Revisiting Old Stomping Grounds…
The Spirit of San Luis was as it always was. Sitting on the outside deck it could have been business as usual: a normal SLO99s meeting or a gathering before the traditional Cookies to the Tower or a Hanger Party of some extraordinary Aviatrix in the Central Coast planning the next big event.
It has been way too long since I had been there for one of these occasions. Sitting on the terrace at our usual stomping grounds brought back fond memories of the innumerable times we had congregated for our monthly meetings or other planning meetings where we planned exciting aviation events: be it the SLO Photo Rally, SLO Airport Day, Fly ‘n Talk Seminar Series event or a simple evening spent with other amazing aviatrix hanger talking.
Revisiting SBP Tower with my primary instructor brought back fond memories of my private pilot training days: my first solo flight, travails with landings, solo cross country flights and the day of my checkride (s) – private and instrument. What I felt was nostalgia. I had experienced some of the best times here. Ellen was fantastic as usual: manning the ground and tower frequencies while still explaining the new technologies and details to us. Eager to share and answer questions. I missed this personal connection immensely: when I could walk up to to the ATC Tower and get my questions answered.
Hanging out with Camille and Dave outside their hanger, I had learned to rate landings. I remembered the times I drove out with them to their hanger ( or tie down spot), when we pulled out chairs and hand held radio and listened on the tower frequency to aircraft coming in to land. The times when we scored landings: ranking landings by assigning a number between 1 and 10.
“Do you want to go to the airport and visit our hanger?, ” asked Dave. “Sure” I said, ” if it works for you”. So off we went. It was a glorious fall day with distinct bright yellow and golden hue to some trees. The hills were starting to turn green with the recent rains. Being Thanksgiving day, there were few aircraft in the air. We sat in chairs, hand held radio in hand. The latest addition was an iPad. The excitement in Dave and Camille the previous night as they shared their latest toy: Foreflight for iPad was fantastic. I remembered similar past occasions.
“Do you want to take a walk?” asked Camille. “Four loops around the hanger is 2 miles.” This was new to me. Sure. So off we went. Not to do 4 loops but one good brisk one.
Hanger walk anyone?