrees and I was feeling well-done. And all that was before we even moved an inch.
You see there’s a good news/bad news thing when it comes to flying gliders. Without the heat, you don’t have “thermals” to help you gain altitude, but you might be more comfortable in the greenhouse. And with the heat, you have great thermals for lift, but you get to sweat like crazy and be very uncomfortable too. Just a little lesson in flying for your day.
This was my view of Gilligan in the plane. You can tell by the altimeter that at this point we were just a little over 1,000 feet in the air. Mark had told Robert that we were going to release at 3,000 feet. That was when he had all the confidence in the world that I was going to feel fine for the entire flight. That was before I informed him at about 1,000 feet that I was feeling a bit queasy. But he told me to tell him! I hadn’t counted on him using those few words to decide to release the tow rope early. He thought he was going to have to turn right around and get this flying greenhouse on the ground quickly to avoid having things on the back of his head that he had not counted on. But I then figured out how to get some cool air blowing on me and I felt better. So, good pilot that he is, he found us some thermals and he made some very gradual climbs that kept his passenger happy and we were able to stay up for about 32 hours. Well, OK, maybe it was only 20 minutes. But who’s counting anyway? We actually could have stayed up much longer, but the silly passenger got a bit lightheaded and made the flying-loving pilot return to the ground. At one point my altimeter read 1,700! Isn’t it amazing to think that you can do that without an engine? Guess this truly was “flying like a bird.” And although it wasn’t as quiet as I thought it was going to be, it was much quieter than flying in a small plane with an engine. Those things are noisy! And now that I’ve gotten my feet wet, maybe I’ll be braver and we can go higher next time. Wait! Did I just say “next time?” Do not tell Dear Hubby I said that! I’ll deny it! Oh, phooey….. I forgot he reads my blog. Maybe he’ll miss that part. Not. On this particular blog, I’m sure he’ll read every word. It is his passion after all.
Here are a few pics from the air….
The airport. Quite frankly the view from the air isn’t all that breathtaking or exciting. I suppose if you were flying over Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs – which Dear Hubby has done in a glider – it would be. Probably too breathtaking and exciting for this grounded quilter. I’m happy with a short flight over Texas. So I can add it to and cross it off the Bucket List all in one day.
Here’s a pic that Dear Hubby took of me – over his shoulder – in the air. Please disregard the triple chin. Too much Pioneer Woman cooking, I guess.
And here’s one that I took of myself in the air. You can see a lot in my glasses! Including the camera, the back of DH’s hat, my arms….
If you want to see more of the flight, we also took video! Dear Hubby edited it and we’ve uploaded it to YouTube. You can view it here.
Here’s Dear Hubby on the ground after the flight. That smile is deceiving. It’s really a “I wish I were still up at 3,000 feet” look. I know that look. I’ve seen it before. He is a Happy Camper on a day when he gets to fly.
And this is me after the flight. I know that look too. It’s a “I am very happy to be back on the ground, please show me to the air conditioned room” look. And a “did I really just fly like a bird in that little thing behind me?” look.
Please take me back to the sewing room where I’ve got some catching up to do. Maybe I’ll teach Hubby to quilt so he can bond with my passion. Or maybe I’ll just let him have his and I’ll have mine. Works for me!
By the way, here’s another list that just got started at dinner:
Dear Hubby’s Bucket List
Take Dear Wifey flying in sail plane