Earlier this week we had our first snow!!! So I made a snowman and featured it on the PCTV morning show….

Famous snowman.... live on TV

I also took the opportunity to make a snowball and throw it at Jenn Hardman live on the air… yes it hit her.. yes she was pissed… yes she got even. That morning Alta reported 18 inches of snow. Park City got maybe 2 inches, Salt Lake City not even a trace. But the mountains got snow from Southern Utah to central Idaho.

This is why I live in Utah… the scenery is amazing!!

For the next couple of days we had to put a blanket on the bed. The day time high was below 40…  nice!! Now my mind is racing to figure out where to get my skis tuned and waxed. Yup.. I’m a bit excited for the ski season. But I also hear I’m not the only one. A couple of my ski buddies decided to hike into Alta and ski out… one of them fell and as I hear it, broke his hand on some rocks. The rule of thumb is to never venture into the trees until we have 70 inches… riding groomed trails usually means that the minimum snow is at least 2 feet..

As the weather warmed up this week, the snow melted quickly. Snow is still visible at the very tops of the mountains, plus the fall colors are breaking through too. So nice! I got a call from my buddy George Spargen. George flies for Skywest Airlines… I met him 10+ years ago. George was the guy that convinced me to finish my pilots license all those years ago. He was also the guy I flew back to Iowa with twice to inspect the plane I eventually bought .

Our little Cherokee 180 "Besse"

Besse still “lives” in Texas at a flight school… we miss her. Anyway, George has been a good friend over the years.. and a great motivator to stay on top of my flying. Before we moved from Texas last year, I finished a Commercial Pilot license with instrument rating. George keeps pushing me to build my hours and think about flying for the majors.. or at least a regional airline. The problem is that pilots don’t make a lot of money, but spend a ton to be qualified to even get an interview. So I’ll think about it.. I have about 400 hours…. I need at least 1000 hours as a minimum.

A couple of weeks ago George called and asked if I wanted to go flying and then head to Oktoberfest at Snowbird…. Today we went flying!!! In his little Chipmunk Acrobatic plane… yes… it does tricks!!

Here is an old picture with George in his Chipmunk…

Holy crap… Today was PERFECT day to fly. We took time preflighting the plane and getting ready. Reality checked in when I had to squeeze into a parachute as I slipped into the front seat. George gave me the “what if” scenario if we needed to manually eject… (music in my head stops abruptly, sound of a “screeching”).. uhhhhh, what? Jump out of the plane before it hits the ground. George reminds me that I have to jump out onto the wing, “cuz if you just jump straight up out of your seat, the tail will take your head clean off..” oh shit!… that would be bad.. George takes flying very serious, that’s why I have always trusted him in these cases to never take unnecessary risks. He’s a pro. So we jump in the plane, start it and taxi to the run-up area. That’s the spot on the end of the runway  where you rev up the engine and check for any anomalies. It’s “go no-go” moment. All looks good, so we close the canopy  and head down the runway full throttle. The plane purs into flight with ease. What an amazing machine.. over the headset George says, “our plane”.. that’s pilot talk for… you are flying now.. So I took the controls of an airplane for the first time in 10 months… it felt so good.. AND familiar. George says, “do some rolls.. do you remember?” Here we go… yup!! Snap rolls, barrel rolls… awesome!! This is cool.. this plane is such a great precision aircraft.

We flew up American Fork canyon to see the leaves and snow… I wish I had thought to pull out my phone/camera…. the colors were so amazing!! Snow with fall colors peaking through. I continued to fly the Chipmunk around Deer Valley, over the top of Big Cottonwood canyon dropping into Little Cottonwood canyon. We flew over Alta and Snowbird.. descending below 6,000 feet from 11,500… what a rush… we flew back to the airport, landed and put the plane away. I felt the same emotion I had the day George took me up in his plane 11 years ago.. the flight that convinced me to finish my license. The same adrenaline rush that happens at the end of a killer powder day… I’m sure I had a big dumb grin on my face….

George and I drove back up the canyon to see and eat at Oktoberfest…. what a day!!!

George continued to hit me with the idea of getting my CFI to build time and interview with the airlines….

I am lucky to have good friends like George. Oh.. George’s wife Riley has horses.. when I saw her today, she asked when Emi was coming back to ride her horses. These guys are truly good friends. George is only 32.. that means we flew back to Iowa when he was 21 or so… he has always seemed much older to me, or maybe I just think I’m much younger. Either way, its people like George that push me to do things that force me to test my limits. His last words were these.. “We’re glad you guys moved back… look around, Houston doesn’t look like this, smell like this or feel like this… you guys are back where you belong”

Thanks George, for reminding me again.. just how “rich I am today”

On a lighter note, I have been reading a new book that has already changed my life and given me such deep perspective. It’s a book filled with writings by Benjamin Franklin…. entitled, “Fart Proudly

I know… you’re thinking it.. My life doesn’t suck.. not this week!