As is evident from my cantankerous ranting, the smoke has gone on way too long. Monsoonal moisture had wandered its way up here, which was welcome at the time. It meant two things: winds from the south (pushes the smoke elsewhere) and the hope for some rain to put an end to this crap. Well, it did both, including bringing bad weather so I couldn’t fly. Six of one, half a dozen of another. No smoke, plenty of thunderstorms. Coitus interruptus, again.
To make matters worse, we’re in the process of moving to the other side of the runway. That is a saga beyond compare. Suffice it to say that if you’re looking for enlightenment through penance, may I suggest masochistically capricious moving? It will certainly cause you to think about the meaning of life.
At any rate, we have been in the heat of the moment packing, which, by any measurement, sucks. In the middle of the entire process, I looked outside and saw that the steady rain was abating, and some picturesque scenery was forthcoming, with clouds interacting with the mountains and whatnot (yeah, you’ve seen that before in my blog). I looked at the piles of boxes and evidence of other complete lifestyle disarray and had a deliciously mischievous thought. Turning to my wife, I said: “I have had a childhood fantasy, during countless Fisher concentration camp family work days, to leave the prison camp project, in the middle of it, in a complete mess, and go play. I AM GOING FLYING!” “Um….is it….. safe….?” Stomping like a five year old with a temper tantrum: “YES!” I then promptly went over to my computer and got a full and proper flight briefing to keep the Feds happy (and determine if it was actually safe to fly). Then I scampered out to the hangar, leaving my wife to deal with packing.
I thought the flight would be “ok,” given what I could see from the airfield (it was really about the prison camp rebellion, at least when I took off). As I flew south, I could see an overcast cloud deck not too far from the surface, on the east side of the Star Valley. It was scattered in the center and west, overcast in the east, and a second layer up at the summit. As the clouds were within Class G airspace, I skimmed the top of them, with a heavenly view to the left, and many holes in the clouds to the right (emergency landing options). The photos were incredible and it was a purely majestic experience all around. Finally after a few weeks of miserable weather, it was a chance to get some good photos!
View straight ahead, far more dramatic than the sum total of all of the visual components available to the pilot.
Given the limited perspective of the photograph, this would, by all intents and purposes, look like I was about to become an accident statistic.