On Friday I flew 664 statute miles from Santa Rosa
, CA to Shelton
, WA to visit my brother Alan
and his wife Nathalie who have a Zodiac XL which is a twin of mine. The flight north was one of the more challenging I have experienced. In Northern California
I got to choose between a 50 MPH headwind up where it was smooth or heavy turbulence down lower where the head wind was a more manageable 20 MPH. I kept my seatbelt tight and chose the turbulence. As I reached southern Oregon the wind subsided and was replaced with low clouds, snow, rain and marginal VFR. This necessitated seeking out passes through the low mountains. This went on for about 80 miles and then conditions became more pleasant with only the occasional need to dodge low clouds.
On Sunday I enjoyed near perfect flight conditions as I flew home via a different route. Alan flew along
with me in his plane as far as Mt. St. Helens where we took some pictures of the volcano
In northern California I stopped at Rancho Tehama (49CN
) and spent an hour with Bill Massey
and his wife who have an HDS.
I got home just after sundown, another happy adventure in my Zodiac XL safely ended.