A few words of explanation about the photos in the
These shots were taken during my recent trip to Ca, I
hired a Cessna 172, a four place light airplane from an operator
based at Van Nuys airport near Burbank LA.
Van Nuys claims to be the 6th busiest airport
in the US, and the busiest catering purely for General Aviation,
mind you what they call general aviation included Gulf Steams
and other exotic jet aircraft which would normally carry up to
200 people on their way to Spain however this is Hollywood!
Madge and I left Van Nuys and headed up the Ca coast via
Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Morrow Bay (the place with the rock)
Hurst Castle at San Simeon, Piedras Blancas (old light house)
the pacific highway to Bug Sur (large mountain on the coast)
over the Carmel Highlands into Monterey total flight time just
over 2 hours for 230 nautical miles.
We spent the night in Carmel, visiting "The Post" the US
equivalent of "The British Legion" same set up pretty grotty bar
and cheap drink, complete with country and western singer!
Next morning it was off to San Francisco, flight time
about 40 minutes, routing across Monterey Bay and believe it or
not over a little airport called Bonny Doon perched on the side
of a mountain called Ben Lomond. landing at San Carlos a couple
of miles south of San Francisco International we caught the train/taxi to
Fisherman's Wharf, hence all the shots of San Francisco and Alcatraz.
Back to Carmel before dusk and a quick call to Rae she's
the white haired lady in the restaurant photo. She left Scotland
in her early teens when her family immigrated to Canada, I
really enjoyed her company, she works as a court stenographer,
remember Perry Mason, I had never met a real live stenographer
it was a privilege, and she insisted on treating us, Scot's
abroad and all that!
Next morning it was back to LA, Madge had to go back to
work, but we did get some good shots of the trip back, flying
above the clouds with the Coastal Mountains on our left.
Moreland and I set of from Van Nuys the next morning for
Vegas, it poured with rain on the way there. Which is why there
are not too many shots of the Mojave Desert, I was a bit busy
trying to keep clear of Edwards Air Force Base, the yanks are a
bit touchy after September 11th.
About an hour into the flight the weather improved and
under a somewhat leaden sky we approached Las Vegas North
airport. After touch down the FBO (that's what they call the
chaps who fuel and park your plane) arranged a stretched Limo
(complete with blacked out windows) to take us to the Bellagio.
The Bellagio is the big hotel in the photos with the dancing
fountains which were switched off each time I took a shot but as
you can see out of this world.
Vegas is somewhere everyone should go just once, its
Vulgar, Brash, Noisy, but it's fun. Moreland and I took in a
show, George the production is awe-inspiring, like something
from a '30s Hollywood film.
From Vegas it was off to Plan Springs a two hour flight
over the desert, I have included a couple of shots. The view
which I tried to capture but failed to do it justice was that
approaching Plan Springs over the Joshua Tree National Park (the
Taylor girls have been there) with the desert below and an
eleven thousand foot mountain capped with snow filling the
Palm Springs is a complete contrast to Vegas, restrained
gentility, not a blade of immaculate grass out of place, with
irrigation systems which seem to sense you walking down the
pavement (not many Americans do that) only to spring into life
as you draw abeam the water jets.
We spent the afternoon in Palm Springs with a couple of
hours in the Air Museum, a private collection owned by a guy
called Pond. The Flying Fortress which you see in some of the
shots is still operational, I spent time talking to some guys
who had flown them in Europe during WW11, they were the lucky
A quick 30 minute flip to a small airport called Redlands,
little more than a Tarmac Strip in an orange grove, however I
had called ahead, and a guy called Bertram Crosbie arrived to
collect us. Bert is another ex Troonie again his family
immigrated in the 50's, I had contacted him as I had Rae via the
Jeanie's Jotter site and asked if he would like to meet up. He
and his wife Julie fed us and gave us a bed for the night,
Scot's, wha's like us!
Bert spent 20 years in the LAPD, and his dad ran a ex pat
pub in Santa Monica, before retiring to Palm Springs, the pub
trade in the US must be a deal more profitable than in
Friday was our last day, and on the way back to Van Nuys
we stopped in at Chino (who's other claim to fame is a large
prison), but I called in to visit a couple of famous aircraft
collections, again numerous pictures of aircraft on the site.
All these airplanes are kept in operational condition and many
are privately owned.
That was it, about 1500 miles in 5days, 13 hours in the
air, it's the way to see America.
Please enjoy my photos.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge