Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last Day in Texas

This post is about our last day in Texas, on our February 2013 trip.  We have been to nature preserves, hiking in the mountains and canyons, viewing lava flows, and gypsum dunes, going on aerial tram ride, and more.  All thanks to our son Andrew's great planning.

We did save the best for last, going for a ride in Andrew's plane with him as the pilot. 
What a cute little plane.  The guys did some maintenance on it, then Andy pulled the plane out of its hangar, he went through the preflight list.  I hopped up into the plane, and after putting on the headset and seatbelt, Andy gave me some information. 
 It is important not to grab the yoke in front of me or push any pedals near my feet.  So we taxi out to the runway, and take off.  There was a bit of a cross wind so it was only slightly scary.  I had total confidence in the pilot, and in the plane.  But for some reason I was afraid.  I've been in small planes before, but this plane is very small especially after flying to Texas on a commercial flight. 

The view was great but I had that niggling in me to get back to the ground.  Andy asked if I wanted to take control of the plane. No thanks.   I was just feeling scared.  My biggest regret of the Texas trip is that I didn't fly more with Andy, and maybe even take  control of the plane.  Next time.
Andy with his plane.

In the afternoon we all took a trip to Big Spring, Texas - 40 miles NE of Midland, Texas.  We took a hike around the Big Spring State Park.  There are many cactus here and bunches of a four-petaled yellow flower blooming brightly everywhere!

There are also dramatic views off of the 200-foot bluff, with shelters built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  During the Great Depression, CCC Company 1857 transformed some 300 acres of rough country into a state park gem.
Looking out across Big Spring, Texas.  

We also took some time to check out Comanche Trail Park, a 400 acre park that features a 6,900-seat limestone amphitheater, an eighteen hole golf course, tennis courts, baseball fields, playgrounds, pavilions, and hike, bike and nature trails.

Amphitheater in Big Spring,Texas. 

 Unfortunately we had to head home, but next trip we will spend more time in Big Spring.
So that was the last day of our trip.  The next morning we flew to Houston, then Grand Rapids, Michigan.  
    Some very hard clouds!

On the flight to Houston we hit some of the worse turbulence I have ever experienced!  Seriously, I felt like I had a bit of whiplash from being tossed, first up then slammed down in the seat.  
But on our way to Texas a week earlier, our flight out of Grand Rapids was late.  They held the plane for just us in Houston.  We walked onto a plane packed full of people giving us the look.

This was a very fun trip!  I'm sure we will go again next year.


Anonymous said...

You saw some beautiful areas on your trip, escaped the cold and snow for a while, and were able to spend time with your son, sounds like a great vacation!

New Hampshire Gardener said...

It must be great to have a son who's a pilot. I could drive a son like that crazy, so it's probably good that he isn't mine!
The CCC did great work all over the country, and I was disappointed that we didn't do something similar during this latest down turn. It could have put a lot of people back to work and we would have all benefited.
Thanks for taking us along on your trip to some beautiful places Chria!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a lot of fun, maybe you can read up on how to fly a plane so you can take the controls next time! Maybe I will come along next time or maybe there will be a puppy dog for me to care for :-)!

Plants Amaze Me said...

It really was a fun trip, Jerry. Andy is fun, and always busy doing something or going somewhere. I was a little concerned about keeping up with him! February is a good month to visit out west, cool enough for a jacket - it was never too hot.
Thanks for visiting the blog.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Allen, I would probably drive Andy crazy if he lived closer. He said he would rent a plane next time he visits Michigan, then we can fly over land that I am familiar with. He needs a faster plane to fly all the way to Michigan.
I've thought the same about the Civilian Conservation Corps, why not do something like that now? I have a 91 year old uncle who worked in the CCC, he has great stories to tell about his experiences.
Thanks. :)

Plants Amaze Me said...

Anonymous Pink, Yes it was fun. Maybe I will study up on the basics of flying. You can come with next time because I'm not getting another dog, remember??