In less than a month I will have been flying 50 years. I soloed for the first time in August of 1970. It’s hard to believe that all that time has passed. You know the rest of it. I still think I’m in my 40s. This isn’t really about the time passing though. This is a story about a trip to fly to all the 48 states of the continental United States.
Pilots keep logbooks of their flights. All sorts of things are recorded in these books. Flight hours, flight conditions, weather information and the different airports where the pilots fly. I had flown to the west coast several times. I had even flown in Hawaii. There were still a few states in the Northeast part of the country where I hadn’t flown.
Sometimes the stars align and a trip comes together. John Paul was working on his instrument rating. Jamie Willis was a flight instructor that was up for adventure also. The perfect timing was about to line up. John Paul needed to do a log cross country for his rating. This could be the perfect trip to finish up the requirements for his rating and it would be a long trip that would take me to the few remaining states in the continental US where I had not flown.
The middle of June was going to be the time for the trip. The weather was cooperating. I would be beautiful weather all the way up to Maine. There were six states that I needed to land in to complete my bucket list item of flying to all the states. I had to go to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts were the states we would have land in.
We started out early on a Saturday morning and headed towards the Northeast. Our first fuel stop was Salisbury Maryland. We got fuel and headed out for our lunch stop at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.This flight path took us right over New York City. The Covid pandemic had cut down on the air traffic all over the country. When we got to the New York area there weren’t many aircraft flying. The weather was perfect and we got an excellent view of New York City, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. The weird thing was flying directly over JFK airport. Normally, this airport would be crowded with air traffic. We flew over and no aircraft were moving.
In just a little while we were out of the New York City area and landed at Martha’s Vineyard. We were met there with everyone wearing a mask. We asked about going somewhere to get lunch. The guy at the airport told us we couldn’t even get into a taxi cab without wearing a mask. We wouldn’t be allowed into any stores or restaurants without a mask either. We could go next door and order some food though. We did that and after a quick lunch we were on our way again. For all the hype about Martha’s Vineyard being a special vacation destination, I told everybody to take a good look around because we wouldn’t be coming through there again. To me it was just an overpriced rock island.
It was on to Rhode Island for our next stop and more in part two.