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I went flying Sunday morning, gave me some perspective ...(3 posts)

I went flying Sunday morning, gave me some perspective ...Humma Hah
Aug 5, 2002 3:02 PM
I had not flown a plane in about 3 years, so a friend of mine and I rented a Cessna and hired an instructor Sunday morning to shake off a little rust.

I took the controls for the first leg, which heads out over Nokesville to the Casanova VOR. Nokesville is the start of MB1's "No Shifting Allowed Or Coasting Either" century, which run down to the Quantico Marine base, down to Remington, over to Casanova, and back to Nokesville. Nice little ride.

I don't recommend that you ever look down on an area you've ridden from a commercial jet. Tends to be unimpressive from 30,000 ft, especially the hills. However, in a single-engine lightplane, doing 100 knots at 3000 ft, it can be impressive. Yeah, it took me about 7.5 hours to ride what the plane would do in about an hour, but still, I'd ridden the bike way further than I could see from 3000 ft in the Virginia summertime haze.

I would have expected the other way around, but that distance, to me, looks longer from the air than it feels on the ground!
we are antsDougSloan
Aug 5, 2002 3:15 PM
I've flown over the Sierra Nevada range, and it's very disturbing. Even 14,000 foot mountains don't look that impressive. My measley 9,300 foot climb looks almost flat from 20,000 feet.

It's more impressive in the winter, when the snow-caps highlight the higher elevations.

Next step in your humbling: Talk to a geologistcory
Aug 6, 2002 7:38 AM
Almost posted a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting around waiting for something and looking at a map of the U.S. on the wall. I'd recently driven from Reno to Mount Rushmore and back (week of vacation I had to use, and I'd always wanted to see it), and I was struck, though I've been in 40+ states, by how much of the country I HAVEN'T seen. Then I started thinking about cycling, and my longest rides covered only an inch or two on the map.
The guy I was waiting to see was a geologist, and after I'd done the interview I came for, we talked a bit about Yosemite. I was all excited about preservation of the unique natural blah-blah, and he sort of shrugged and said, "In 5 million years it will be gone anyway." In that perspective, what we do seems pretty trivial.