My phone woke me up the other morning, it was my friend Matt calling to ask if I wanted to go flying.
He explained that our friend Jake had just gotten his pilot's license and wanted to fly over to Catalina Island for the day.
Immediate thoughts...this sounds terrifying.
Not only will I be in a tiny propeller plane, but we will be flying over the ocean and my newly licensed friend is basically doing a test drive 5,000 feet above the ground.
OH, and it's raining outside right now.
But I knew if I passed up this opportunity I would definitely regret it, so I put on my big girl panties and headed over to the airport.
Not your typical airport
There she is, the little 4-seater beauty called, Sensa.
And when I saw her I was scared to death, especially because there were 4 of us all going to pile in the tiny aircraft (2 of which were pretty big guys).
The smallest plane I had ever flown in before was a 20-seater on the way to Nice, France which isn't even that small but even that terrified me when it hit strong turbulence over the alps...however that story is for another time.
While I was mentally preparing for the inevitable
doom adventure that awaited me, my friend Jake (the pilot) was conducting the pre-flight safety inspection.
This gave me some piece of mind, but I still wasn't fully convinced we would make it back alive, no offense Jake!
Preparing for lift off...
Being in such tight quarters made the take off a lot more exciting compared to a commercial flight.
I got to hear Jake talk to the airstrip patrol guy directing him when there was a break in the incoming planes and it was safe to takeoff.
It was also fun watching him press all the buttons and flip the switches.
There were so many knobs and thingy-ma-bobs!
Before I even knew it, I looked down and we were in the air, flying over the emerald green hills.
It was raining when we took off, but once we flew high enough and broke through the clouds it was all sunshine and smooth sailing.
We started out about 40 miles inland and made our way to the ocean.
The thing about small planes is they are incredibly shaky and unsteady, which I soon found out as the plane would casually drop altitude out of nowhere.
Disneyland from above, managed to fit all that Disney Magic in one picture!
California Adventure, I spy Flo's Cone Motel in Car's Land. See it?
Gotta love that California Coast
|Avalon: The Main Harbor|
Although, my whole life, I have lived a short boat ride (or flight in this case) I had never been to Catalina, time's they are a changin'.
We circled the island before landing and the views were breathtaking.
I couldn't believe this little paradise was so close to where I lived.
The water had so many shades of blue and green and the island is surrounded by secret little coves that are only accessible by boat, the perfect place to forget about the rest of the world and just soak up the sun and the sea.
Once we landed we got out of our trusty little plane to take a look around the Island and stop for lunch.
|The guys pushing the plane into its parking spot, the little guy doesn't have reverse|
There are actually a herd of wild buffalo that roam the island.
Rumor has it that they were first imported to the island in 1924 for the silent Western film The Vanishing American. However, the 1925 version of "The Vanishing American" does not contain any bison whatsoever and shows no terrain that even remotely resembles Catalina.
::cue suspicious music::
So the mystery remains, and nobody is exactly sure how they got there, maybe they're good swimmers?
Either way, I know they taste good because I had buffalo chili for lunch.
However, the island is famous for its bison burgers, I'll have to go back to try one sometime.
After a tasty refuel, we headed back to the runway and said our farewells to the mysterious island.
We saw a rainbow dip into the ocean on the way home, I'm guessing that's where a
pot of gold treasure chest is buried...