Monday, December 26, 2005

What a week...

Last week I took a road trip to Colorado and Utah for work to visit a few the airports that we provide engineering and planning services for. On the way I checked on Rawlins WY (RWL), Craig CO (CAG), Meeker CO (EEO), Rangely CO (4V0) and Vernal UT (VEL). When I got to Craig last Monday afternoon, it was just beginning to snow, which wasn't a good thing since my reason for being there was to inspect and measure cracks in the asphalt pavement that comprises the apron there (the apron is the area where planes park and are usually tied down). Luckily the next morning it wasn't too terribly cold, and once the snow was plowed, what little was left behind on the ramp quickly melted away.

The visibility was poor that morning, and since the Yampa Valley Airport in Hayden (HDN) is only about 15 nautical miles away CAG, CAG gets used as an alternate quite often. After I got done going for a ride around the airport with the airport manager, a Piper Navajo came roaring in and a DHL truck sped up to it to transfer some packages. I was sitting inside of the FBO at this point, and in walked the pilot of the Navajo. He told me he diverted here because the visibility was 4 miles and at the same time was 1/2 mile and wish at Hayden. Freight Dogs (pilots who risk their lives flying dangerous single pilot IFR in airplanes that are demanding to operate all the while making not more than $15,000/year) are always interesting to talk to. These guys usually have a lot of time on their hands at odd times throughout the day, so they are usually very well read and up to date on the latest news of the day. That morning in about 5 minutes I learned all about corruption in city government in Chicago, as well as about the airline that had the Grumman Goose that crashed in Florida last week.

I also go to see an old friend in Rifle Colorado the other night. This fella was my flight instructor while I lived there, and we became good friends in spite of this! It was great to see him, and he said something to me that really meant a lot.

"You look a helluva lot better than the last time that I saw you."

The last time that Mark had seen me was about a year and a half ago while I was still living in San Jose, during the time when I was going through all of the BS with my exgirlfriend, as well as all of the other crap that was going on in my life at the time with work and my personal finances. Suffice it to say, I was a MISERABLE person. So, it was great to hear him say that to me.

Then the weather changed! All of our snow is gone! No White Christmas this year... In spite of that, Christmas was great. I made Christmas Eve Dinner at my Mom and Dad's house. I made a pot of Cioppino, which turned out pretty damned good. I even amaze myself sometimes!


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