Up we go into the Wild Blue Yonder! Saturday, 7/12/14
Last week while walking around "Downtown Truckee Thursdays" (with Matt and Jen), Jimmy and I were handed a brochure -- a FREE EVENT -- Tahoe-Truckee Air Show at the airport on July 12th. Well sir, I've never been to an air show. We like the Truckee area. A plan was formulated then and there. We would take Tergel and camp Friday/Saturday nites at Prosser Family C/G, 10 minutes north of Truckee in Tahoe Nat'l Forest, and spend Saturday at the air show. A reservation was made and we were all set. Since it doesn't take us but an hour-and-a-half from our house to the campground, it's an easy come and go.
Saturday morning dawned clear, warm and sunny. As I was making coffee around 7 am, I heard a strange noise. Here's the scenario -- me in the kitchen, Jimmy getting dressed: Me: What's that noise? Jimmy: I don't know. Me: There it goes again. Jimmy: It sounds like the refrigerator. Me: I've never heard the fridge make that noise. Jimmy: We're not hooked up, maybe the fridge is ... Me: I heard it again! (I put my ear to the fridge and ... nothing.) As soon as I moved away to the stove, the sound returned. Me: Please go outside and check. Jimmy: OK, and out he went. 30 seconds later, him outside, me inside, we figured it out at the same time. The whooshing sound was... as you see below!
Hot air balloons, rose from the valley, both Saturday and Sunday mornings. The fridge was fine!
Gates opened at 9. Show started at 11. We arrived around 10:30, along with lots of other people, and the day had already heated up pretty good. Full sun tarmac.
We enjoyed viewing various antique aircraft on display.
U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team. Impressive entrance!
I wish I could tell you who piloted which plane, but I can't.... One of the best was an 81-year-old stunt pilot named Tim, who thrilled the audience with an awesome show in his tiny green and white bi-plane.
Yup, 81 years old.
I can tell you that watching the stunt performers tuck and roll, upside down, right side up, stall and negative G-forces... I can tell you that my mouth stayed open, as I gasped and even backed away! Unbelievable feats!
This was my favorite: Courageous Kent Pietsch, sponsored by Jelly Belly, made that plane zing! (note the Jelly Belly colored smoke!) He did a "dead-stick" routine (turned the engine off at 6,000 ft) and my heart about stopped watching his plane drop back toward the airstrip. Of course, he pulled out. And then there was this, below:
He is going to land that plane on top of the Jelly Belly truck platform (billed as the world's shortest runway!), both moving at 60+ mph down the runway.
Clouds have built up and cross winds came into play. Here he approaches the platform.
Both these things are "flying" down the runway! Ta-da! Here he's touched down and is inching his way to the front of the platform to "lock in."
Not enough that he's landed his plane on top of a pickup truck. Now, he's gonna take off! And he does, successfully.
This would be Dan Buchanan doing his aerobatic hang glider performance. Dan actually launched his hang glider from a moving winch trailer, driving down the runway at about 35 mph, with a flag, streamers and bright orange smoke trailing -- very entertaining!
Injured in an accident that left him unable to walk, Dan started to fly again and gave us a fantastic show.
Saturday nite's full moon rising over the tall trees, lighting up the campground sky.
We spent hours at the air show. Hours on that hot tarmac, most of the time standing or walking. Lots of the time gazing up, mouth agape, hand over heart (me). We drank lots of water, ate our homemade granola, drank Gatorade, and more water. People watching the show had their chairs under any available shelter, even airplane wings. Soon we were seeking cover under anything. Cumulus clouds dotted the sky, but never offered shade. Jimmy and I wore our Tilly hats to prevent sunburned faces, but I forgot that I'd be looking skyward half the time, so I ended up with scarlet cheeks and a bright red nose, à la Rudolph. Fried the top of my feet, too, in my sandals (always forget to slather sunscreen on my feet). Tar bubbles appeared on the tarmac, so you know it was HOT. Temp in the car when we left the airport? 97. We returned to our campsite to sit and read in Tergel's welcome shade, with our feet up. All in all, a really fun day. Now I can say I've seen a heart-stopping air show!