My flying routine has always been one of later in the day. Mornings are a time to get work done, and afternoons/evenings are the time to play. This is probably the result of a youth that could be seamlessly interchanged with a Nazi work camp (the difference likely not noticeable to outsiders), Germanic self-abnegation mercifully taught to the generation who would be useless schmucks without it. I simply couldn’t enjoy flying if I had a list of things to do. I also don’t like humidity, so I’d rather play when it is drier later in the day.
The irony is, the family compound had an airport on it, the product of my grandfather’s efforts. It is not as though it would have been difficult even then to take a quick morning flight (save for the onsite work overlords who could hear the mistimed sound of an airplane engine, taking all the fun away). For the past 5 years, I have had to drive to the airport, and that is about as fun as swimming with a raincoat on. There is not a chance of doing anything “quick” with the time required before and after.
Yesterday morning, I looked out the window as I woke and saw a sizable fog bank over Palisade Reservoir. Eyeing it up, it wasn’t moving, and it wasn’t over the airport. I hatched a brilliant scheme to go up and photo it quickly, and it turned out to be quite beautiful. It was a good thing I got it, as it nearly evaporated as I was up there. Total time from leaving the house to returning to the house: 34 minutes.
Last night it snowed down to about 6,250’ elevation, quite close to the valley, and the sun was partially out this morning with an abundance of low clouds swirling around doing interesting things. The brilliant scheme resurfaced, and I was in the air again, except this time up to 9,600’ altitude, to get above the lower layer of clouds. Needless to say, it is very, very cold up there without gloves (poor planning) and with the door open snapping pictures. Total time: 47 minutes.
Of course, the speed of taking a quick flight does increase the fun factor. It also makes for some interesting photography, opening up possibilities that simply do not exist when the airport is 40 miles away, as morning weather patterns tend to burn off with a surprising speed.
Palisade Reservoir, Ferry Peak