Monday, June 23, 2008


I often get asked what I do for five or more hours when I'm sitting in the cockpit on a trip. Actually, I think about a lot of things. Last night we saw numerous thunderstorms, and as we progressed towards San Jose, CA, (SJC) we observed the reddish/orangish glow and flames of many of the wildfires in California. It always amazes me at how insignificant we really are when I see the enormity of our country and the events shaping it. The thunderstorms, some of which are up to 50,000 feet high (approximately 18,000+ meters), are incredible. The lightning shows keep us occupied and mesmerized for what seems to be hours at a time. From our altitude we observed several fires which were over 100 miles away. I often contemplate my feelings for the animals and firefighters who are escaping, experiencing, and working to contain and snuff out these burning infernos, knowing that homes and lives are being destroyed in the process. I also think about the wondrous things I see...... the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the Golden Gate bridge, rainbows, the Northern Lights, and the thousands and thousands of miles of open expanse in our beautiful country. Believe me, our hours spent in the cockpit are not that boring, unless you WANT them to be!

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