Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another Magic Carpet Ride

I'm still a science project. Angel Flight West wafted me off to Portland this week, for my monthly examination by the doctor administering the clinical trial.

Brian, my southbound pilot, was worried that a pattern of low ceilings in the mornings at the Port Angeles airport might delay us and make me late for my Monday morning appointment, so he brought me down to Portland Sunday evening, and I stayed over in a motel. The air was still fairly clear and blue when we left Port Angeles, good glimpses into the Olympics and down Hood Canal. At about 5 PM we could see the afternoon's flock of cruise ships from Seattle steaming up Admiralty Inlet, but they were too far away for a good picture. By the time we were crossing the Columbia, a haze was moving in. Brian drove me from the Portland-Hillsboro airport to my motel, and in the morning brought me to OHSU. Truly a magic carpet experience...

Getting ready to leave Port Angeles, August 12, 2012 (Click for larger image.)
It's a Cessna 172S Millenium Skyhawk. (Click for larger image.)
Not so much haze when we left PA. Looking into the Olympics. (Click for larger image.)
Towards the Mouth of the Columbia, Haze Moving In (Click for larger image.)
At Portland-Hillsboro, parking the plane (Click for larger image.)

Monday morning, medical business. I don't tell much about that here, though I tweet through the day when I'm at OHSU by myself. Several of the people I follow were themselves tweeting their radiation and other medical appointments the same day, and I didn't feel especially alone.

Mike, my northbound pilot, picked me up at the medical center. He flies out of Mulino Airport, way to the southeast of Portland. We went first to pick up his wife, then headed out into what seemed like remote countryside. Whee. Someplace new, and a new line of flight and new things to look at down there on the ground.

The Grumman American in its T-hangar at Mulino (Click for larger image.)

It was hot hot hot. Over 90 degrees on the ground at Mulino (pronounced moo-LIE-no), and even 8000 feet up in the air the temperature was still like 87 degrees. And the haze was incredibly thick. Smoke from the huge fires in eastern Washington? Haze off the Pacific? Thick thick thick. We tried flying above it. We tried flying below it. Thick haze no matter what.

So no decent pictures of the ground, not of Mount Hood, or Mount Saint Helens or Mount Adams or Mount Rainier. But my camera's GPS was having no trouble finding the satellite (because of all that plexiglass that was making it so hot in the cockpit?), so I kept taking pictures anyway, to create a trail of location pins mapping the flight. We flew right over Portland International Airport, far above and perpendicular to the take-off-and-landing traffic. Seemed strange to me, but air traffic control and the pilot were ok with it :-)

Mike's Navigation Maps Are In His iPad (Click for larger image.)
Mike and Debbie at Port Angeles (Click for larger image.)
Airports and pins: Mulino at bottom right. Hillsboro top left. Portland International top right. (Click for larger image.)

Mike & Debbie let me off at Port Angeles, and flew eastward to go have dinner with friends in Renton. And I was home again. Could hardly have been easier. Thank you to Brian, to Mike and Debbie, to Angel Flight West, and to Kerry at OHSU who made the arrangements. And thanks to Dr. Pommier himself, who thought of AngelFlight as a way to make the monthly travel do-able. All this flight detail is for you, Dr. P.

More pins... (Click for larger image.)

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