Gaviota Peak 2013

18 02 2013

View to the east from Gaviota PeakView to the east from Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ceanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and Maya Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and MayaCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ryan Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota Peak

Gaviota Peak 2013, a set on Flickr.

Here are a few photos from my Gaviota peak hike last Saturday (Santa Barbara county). It was gorgeous day, and our native ceanothus shrubs were in full bloom and covering the peak and surrounding hillsides. The aroma was amazing! Additionally, it was a clear day that offered 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside – rolling oak covered hills, the Santa Barbara coastline, the sparkling, blue Pacific ocean and the Channel islands in the distance. This is one of my very favorite hikes on the California Central Coast!

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Come along for a ride… It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!

29 04 2012

“My soul blows crazy on the sails of a ~ derelict wind”~ from Good Love, one of my favorite tracks on the new CD by Lance Taylor, “American Love.”

So for the past 6 months my job has been to drive every paved, public road from Santa Maria to the Salinas valley plus up Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. I have about a week to go, and then my job assignment will be finished. Yesterday I was driving down this remote road off the Salinas valley enjoying a gorgeous spring day and listening to my singer songwriter friend’s new CD (Lance Taylor of Key West). I really love his music and new CD, “American Love!” I spontaneously decided to take this video with my iPhone as a souvenir of this fun job, and to preserve such a lovely memory. I never did see another car on this road. The video is a little shaky, because it was a rough, country road, and I was driving with one hand and holding my phone cam with the other. Look carefully, too, and you will see all kinds of critters in the air and on the road throughout the whole recording.

Check out Lance’s music on the Lance Taylor Music web site: http://www.lancetaylormusic.com/





Not a Bad Place to End My Work Day…

6 04 2012

View of Estero bay & Morro rock from Green Valley Road (Highway 46), California Central Coast

For more information about this scene click here, and then mouseover the photo to see notes.





On Becoming An Aviatrix: Making My Way to the Front (Part III)

29 06 2010

At the end of my last post, Earning My Wings (Part II), I had just been hired as a flight attendant at American Eagle, the regional carrier for American Airlines. I graduated from my training class at the American Airlines Flight Academy in Dallas February 1998. I had “Earned my wings” as a flight crew member, however, it wouldn’t be long before I would be yearning to be seated at the front end of the aircraft. The following is the story of how it happened.

While I was at the flight academy I was very curious each time I passed the pilots who were in training in both a class room setting as well as small rooms with just two students, a pilot instructor and an aircraft panel which simulated the flight deck. Most impressive were the huge hydraulic simulators. The tension surrounding the pilots entering those simulators was always palpable as passing a check ride was necessary for keeping their job.

Having been what people jokingly refer to as a “Professional student” a good part of my young life, I was attracted to what appeared to be a very intense level of learning that was experienced by the pilots. On breaks during my flight attendant training I lingered in the hallways and observed the pilot training. I was more interested in what the pilots were learning then finding my perfect shade of red lipstick. (Those that are flight attendants know I’m not just making fun, but makeup is a real part of the training! Also, I am not intending to belittle the very important role flight attendants play as a vital part of the safety and smooth operation of a flight. I loved being a flight attendant; I was just more intrigued with being a pilot.)

The last part of my flight attendant training, before I was signed off to “Work the line” on my own, was my initial operating experience, a.k.a. “I.O.E. training.” This is when an I.O.E. instructor flies a first trip with a new flight attendant, and makes sure that they are ready to take charge of a flight on their own (pilots also go through I.O.E. training).

So at last, after weeks of training, I was finally working my first (I.O.E.) flight out of my home base, LAX. My earliest memory as a working flight attendant also happened to be the turning point where I really envisioned myself as a pilot. We had just reached cruising altitude of 24,000 feet when I got a ding from now retired Captain Jan Dungan. I picked up the interphone, and she asked me if I would please bring a cup of coffee to her. Of course I complied, and when I opened the flight deck door I think I must have gasped aloud. That view — I think it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen! Before me were big puffy clouds and an endless sea of blue. To say it was so beautiful would be an understatement. It’s hard to believe unless one has seen it, but the view from the flight deck is vastly different than the view one sees out a little side window as a passenger in the cabin of an aircraft. I think when one is in the front of an airplane it’s not merely a view, but an experience. No doubt the mind-boggling panel of instruments, gauges, navigational displays and radios enhance that particular experience. To me, flying is a marriage of nature and technology – right up my alley! The aviation bug bit hard & quickly. This is where I wanted to be!

Next blog post: Making the transition into the flight deck and my first flight.

Previously published June 28, 2010 at Forbes.com Wheels Up

NOTE: If you just started reading this story, please see the previous posts:

On Becoming An Aviatrix: Introduction: https://mctorresgrant.wordpress.com/2010/06/09/on-becoming-an-aviatrix-introduction/

On Becoming An Aviatrix:  The Seed Is Planted (Part I): https://mctorresgrant.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/on-becoming-an-aviatrix-the-seed-is-planted-part-i/

On Becoming An Aviatrix:  Earning My Wings (Part II): https://mctorresgrant.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/on-becoming-an-aviatrix-earning-my-wings-part-ii/








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