Woke up at 7:40 A.M. Grabbed some breakfast, then came back up to take a shower. We headed to the airport around 9:00 in order to beat the turbulence. It was just another scouting day, but I LOVE getting these out of the way early. I took off and flew out to the west again. Pete and I found each other in the air and just hung out there for a bit. The winds were way too strong out of the west, and I actually had some pretty nasty turbulence at 8500 feet...I didn't like it! It was just so gusty! But on the way back to the airport (over the valley), it became pretty smooth. A welcome relief.
I landed back at KGJT with 0.9 hours on the Hobbs. I headed back inside, made a couple of java treats, and flirted with my new favorite girl in the world. ha! Sometimes I wish I didn't change cities every few weeks!!! Oh well...such is the life. Agh, but she is so cute! And she is stinkin' funny, too! She holds her own against me. Impressive!
Also talked to a couple of guys who were enthralled with what we do (happens a lot). It's a good reminder that I have a pretty decent job. They do films of environmental stuff...to raise awareness for the general public. The camera guy actually joked that they fly an airplane over oil wells to let the public know what's going on. Hmm...burning obscene amounts of fuel to raise the awareness that oil drilling is killing our environment. Oh the (necessary?) hypocrisy. It's like the countries that flew their jets to the global warming conference. Schmucks.
From the airport, I took Pete on a little detour. I headed back out to the place I had found last night. And for the next half hour, I took a Chevy Cobalt up and down these nasty dirt roads on these AMAZING hills. It was nothing short of fantastic. We bottomed out more times than I can count, screamed like little school-children, and just laughed our faces off. I would floor the gas pedal to get up these huge slopes, wondering if we would make it, then have to BRAKE hard on the very top, not knowing what was on the other side. It was chaos!!! The dirt roads were full of gulleys, and I was CONSTANTLY turning the steering wheel back and forth. I tell you, doing this back home would be illegal! But I had asked the girls back at the FBO, and they just said, "Um, it's the desert." ha! I was more than happy to speed up and down these hills then! I can't believe it's legal! It's just a huge adult playground! It was pure fun.
I was so energized!!! I live for this stuff. I was having a blast!!! Sometimes I miss being myself! This was perfect!!! Exactly what I needed.
We finally got back on paved roads, then headed back for the hotel. We hung out there for 45 minutes, then headed downtown to my favorite lil' sandwich shop. We ate there, then came back to the hotel. I called up one of the other pilots and caught up with him. He just got hired on at a VFR 135 gig, and we talked about the pro's and con's of what we do. Basically, now that I am possibly a week away from being done for the season, I think I will miss it a bit! Yesterday a pilot that I went through training with posted a picture on Facebook. It was a beautiful view of the sun over the clouds, and his comment was, "The only good views are on descent." He had another picture of the Grand Canyon from 35,000 feet, and it seriously had VERY LITTLE appeal. They were just too high up! And here I am, flying right over the canyons, in and out of the clouds, flying at 1000 feet over the ground, and just having the time of my life. It's just two different worlds. There is a HUGE part of me that wants the "next" job, but the better part of me knows that I am going to miss this job. I just know I will. We have sooooooooooo much freedom. It's unbelievable!!!
Agh, the tug-of-war that goes on in my head!!! I want FRIENDS. I don't want to be on the road 7 months at a time. I miss having a band of close brothers. I miss church. I miss knowing people. I miss being known. But, oh, the freedom!!! I love flying free. I love flying a twin. I love "vacationing" at each place I go. Going to the beach in Florida, flying a Cessna 120 in Texas, hiking in the mountains in Denver, taking in the views of Utah. And I just love the lack of drama. What to do?! Seriously, I am torn. I just know I am going to miss this job!!! It's so weird, too. I love it, and I hate it! I want people, yet I want freedom in flying. How do I get both?! (Actually, though, I am in a MUCH better mood right now than I have been in months past...or last year). I really do see the beauty of what I am doing. I'll forever talk about this job!!!
Anyway, I talked to my friend for 48 minutes. He's not overly thrilled with his new flying job...he's flying people, and there is a whole different dynamic that goes along with that. Understandable. No more descents at 2000/feet a minute. No more fun landings. No more steep take-offs! No more...freedom!!! Agh, that sucks!!! haha. But at the same time, I see the beauty in his type of flying. He is flying with purpose...taking a person from Point A to Point B. Oh the battles we fight in our heads!!! I told him to stick it out. He thought about leaving the job just three days into it...just not his cup o' tea. I told him it's GOOD experience, good for the resume, good dynamics of people-learning. Poor guy didn't get much of a summer, though. I think only two weeks? I AM sorry about that.
I did the typical day-off routine, going for a run around 4:00, then coming back and taking a shower. It's feeling better and better every day. Man, I miss running. And I talked to my boss, too. Basically, the "plan" for this next week is to take it day by day. Imagine that! Story of my life. Story of this job!
He did give me some heads-up, though. Basically, I am 17.5 hours away from my 100-hour. And the airplane needs to be in Daytona Beach for a laser-rig installation. So...I have 7 days to either...
1. Fly 17 hours, do a 4-day 100-hour inspection, then fly to Daytona Beach. Or...
2. Fly 6 hours, then fly the 11 hours to Daytona Beach for the 100-hour inspection. Or...
3. Rarely fly. Have the vacation pilot come out and take my spot and me go home.
Hmm. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens. The 17 hours would be good for me in terms of hours. I would get 17 hours of flying PLUS the 11 hours it will take me to get to Daytona Beach. So another 28 hours of multi-time. OR I could only get 17 more hours. Neither is bad!!! AT ALL!!! Or I could get just another 10 hours. We'll just have to see.
As of right now, tomorrow is looking about 50% for flying. Winds are forecast to be 25 knots out of the southwest. That could be too much for the east lines or the north lines, depending on how close the winds actually ARE to 25 knots. Plus we have isolated thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow (very rare here), so the atmosphere is obviously unstable. Might get turbulent early. Thursday and Friday are out due to excessive winds. Agh, I literally don't have a CLUE what is going to happen!!! Nothing new, though. That's been my life for two years now. I also learned from my boss that the new training is a week long. So if I do actually make it back to Daytona Beach on the 15th, I still won't be making it home until a week after that! More waiting! It'll all pass, though. It'll all pass. (Having a good attitude is the greatest thing ever!).
Time will tell. :)
We headed to Texas Roadhouse for supper, just like last night! I LOVE that place!!! Oh so good!
Came back to the hotel and stayed inside for the evening. Looked at some more duck videos, looked into buying a Cessna 140, and pretty much just slowly passed the time. It was nice, though.
I might be done with SEASON 2 in just a short 7 days. Oh how my mentality changes week to week, day by day! I am nothing short of ridiculous. And I know that. I hate complaining, but I also hate being unhappy! The problem is I find days of happiness followed by days of unhappiness followed by days of happiness!
It's honestly just being happy with what you have. Here and now. Finding contentment DAILY.
Today? I was pretty content. :)
Went to bed at 10:15 P.M. Alarm is set for 7:10 A.M. I am planning on flying 5 hours tomorrow. ha! So ambitious! We'll see!!!