Will you have the pleasure By Tommy Eldridge
As I write this I am on the porch of a cabin over looking the Blue Ridge Mountains. The snow is now several days old and nearly gone. The clouds are scattered around 5000 feet and a little cool but, mostly sunny.
As I look across the beauty of the land my mind drifts to another time when I had much the same view but from a few thousand feet above.
I recall a morning in early January some years ago now. It was a cool crisp morning much like today. I was in the beginning stages of my flight training. I recall the excitement deep inside as I would preflight the C172 that would soon become my chariot of adventure. I remember how my heart would race as the propeller would turn and the engine would roar but, that day I would see a view that few will have the pleasure to enjoy.
We began our taxi and the sky was clear for departure on runway 4. We departed the pattern almost straight out to the north. In what seemed like only minutes we where miles north over the same mountain range I am now enjoying.
As we headed in a northerly direction I recall most all the trees was brown and bare with a little patch of snow here and there. I remember the rise and fall of the terrain but it was the turn to come home that I remember the most. The landscape completely changed with the snow covered mountains. Growing up in the Deep South I rarely experienced snow but just for a moment I forgot where I was. (Not necessarily a good practice while flying an airplane). Yes this can be seen from the ground or from the window of a commercial flight but, nothing can compare to being just a few thousand feet over top.
With the grace of God I have many years of flying ahead of me and I know there are many more wonderful sites to come but I’m proud to be one of the few that will have this pleasure.