A bit of San Francisco does the body good

Friday, August 30, 2013
San Francisco, California, United States
As much as we enjoy the flying and as well as Maggie is treating us, a little variety never hurt. There are still work emails to answer and real world things to take care of, so a morning to focus on that was much-needed. Caroline and I met for lunch and then I did some cleaned Maggie up a bit. In the evening we started by joining some of Caroline's friends for happy hour before she treated me to a belated birthday dinner of some of the best sushi I've ever had. I must say, SF makes a very livable impression.

The following morning it's more catch-up with work and a laundry list of tasks . There's only limited time to do it because Caroline has the rest of the day planned. We start early afternoon with a brewery tour of Anchor Steam. About 10 of her friends join and it's fun to see the brewery and bottling process, and even more fun to sample all the varieties afterward. From there it's straight to her place where we all BBQ. Very fun. If she's trying to convince that SF is worth moving to, she's doing a good job. After that she'd organized tickets for a good 15 of us to Alt J. Let's just say I don't need to go buying their CD anytime soon, but it's fun to see a show and hang out with her friends.

Before leaving I definitely wanted to see Seb and Katie. We met up for breakfast and had some good laughs. They're such good people and I look forward to getting the opportunity to spend more time with them. From there we pack and set out to Palo Alto for our flight to Portland.

It's nice weather and we want to fly along the coast, so we head direction Half Moon Bay and then are able to enter the Bravo airspace in order to fly pretty close to the Golden Gate Bridge . After having to do a 360 to avoid a giant departing Lufthansa Airbus we gets spectacular view of the bridge and downtown San Francisco. From there it's a northerly course to Arcata for their on-airport restaurant and to refuel. Amazingly this uncontrolled airport in the middle of nowhere has flights from United Airlines Express every couple hours.

From there we wanted to fly VFR over Crater Lake National Park, so that's where we headed. It's high up at more than 8000' so we had to climb, but it provided an amazing set of views right as the sun was setting. A 360 around the lake put smiles on our faces and there we had the 1hr remaining flight to Portland. Just like at Addison here we had difficulty finding the airport in the sea of lights, but fortunately this time the tower was still open so they cranked up the intensity for us. That did the trick and Johannes had his second textbook landing of the day.

Aero Air FBO knew we were coming and they said they'd drive us to the light rail stop a mile away. Portland seems to have great public transport so even though the airport was in the western burbs we were in downtown in 30-45 minutes. Caroline had a friend she wanted to visit, so we had drinks and food, at, begrudgingly for me, a chain called Trader Vic's.
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