Ask any bird. Defying gravity is hard work. A hummingbird, for example, weighs less than an ounce but must eat one to three times her own body weight every day. At first light she’s off searching for the hundreds of flowers she needs before dark.
Regina and I flew a Cessna 172 from Nampa to Cottonwood, Idaho, for a short Valentine’s retreat. The weather forecasts proved accurate—clear skies for our departure and arrival airports. Midway, the ceiling lowered as we crossed the mountains west of McCall—as expected. But, we snuggled into the canyon and followed Route 95 through Riggins, and […]
Early morning desert air. The crisp, need-a-jacket kind of air. Sky bright, but the hangar and scattered mesquite trees still cast long shadows. Preflight done. Last thank you handshakes complete. Time to work. I climbed into the Cessna C-182 cockpit. Closed the door, but opened the window. Cold air swirled around the cabin as I […]
The war shut down almost everything. Our host country, Ecuador, and its neighbor, Peru, fought over a portion of their common boundary. Understandably, the Ecuadorian military prohibited all civilian flying, including ours. No food to school kids. No medicine to health promoters. Neither preachers nor teachers to fledgling believers. The worst? No emergency evacuations. The […]
One afternoon I flew slow circles inside Ecuador’s Amazon jungle clouds. Not completely gray, I’d pop in and out of bright sunshine pockets above or narrow holes open downward to treetops a half-mile below. Tantalizing glimpses too small to stay in, but hinting I might accomplish my new mission after all.
Pebbles scratched the paint. Bigger rocks just turned over in the propeller blast.
But golf- to baseball-sized stones pounded the tail of my airplane. Couldn’t be helped on the gravel strip. Still had to takeoff.