Seems apt for today…
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind
It seems we were stuck in Georgia for another day after all. Nemo had made it’s way north, collided with the cold front arriving from Chicago and dumping snow in NY and New England as we speak. The skies above St Simons remained stubbornly IMC. Leesburg too, was windy and strongly affected by Nemo.
We resigned ourselves to a day in Georgia and decided to make the most of it. St Simons Island was a quaint little town. It is one of the largest Golden Isles along Georgia’s southern Atlantic coast. We made our way first to Jekyl Island in our rented car for some tea and pecan cake, then hit the mall for some shopping. After lunch we headed over to Brunswick airport to check out the FBO and tried to sneak into the Gulfstream maintenance facility…
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A Day at the Beach
My first cross country flight training flight was to Santa Barbara airport (SBA). Although it was typical during flight training to fly to near by airports such as Santa Maria, Oceano and Paso Robles for practice, neither of those were considered sufficient to log cross country flight time. In order to satisfy the requirements for cross country flight for PPL, the distance between origin and destination has to be at least 50nm.
A few days after my solo check-off and some practice solo flights, my instructor deemed I was ready to master pilotage and cross country flying. SBA is a fairly busy airport with three runways, control tower with radar coverage, and approach/departure control. My recollection of the actual flight is vague. I do remember that it was rather hectic keeping up with the aviating, navigation and communicating required to transition into a much busier airspace and airport. I was also a tiny bit disappointed that we did not stay to explore the area or even get some lunch. I was excited and exhausted by the time we returned. This particular day was memorable not only because of the excitement of having my first dual cross country flight under my belt, but also because that evening I had the opportunity to attend the first SLO99s banquet.
SBA is a fun airport to fly into. Located along the California coast, Santa Barbara is a quaint city flanked by the Santa Ynez mountains that provide a dramatic backdrop, and the Pacific ocean. With a Mediterranean climate it is considered to be the American Riviera. It’s historic downtown is filled with white stucco buildings with red tiled roofs, with Mission Santa Barbara on a nearby hill reflecting its Spanish heritage, and upscale boutiques and restaurants. Santa Barbara is also home of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A few months after I got my PPL, I did return to SBA for some lunch and a day at the beach. While there are several amenities in the airport terminal building, tie down the aircraft and take the short trail that leads to Goleta beach where there are picnic tables, cafes, fishing pier, paddle sports, and other amenities. Pack a picnic basket or try a cafe for that coveted vege or hamburger. And don’t forget to pack your beach towel and sunscreen!
This is the best I can offer
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst.
In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of people be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.
Do not lose your knowledge that our proper estate is an upright posture,
an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads.
Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all.
Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.
Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it’s yours.
–from the Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
My first recollections of this historical place dates back several years ago when I visited Busch Gardens with college friends. That was a memorable trip that will always be fresh in my mind.
It was supposed to be a partly sunny, but a beautiful fall Saturday. But of course when has the weather forecast been accurate? It was overcast at 4000 ft at HEF and there were scattered to overcast skies along the way. Being instrument current I was less worried about that. My friend, Laith and I, set off for the 99s flyout to Williamsburg (JGG) with anticipation and excitement. With terrain not a factor, we flew in content at 2500 ft. There were dashes of color in the trees sometimes purple, at times orange, rendering the landscape in vibrant hues. The partly cloudy skies, with the sun peeking in between, the rays of sunlight striking the still fresh green earth, the lakes and rivers in startling blue colors all presented the most amazing landscape along the way.
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