Farewell and adieu to you fine
Farewell and adieu to you,
ladies of Spain;
For we're under orders
For to sail to old England,
But we hope in a short time to
see you again
We'll rant and we'll roar, like
true British sailors,
We'll rant and we'll roar across
the salt seas;
Until we strike soundings
In the Channel of old England,
From Ushant to Scilly 'tis
It may be thirty-five leagues from Ushant to Scilly, but it's
only eighteen miles between Puyallup and Maple Valley.
Thun Field in Puyallup (aka Pierce County Airport) has a darn
nice pilot store (Spencer Aircraft). I dropped in there
today to see if there's anything I needed before flying to the
Arlington Air Show next weekend. Beautify day, just some
puffy cumulus, 85 degrees. Made me glad I'd had the
exhaust patched last month.
Taking off (with an interesting small folding chair...1.9
pounds... tucked into the baggage compartment), I decided to
drop by my friend's place in Maple Valley. I do that
fairly often; he lives on a very obvious corner in a housing
development. I take a turn overhead, and if he hears me,
he runs outside. We then shake fists at each other and
shout insults neither of us can hear.
Great fun. Done at a legal altitude, I should hasten to
Anyway, I broke ground at Puyallup, climbed a bit, and turned
East. My buddy's neighborhood is on high ground, tucked
right by the Cascade mountain range. There's a water tower
on high ground above him, and I could already see it.
Swing the nose to the northeast, settle back, back off to cruise
once we hit 2,000 feet, and kick back and watch for
traffic. Neat country, with creeks, rivers, lakes valleys,
and still some pretty heavy forestation.
As I was making the pylon turn above his house (wasn't
home...rats), it hit me.
One hundred and fifty years ago, western settlers
had started coming to the Puget Sound area. That eighteen
miles would have been a nightmare trip, with no roads, rivers to
ford, valley walls to climb up and down, and the potential for
hostile natives. Depending on whether one was on horseback
or riding a wagon, the trip would take days.
Even today, on the ground, it would have been an awkward
trip. There are no direct routes; one has to take this
road, get off and take that road, backtrack to pick up another
one, etc. Over an hour, for sure, especially if some of
the roads are backed up.
And there I was...I'd just traveled that distance with just
three fingers lightly gripping the top of Moonraker's control
! Less than 15 minutes, with most of it
rubbernecking the sights on the way and seeing how well a
Continental engine syncopates with "Spanish Ladies."
Geeze. Pilots are often accused of having an abundance of
ego. But it's just amazing the kind of seven-league boots
provided by even a basic airplane like a Fly Baby.