The last week or so has been really packed full with fun stuff. I got to go hiking on the coast with my friends last weekend, got to go backpacking on Mt. Hood with my friend Sam this weekend (more to come on that!) and right between it all I got to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… My friend Marcus recently (maybe six months ago or so) got his private pilot’s license, and ever since then I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to go up flying with him. So on Wednesday I got that chance! I was having a hard time making decisions at work that day so around noon I went over to his place and met him for lunch and we hung out, played some Metroid Prime 3 on the Wii, talked about my work stuff a bit and then started planning our flight. We originally planned to fly from Hillsboro over downtown Portland, down the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River and then up to Mt. Adams, over to Mt. St. Helens and then back–a pretty amazing set of potential views! It ended up that we had to cut it short because of a delayed start and the shorter days we’re having at this time of year, but it was still an amazing experience.
Marcus had reserved the plane he was going to rent for 6:00pm, but when we arrived the previous renters were still out so we got delayed a little bit. We probably got the plane at around 6:30 or so, Marcus did the pre-flight inspection and all that and we took off somewhere around 6:45, about a half hour or so before sunset. So, Marcus decided for this time to just head over downtown, down the gorge to Hood River and back, since flying around the mountains in the dark would be a little risky and sort of pointless since we wouldn’t be able to see much. Something for another trip! So, we flew from Hillsboro over downtown and over PDX to Vancouver and then down the Gorge to Hood River. After Marcus turned us around, to my surprise, he asked me if I wanted to take the controls for a while! I sort of reluctantly accepted the offer, and it was really cool. I asked a billion questions and learned a ton. It was a wonderful experience. Anyway, check out the slideshow here to see the photos I took and to read more about the flight and my thoughts about my first time flying in a small plane with my good friend. You can also read about the trip on his site here. He posts photos and descriptions of all his flights and there are some amazing photos, so I would highly recommend checking out some of his older posts as well. His site is Marqtholomew.com. Stay tuned for photos from backpacking this weekend! :)