Scale Changes with Flying

Our lunch spot overlooking Fishing Bay

The nicest thing about recreational, VFR-type flight is how one’s sense of scale dramatically shifts. Saturday’s beautiful, spontaneous little cross-country up to Orcas Island is a great example. I planned a substantially indirect, meandering route, deliberately taking advantage of the scenery and the pretty day to just build hours in a pleasant manner; a scattered cumulus layer at 4,000 feet introduced a little spice to the flight and route. And yet we were sitting down to an early lunch in Eastsound by 11:30 — after having casually strolled there from the airport!

This trip, by comparison, would not have been so easy by car. We’d have had to get up ridiculously early to drive up to Anacortes to catch the Orcas Island ferry. On any pretty day like Saturday the line for the ferry would have been very long, necessitating an early arrival. Highway traffic northbound would have been all right, but the southbound return traffic that afternoon would have been tedious. In other words, the trip itself would have been an annoyance.

I don’t even need to say that the act of flying was half the fun! In a car, that day would have been wearisome. But in a plane, lunching in Eastsound was merely a wonderful bonus to an already exemplary day.


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