Saturday, August 28, 2004

Terri and I took a trip to Seattle in the LongEZ last week to attend my cousin's son's wedding. The image to the left is a view of Mt. Rainier which stands 14,409 tall feet rising from sea-level. We have many 14,000+ feet peaks in Colorado (53 of them) but they don't look nearly as impressive as Mt. Rainier since they rise from a base that is around 7,000 feet. Terri took this photo out of the back of the plane while we were flying over the Cascades which were covered in clouds.

We departed for Seattle on Wednesday just before noon with widely scattered showers which made it necessary to fly up around Laramie, WY instead of the more direct route over the Rockies, which were obscured with clouds. As we headed west from Laramie, we encoutered lower ceilings and rain and had to land in Rawlins, WY after flying only a little over an hour. As we waited on the ground, the weather continued to get worse with heavy rain and after a few hours, it was apparent that we'd be staying in Rawlins that evening instead of Sun Valley, ID which was our original plan. Although the inclimate weather was forecast to continue, the next day the weather improved enough for us to get out and after stopping in Pocatello, ID and Walla Walla, WA for lunch and fuel, we were able to land at Seattle's Boeing Field. The weather in Seattle was nearly perfect for our entire visit and we explored downtown Seattle and caught up with our relatives, including some that had flown all the way from Ireland for the wedding.
We were scheduled to leave on Sunday, but it was raining pretty hard and the ceilings were low again, so we spent another day visiting with family and left on Monday morning. The trip back was very scenic and we were back in Greeley in time for dinner. Our average ground speed was about 160 mph for the 2000+ mile round trip. Flying small airplanes isn't for everyone since there's an element of unpredictability, but if you're the adventurous type, I can't think of a better way to see the country.

I talked with Karen Leonardi yesterday and she told me that there is an all-O'Reilly reunion planned to celebrate its 50 year anniversary sometime in February, 2005. Please stay tuned for more details.


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