Cottonwood Pass, Colorado

A Flight to the Mountains

Freedom of Flight

Everyone sees things in their own way… regardless, I am certain most  pilots would nod in the affirmative regarding the sense of freedom found in flying.  VFR flight, in particular, has in its essence a strong freeing quality.

Panhandle Farmland_DON-PC_1
Texas Panhandle

While flying visually, you don’t need most of the instruments; through sight picture and pilotage you can successfully get where you aim. This freedom can be the sort that relieves stress, helps realign your overall perspective, and points you toward a sense of adventure— lifting you out of the mundane. Furthermore, if you love the mountains, combining aviation and the wonder of our national granite scapes — well that’s about as good as it gets.

Freedom to Fly

It may be trite to say, “use it or lose it,” but there it is.  When it comes to General Aviation, that would certainly seem to apply.  What could be lost are the skills we learn but also the freedoms provided by law.  What other motivation than the aforementioned could a person possibly need to go flying? With this realization firmly in hand, I began to contemplate a long cross-country, preferably near mountains.

Taking an airplane on a Friday morning and depositing one’s person almost 600 miles away in relatively short order definitely adds to a profound sense of freedom.  Yes, there is a mountain of regulations and details which require attention, however, “with great freedom comes great responsibility,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.  Such is the reality of the pilot.

The Mountains

As with flight, I find the mountains to be uniquely freeing.  In fact, I find few things as satisfying as standing many thousands of feet above sea-level in the clean cool air, the surrounding view…nature’s masterpiece denying  man control.  One of our nation’s great aviators had some things to say on the subject:

“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” -Charles Lindbergh

hiking up cottonwood pass
Hiking up Cottonwood Pass

Continue reading “A Flight to the Mountains”