It was dark. And it was a Saturday. Sunrise was not for another 2-2.5 hours later. I need a few more hours sleep, I thought, as my Classical 90.9 buzzed a wake-up call. Most weekends, I usually remembered to turn off my alarm, so it would not inadvertently wake me up.
I was out the door by 6:30 am. A quick stop at Starbucks, for some wake me up coffee and a bagel, and I hit the road to the airport. This was the only time that my instructor and I could coordinate for a lesson. The last one was almost three weeks ago, and considering the sorry pace I am making, each day it appears maybe, I might not finish this year after all!
Although we are deep into fall weather, the day was gorgeous – warm for this time of the year. Almost like a late summer day. Sunlight was breaking, as I arrived at the airport. After a briefing and pre-flight, we were off. The earth was vibrant with dashes of orange here and there. The sun’s rays washed over the earth’s surface gently as the sun started it’s slow rise, the bright streaks giving character and meaning. White, low clouds and fog hugged the surface in snatches as if a painter had added dashes of white to emphasize the orange glows of autumn. Off in the distance the Shenandoah mountains rose gracefully. The air was clear and crisp, and the mountains clearly visible to serve as landmarks for the commercial maneuvers, I needed to master.
When I trained towards my private pilot license, many a time I had shown up bright and early for a quick lesson, before heading in to work, especially during winter months when there were few daylight hours.
This early in the day, there were hardly any flights to clutter the airspace or the airways. The air smooth. And the earth… beautiful beyond words.
I had forgotten how calm, soothing and glorious early morning flights are.