Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flyin' Over Camp.

In case you weren't aware, I've been in Maine for the summer where The Canadian and I spend our time working at camp. In this line of work we get a lot of perks and meet some pretty awesome people. Case in point: our good friend Hilary (remember her from the Airhead Challenge?), her dad and his float plane. 

That's right. You heard correctly.

One evening Hilary's dad, David, decided to hop in his plane and head on down to Maine from the great province of Nova Scotia. Ya know, because its no big deal to fly across international borders to come visit your daughter and her buddies. No. Big. Deal.

He cruised into camp flying a 1946 Piper float plane and landed on our sailing beach like it was totally normal. Meanwhile the rest of us are standing in total awe watching this Charlie Brown colored plane float right up on our shores.

After we all picked our jaws up off the ground we greeted David and acted as nonchalantly as possible. Inside everyone I was dying to ask for a ride in the plane but trying to play it cool on the outside. I'm sure he didn't notice.

David took The Canadian up in the plane first. He didn't have much time before sunset but since TC had helped him beach the plane he offered him a quick ride. 

Starting this thing is no easy task. The propeller has to be cranked manually to get it going...while standing outside the plane on the pontoons. Again, no biggie. Totally normal and non-scary.


As David floats away he keeps cranking the prop until it starts. 

Just so we're clear, this is a running plane whose pilot is standing outside of the vehicle. Are you with me, here?

He did eventually get in the plane, but not before I had a small heart attack and said a quick prayer that my wonderful husband would be able to learn how to pilot the plane in the event that David fell in the water.

They eventually landed safely and my heart rate returned to normal. The Canadian proceeded to jump out of the plane and announce that the flight was the coolest thing he had ever experienced. And he decided right then and there that he is going to need to obtain his own pilot license and immediately purchase a float plane of his own. Gee, David, have I thanked you for inspiring my husband??

The next morning David was planning to take one of our camp photographers up in the plane for a quick buzz over camp. I decided to show up also just to grab some photos of the take off and landing. Why? So I could write a blog. Obviously.

When the plane returned and pulled up on the beach David hopped out and offered me a ride. He explained that it would not be fair to my marriage if The Canadian and I didn't have equal life experiences and I therefore needed to go up for a quick trip to grab some photos. Grudgingly (not), I agreed and climbed in the plane. 

David performed the same ritual as before; he manually spun the prop and had me hold the cables to steer the rudder. He finally hopped in the plane and we were on our way to fly over camp.  

As we ascended from the lake camp immediately sprawled out below us. David left the door open so I could get photos.

Camp from that level was truly unbelievable.

The tennis courts looked so impressive. You can see one of our soccer fields at one end and all the girls cabins surrounding the courts. The pond you see is lovingly referred to as Frog Pond due to the astronomical amounts of bullfrogs that inhabit it.

And the surrounding lakes were amazing.

I was so proud of how the waterfront appeared. The swim lanes are strait, the canoes and kayaks are stacked, the crew boat was in place, the sail boats are moored, and further down where you can't see the ski boats are in their slips....all was well in my world.

I could have flown over it one hundred times and never gotten sick of the aerial view of our ponds, fields, and buildings.

I have to admit, when we landed I was feeling a little inspired to become a pilot also. Maybe not as inspired as The Canadian was, but I had a better understanding. Actually, maybe I'll just become an aerial photographer and The Canadian can be my pilot. That might work...

Either way, it was definitely a highlight of my summer and I am forever thankful to David and Hilary for taking The Canadian and I up in the plane. 

And I am thankful that none of us fell out. Amen.

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