Thursday, December 6, 2012

Up, Up, and Away!

A beautiful day and an invitation from Murphy's Law to take a sky ride - yeah boy, sounds good to me!  So up to the Eastern Regional Airport, where such toys are stored.

A little pre-flight checking:

And topping off the gas tanks:

It never occurred to me to consider the implications of gravity feed as opposed to a fuel pump for a plane.  Yeah, I can see where a fuel pump crapping out while in flight would be ...unfortunate.

While waiting, we heard one of the big boys the WV Air National Guard flies out of there revving up for take-off, so I fumbled around and found the video on the camera.  Takes a few seconds before the C-5 comes into view - I started filming when the sound of the engine said it was heading down the runway.

Then it was our turn.

Up, up, and away, chased by our shadow.

I haven't been in a small plane for a gazillion years, amazing how different everything looks from 1500 ft.  Outbound took us over Summit Point and its race track.  I've never actually been there - didn't realize what a set up they have. Pretty impressive.

The leaves are off, so we could spy.  Our first destination involved exactly that - a bit of spying.  Our range, 340 Defense, is suddenly closed.  Says it's for work.  Web page is down. Facebook page just says closed temporarily for work. Nobody answering phone or e-mails.  Worrisome.  So an overflight to see if we could see any activity that might ease our worry about losing a great shooting range.  Unfortunately, the answer is no - not a vehicle in sight, no sign of any activity at all.  VERY worrisome.

Then north and  east to the mountains.

Our own little lake on the mountain:

There was an Adirondack style lodge in the club complex on the lake until just a few months before I moved up here.  Unfortunately, it burned to the ground.  You can make out the stone skeleton on the point if you zoom close.  A lot of different ideas about the hows and whys of what happened float around but the incident remains an unsolved mystery. 

 Our community.  We live somewhere down in there but dang that plane skims over fast.

The roads around here periodically suffer from split personality disorder.  First it's one road and then it's another and they've cut a piece out of Rt. 9 and named it something else because now there's a Rt. 9 bypass to Leesburg and I keep ending up crossing that new bridge down there without wanting to because once you get on that stretch it's a good ways before you can turn around and actually go where you want to go.  And the first time I crossed it involved a long wait stuck on it due to a truck full of hay bales being on fire. 


At least I know where I'm going on the Harper's Ferry bridges.  The one crossing the Shenandoah is on the right of the picture, the one crossing the Potomac after the two rivers join isn't easily visible without zooming in on the picture.  Word to the wise - don't be in traffic between the two when an accident blocks the Shenandoah one.  

 There are also the train trestles at Harper's Ferry.

And a straight down view of Maryland Heights shows that nobody is on the overlook today.

Harper's Ferry under the wing.

A single boater on the Potomac today.

I didn't know about this quarry near Bakerton. Note the mine tunnels going in the sides.

On up to Shepherdstown and across into Maryland.  A train decorated the trestle for us as we passed over.  Note the Rumsey monument on the right near the end of the bridge.  James Rumsey made a successful demonstration of a steam engine driven boat on the Potomac near there on December 1787.

And over across the battlefields of Antietam, familiar places like Bloody Lane and Burnside Bridge.  Murphy's Law and I had relatives fighting on opposite sides there.  Fortunately he didn't kick me out of the plane because of that.

Then home again  and down we go after a beautiful flight.

Thanks, Murph!  Nice toy ya got there!


  1. Very nice! And NOT good news about 340!

  2. Very nice photos! And I too am worried about 340. That is an awesome facility!

  3. Thank-You for sharing these pictures

  4. Great pics! What a fun way to spend a day!

  5. Neat-o!

    I miss tooling around in a Cessna. I used to hang out the window with a camera for a living! :)

    1. I notice it takes some gumbying to get pics before things get by.