Black Hills, SD

If you have not been there, you need to go. It’s stunning!

Ken (Scott’s brother) and Debby (Scott’s sister-in-law) were heading there for vacation. I was hanging with Cha Cha in New Mexico – only a short 5 hour flight away. I had to get there to see them…and I did.

Was a great flight! No words, just some photos:

We had a blast sightseeing, hanging out, and appreciating the beauty of the area. So much to do and see!

Debby, me and Ken at Rushmore

The rolling hills of Custer State Park

The Plains

One morning I got up early to trail run to the highest peak East of the Rockies and West of the Pyreneese. It’s only 7200′, along the needles hwy. The rock formations look like they are from a Dr Suess book.

While driving through the rolling plains, we got to be part of a buffalo stampede.

I spent three days and then flew back to Santa Fe. I’m so glad I got to go and LOVED my time with Ken and Debby!!

What a playground!

Northern New Mexico is an outdoor person’s odyssey. I have been here a total of 12 days, and durning that time, have adventured on land, water and air!

I have my mountain bike and my SUP, and I have been putting both to good use.

Cha Cha and me

Our first outing was on the Chama River. We both supped. The river was so low it took us about six hours to go four miles! The shuttle went about equally as well… mountain bike blew a tube on the way to the truck. Urgh.

South Boundary Trail

Next, we mountain biked the “best ride in New Mexico”. It really was! We rode The South Boundary Trail, a ridge for about 25 miles. Instead of walking the last two miles through a really rough, rocky, trail, we opted for the longer, smoother finish of the Ojitos Trail. The Aspen trees were amazing, the views were stunning and the ride itself was super fun! I see why the trail gets such high ratings.

The Aspens!
Going Up

The following day called for something cool, wet and without a bike seat. We chose to float a five-ish mile section of The Rio Grande. What a blast! Cha Cha wanted to soak his bike-seat-sore hind side in the water, and I chose my SUP. For some reason, Cha Cha thought a shovel would be a good paddle……I ended up towing him. People along the way got quite a kick out of the sight of us!


Our timing was impeccable. I rode my bike to get the truck, just as the daily thundestorms were rolling above the Rio Grande. We loaded the truck, and began to drive, just as the sky opened and rain fell – hard!

Up in the air

Good morning New Mexico! Me, Charlie Mike, James Bush and Brown & Tan Pacer all landed safe and sound at Ohkay Owingeh.

Mount Baker

What an adventure-flight it was. I left from Lynden, WA – just a short hop from the Canadian Border, on the 4th of July. First stop: Boeing Field, where I met up with James to start the journey.

We flew only early in the morning to beat the heat, and then tried to experience the local culture each place we stopped. Lucky for us, every airport we visited had a loaner car, enabling us to get around easily.

Our first day ended in Baker City, Oregon. After landing, we headed straight to the rodeo we had flown over on our way in. We arrived just in time to catch one bull ride.

Baker City Rodeo

My favorite thing from Baker City were the three owls perched in the tree near our campsite.

Three owls chatting

When we left Baker City, we were trying to find a backcountry airport we could stop at and stay the night. Murphy Hot Springs seemed like a great idea. The place has a colorful history and the fact that I am flying a Murphy sealed the deal. Upon landing we met a local who informed us that the Hot Springs has been purchased by a Californian who has closed everything to the locals (visitors too). We got back in our planes, and took off, sad that we didn’t get to spend a night there.

My Murphy at Murphy Hot Springs airport

“We woke up at dawn, and headed to Wendover Utah. It sits at the edge of the Utah/Nevada border and is mostly a Casino town. We found the Four attractions”: the huge cowboy, Bonnelville Salt Flats, Danger Cave and the WWII historic airport! Wendover hosts an enormous Army base, used during WWII for pilot training. Famously, the Enola Gay was stationed here. The airport employee who gave us a tour swore that several of the buildings are haunted. He had many stories to support his beief. Some buildings are being restored by local enthusiasts A worthy effort. The place was amazing. I hope they can breathe life back into the buildings that remain.


Next, and last, stop on our route was Nucla, Colorado. This airport had a lovely pilots lounge! Bathrooms, a shower, a nice kitchen and a loaner SUV. Wow. What a relief to finally get to go swimming….and biking. We drove into the hills and found some BLM land that was welcoming. The river was warm, the dirt roads were bikable and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Cooling off in the San Miguel

Flying around the West is a treat that few get to experience. The scenery is breathtaking, the facilities are impressive and the experience is unparalleled. I feel grateful and lucky to have the opportunity for a trip like this one.

Utah or Colorado

Beating the heat

James, Jason, Wally (the puppy) and I escaped the record breaking heat in Seattle last weekend. We flew up to the San Juan Islands for a weekend of fun!

Orcas Camping
Wally and Jason at Orcas Island airport

Leaving Friday night, we made Orcas Island just before dark. There were many other pilots there with the same idea. The spirit was festive!

The toys
An otter stopped by

We were so lucky to have a car available to us. Saturday morning we spashed the day away in Cascade Lake in Moran State Park. Sunday, we found a nice park in downtown Eastsound where we swung in the hammock, slack lined and SUP’d. I don’t swim in Puget Sound that often, but this weekend it was essential.

Heading home

Monday, we decided to try another island. We first went to Stuart, but no one there was very friendly, we we moved on to Lopez. Toby was kind enough to loan us his car, and we again soaked in Hummel Lake, and then out on Agate Beach Park.

Our hottest day in Seattle was not that hot. Lucky us with our airplanes!