Sunday, June 6, 2010
Stuck in Prison--June 5, 2010
Woke up at 7:10 A.M. Took a shower, then went downstairs to grab some breakfast. Pete was still sleeping. I was eager to go fly and see Arches National Park, and I wanted to get it done sooner than later to avoid the turbulence. But I had to wait for the other guy to wake up.
So I waited...and waited...and waited.
Talked to Mom and Dad this morning...and still waited! I was bored and anxious, so I decided to get out of the hotel. I headed outside and just sat in a chair. Then I decided to go for a walk. I finally got a call from Pete, so I headed back to the hotel. We ended up heading to the airport around 9:45. I was hoping to be back from the flight no later than 11:00, but it obviously wasn't going to happen. Oh well. I was at least glad we were going.
Because of the excessive winds today (50 knots at 15,000 feet), we had no possibility of taking pictures. So we decided to head to Arches National Park and check it out. I departed and headed to the southwest. I climbed up to 10,500, but it was so bumpy! I was flying just over the mountain to the south of Grand Junction, and I wasn't too far above it! It was miserable!!! I actually wondered if it was even safe at one point! How fast were the winds at 12,000?! I was having a hard time climbing!!! But I pushed through it, literally having my left hand go NUMB from trying to keep the airplane upright! First time that has happened!!!
But I pressed on. I eventually descended down to 9000 feet or so from downdrafts and just stayed there to enjoy the view. The red rocks were absolutely stunning, and at one point, I think I had my favorite view I've ever seen in my life! I watched a deep valley ascend up towards the huge white-capped mountain in the background. It was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Perfect. I kept flying towards the southwest and ended up following the Colorado River as it carved the gorgeous canyons.
I still couldn't find Pete, though, so we started using landmarks on the ground (few and far between out here!) to try to find each other. After about 10-15 minutes, we were finally able to do it! He was about 1000 feet higher than I was for the sake of safety! I was still getting beaten to death, though. Pretty annoying. But we flew within sight of each other all the way back to Grand Junction. I eventually climbed up to 10,500 just to get out of the nasty turbulence. It was sooooo much better.
I landed back at KGJT and checked out my left engine on the ground for my boss. It idled at 700 RPM's, and it had a 50 RPM per minute spike when I cut out the fuel. Everything seemed to be fine. I had logged 1.5 hours. Not bad. But too bumpy.
It was around noon. Pete and I came back to the hotel, then headed downtown for Nepali/Indian food. It was pretty good. Then we came back to the hotel, but I was crazy bored. It was a BAD day. I tried to find things online to buy back home, I looked at weather, I even watched a little Food TV. Yeah, that bad.
I had to get out of the hotel again. So I grabbed the car and went downtown for a steamer. I sat outside in the 95-degree heat and drank coffee. Yup. And I just watched people come and go. Man, this city has TONS of hot chicks. Just tons of 'em. It's pretty crazy. There is like a never-ending supply. I stayed out about an hour, then headed back to the hotel.
We ended up going out for supper to an ale house. Frankly, I hated it. I grabbed a drink, but I had NO desire to drink. I was just trying to keep the peace. The other pilot was eager to drink and drink and drink. Sometimes it's how the pilot deal with the boredom. It's their outlet, it's their pasttime. For me? Give me sweet tea. I could never have a beer again and be happy. But I tried to be good company.
But I wasn't. I was pretty unhappy. I was just in a poor mood. I had just learned about a good friend from my past that had just got married last week. We used to talk all the time...I even game him pointers about this chick before he started dating her...seriously. And I didn't even get an invite from him. Nothin' against him. Just disappointment in my situation again. It really rubbed me raw today. I was just sad about that. It's the human condition, but I'm just the victim of "out of sight, out of mind." It happens. I'm ready for a change, though. Ready for a change.
Anyway, so I was pretty poor company at the ale house. And Pete wanted to go out and drink some more. I obliged to go with him, but I didn't order anything. No drinks, no dessert, no water. It was obviously a bit awkward for him, but I just wasn't in the mood. I was just...I don't know...in a funk. I just wasn't too thrilled about much!
We ended up coming back to the hotel around 8:30 and spent the rest of the night inside. We watched a boxing match on HBO, and that was pretty fun. But tomorrow is lookin' terrible for winds again, so it'll just be a scouting day again. I'm not too thrilled about having another day to waste again! Because Monday is ALSO looking bad! Anyway, I'm plannin' on goin' to church tomorrow morning, then taking the car out to Arches National Park. It's supposed to be 103, but I just need to pass the time.
I know nobody, and no one knows me. It can be a bit of hell.
Still no word of my last day yet. That is killing me.
Went to bed at 11:00 P.M. Alarm is set for 7:30 A.M.