At home near Fort Worth...
I am never on the cutting edge of anything. I'm not sure why, but I am always late to the party on just about everything, with the possible exception of technology. Being a gadget freak of sorts, I would rate myself slightly above average in keeping my electronic stuff reasonably up to date. It has been only in the last few days, however, that I finally noticed "Throwback Thursdays" on Facebook. How long has that been going on? (If you, too, are challenged like I am and don't know what I'm talking about, it's on Thursdays that a goodly number of Facebook users post old photos and nostalgic stuff on their timelines.)
Well, my buddy John Sharp sent me an article from my hometown newspaper about an old local pilot friend, and it got me to thinking about my own career as a pilot. Since it was Thursday, I decided to post a couple of old photos from the beginning and end of my flying years. The first was taken in 1969, showing an old Beech 18 freighter, one of the airplanes I flew in my first real flying job. I was only 23 at the time:
The next is of a Boeing 727, on which I was a captain when I retired from flying in 1996 to begin a second career with the FAA:
It was a great career, and I wouldn't have wanted to do anything else. I've found that the only downside to being nostalgic like this is wondering where in the world did the time go?
Okay, I'm snapping out of it now...back to the future! We have been home a couple of weeks and are beginning preparations for a launch late next week for Colorado. For the next several days, we will be identifying stuff that needs to move from the house to Phannie. (There's always something, even though we have done a pretty good job of duplicating the household living necessities in Phannie.) For example, Sandy prefers, upon our returns home, to do the trip laundry in the washer and dryer in the house instead of in the Splendide washer/dryer in Phannie. The smaller RV unit is fine for traveling, but when she has access to the house, she always uses the larger machines. It's not a big inconvenience, as the laundry room door opens directly onto the RV port. It is there that the other items identified for loading also accumulate, to be periodically taken the few steps out to the motor home.
I have already checked the engine and transmission fluid levels and loaded more diesel additive bottles aboard for the longer upcoming trip. (Yes, I use an additive, I've always used it, and I will continue to use it. The flawless performance of all of my diesel engines over the years is justification enough for me, even though I may have been merely lucky. Besides, it enables me to thumb my nose at the EPA for making us switch to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. The additive puts back the needed lubricity that was lost, among other positive effects.)
Juan (my handyman) will come by and give Phannie a wash job tomorrow (she needs it). While she is backed out for her bath, I will open all the cargo compartments and see if any supplies need to be restocked or reorganized. Then I will give the interior a good vacuuming and check the stocks of supplies in the inside storage compartments.
Next week, I will check the air pressure in all the tires. Around midweek, I will turn on the refrigerator and begin loading some basic items from the house refrigerators plus those things that would go bad if left behind for a long time. We decided it didn't make sense to purchase a lot of trip food before departures; we don't generally go to locations where groceries are not readily available.
Our goal is to have all the prep done and all but a few last-minute items loaded by the end of the day before departure. It makes launch day much less hectic, as we will likely have thought of everything. (In another nod to our advancing years, we also cheat and use a checklist.)
During this Colorado trip, we will be caravanning with the Barkers again (they are always a hoot) on our way to Priest Gulch Campground, near Telluride. We'll be leaving there after several days for Durango and Creede, where we will stay a few more days and then say goodbye to our friends as they return to Texas. We will continue to explore Colorado, dropping in on friends in Colorado Springs and other friends Ed and Marilyn at Mountaindale on our way home. I'll try to keep this rag updated as we go along; we are really looking forward to our escape from the Texas heat.