On my drive to Portland, OR last month the upper portions of Mt. Shasta were lost in the clouds. On the way back I did get a look at the mountain, but not as good a one as I'd have liked, as the view from I-5 is only okay. Today I got the most unusual perspective on Shasta...from the air. My flight to Seattle passed just west of the mountain, and I was practically looking straight down at it from 30,000 feet. You'd think it would look punier from so far above, but you'd be wrong. The immensity of it and its origins as a volcano are all too apparent from above. Sure, it's dormant, but I couldn't help a fleeting thought of what its erupting would do to the little Alaska Air jet that bore me.
The remainder of the flight was almost as scenic. We flew just west of Crater Lake, and then near Mt. St. Helens. Did I have my camera ready? Nooooo...
Arrive in Seattle to meet my brother and family. After shoveling fast food into my face and checking into our hotel we make a beeline for the Museum of Flight. It's a great museum, with a section devoted to old WWI era aircraft that I loved. The whole place is very comprehensive, with many fine examples; everything from an Italian Monoplane to a Lunar Module!
We walked through the Air Force One that served U.S. Presidents from Ike to Tricky Dick. I resisted the urge to spit where Nixon had parked his flabby arse...but just barely.
I love airplanes. I got into them in Jr. High School, partly through discovering building airplane model kits, and partly through a fascination I developed with the abandoned Boeing Supersonic Transport. Sadly, since the Concordes've all been grounded, my liklihood of exceeding the speed of sound have been reduced to near nil!
I may never get to ride an SST, but at least I got to walk though one today, as the museum has a Concorde on display. It's cool to see how tiny the windows are and how narrow the fuselage is, but my one disappointment is that they have plexiglassed off ALL of the seats. I understand they don't want people sitting all over the place and ruining it, but it would've been nice had they left ONE row available so you could sit down and see if you though it was cramped.
Then again, how concerned are you with elbow room when crossing the Atlantic in 2.5 hours?