Wow, so much to write about! I’ve been remiss in keeping the blog updated and for that I apologize.
It was a bummer of a summer. As I’ve mentioned, it hardly rained and nobody flew.
After the season was over and the pilots went back to their real world, I stuck around to help the owner of the company demobilize the equipment and get ready for next season. Well, that and we had to make three trips to North Dakota to pick up a bunch of helicopters and parts that we bought. Three pickup trucks with three big trailers; 1,200 miles one-way; six days on the road. We wanted to get it all done before the weather turned nasty, and we barely made it. The higher elevations in some of the passes we had to go over were getting snow by the end of our third trip.
There was also lots of work to do around the bases and airports from which we operate. We actually moved a hangar…that’s right, took it apart and moved it from one airport to another. That was fun. (And I say “we” but my participation involved just standing around with my hands in my pockets, “supervising” as usual.)
I told the boss I would stay until the end of October, and stuck around even after that. But it just got too damn cold and I am just not a cold-weather kind of guy. Plus, by the middle of November we were really running out of things to do. And so I left.
I was going to fly home, but I had some sort of flu bug that had me feeling poorly. So I decided to drive, and borrowed one of the company cars. I wanted to take my time and not be in any huge rush this time. It worked out great, because I got to visit pilot-friends at every stop on the way home, which was not even remotely a straight line. If I’d gone more or less direct it would’ve been 2,700 miles; it ended up being 3,500.
At one stop in Texas I got to fly a very rare Hiller helicopter! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am blessed to have the very best friends.
So I’m back in Pensacola. And, I might add, walking around in short-sleeves. But my time here is short. I promised the boss I would be back up on Washington by the end of April. The time will go quickly, as it always does. Six months here, six months there.
I got home Sunday night. Two days later the boss sent me a picture of the first snowfall. So I left not a moment too soon! In life, timing is everything. And in this case my timing was pretty good.