Monday, September 28, 2009

Chasing the Volcanos ( part2 )

Early morning of day 2, we left Gold Beach along the spectacular Oregon coastline. The first landing of the day was at Cape Blanco, the most Western point of the state.


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Circling the Cape, we had a great look at the Lighthouse, built in 1870... Guess that's old in American standards! ;). Once again we were clearly lucky with the Oregon weather. Having checked the weather reports for airports like Arcata,North Bend and Newport a few weeks in advance on a daily basis, we were excited to cruise along blue skies for our second day.


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At Umpqua, 30km (16nm) North of North Bend, we overflew this interesting triangle shaped Oyster bed.
The lunch stop for the day was Florence (OR), an airport ran by a friendly couple who suggested to grab the free FBO car to the nicely restored Old Town of Florence. We elected to take 20 min walk instead and really enjoyed one of the most beautiful and charming towns of Oregon coast cities. Located on the waterfront, it is a perfect place to explore art galleries, antiques stores, gift shops and finish up with a nice lunch next to the Siuslaw river.


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This crooked tree, proves that Florence can be windy at times.


Just North of Florence the scenery changes quite drastically with about 40 NM amazing sand dunes instead of spectacular rock formations. 
Our favorite landing spot on the +3000 km trip was the destination for the night, Pacific City (KPFC).
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The runway just over 500m (1800ft) long and a tiny 9m(30ft) wide, brings one right in the middle of the little coast town.
We stayed at the excellent Craftsman B&B, just across the runway. Mike was very hospitable and I can strongly recommend The Craftsman to all flying and non-flying people visiting this Oregon jewel.
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More excitement in a few days,

Fly Safe & Happy shooting,
Bjorn











Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chasing the Volcanos ( part1 )

As promised, this will be the first of a multiple blogpost series on our flying tour along the North-West of the US, which we called: "Chasing the Volcanos".

Chasing the Volcanos

After a +15hr direct flight with Emirates from Dubai to San Francisco and spending a few days in the great city of San Fran, we rented a single engine aircraft, with Ahart Aviation in Livermore (CA).

Chasing the Volcanos

My wife would do most of the flying, while I would be the "photographer". The aircraft, a Cessna C172, can be flown with the windows open, making it very suitable as a photo platform. After a brief checkout by the flying school we started our flying tour, early morning of September 7th, heading Northwest-bound.

Chasing the Volcanos

Entering "the bay area" via Oakland we had an excellent view of Alcatraz and negotiated with ATC (Air Traffic Control) a few orbits over the Golden Gate. Leaving "the Bridge" behind us, we headed for our lunch stop: Shelter Cove, a small fishing community at the Northern tip of the Californian "Lost Coast".

Chasing the Volcanos

After exciting the aircraft, one of the first things we noticed was the noise of the migrating whales. Walking the beach we bumped into a large seal population... nature at its best.
Chasing the Volcanos
After lunch we continued along the rugged coastline into the state of Oregon along cities like Crescent City and Brookings and had amazing views from 1.000 feet. Oregon really deserves the title for the most spectacular coastline of the US, if not of the world!

Chasing the Volcanos

In the late afternoon we arrived at Gold Beach (OR), an interesting little town at the mouth of the Rogue river with a runway right at the Pacific Ocean. We walked to our hotel and had a look at all the driftwood on the beach. A beachcomber's paradise! 


More to come in part 2,


Happy shooting,
Bjorn