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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Blogging in Formation: My Favorite Destination

#blogformation #blog #avgeek #aviation

It's Blogging in Formation Week—
Posts all week by your favorite Pilot-Bloggers!

This month's theme:

My Favorite Destination
—  —  —  —  —  —

But First . . .
Ladies and Gentlemen, from the Flight Blog, by popular demand,
I'm proud to announce the upcoming world premier of my new video vlog, 
"Livin' the Dream: Another Day in the Life of an Airline Pilot"
Premiering February 6th at 0900 PHX time, right here on!

Until then, please enjoy this 20 second trailer!

Trailer to Livin' the Dream! from Capnaux on Vimeo.

Direct link:

And now . . .

My Favorite Destination

I know I don't get there often enough
But God knows I surely try
It's a magic kind of medicine
That no doctor could prescribe

Glacier Bay; on Final approach into JNU

But there's this one particular harbor
So far but yet so near
Where I see the days as they fade away
And finally disappear

"One Particular Harbour"—Jimmy Buffet

There's been a vision in my head all my adult life. A very vivid dream, I think. But it may very well be a real memory. A vague picture of a secret destination that I stumbled upon while flight training in a small college nearby.

To this day, I haven't figured it out.

Nestled in the rugged Chiricahua mountains in southeastern Arizona is a tiny dirt strip that only the most intrepid, determined pilots can find, let alone slip into.
You must take the base-to-final turn on faith that something's actually there. It takes all of your skills to safely land. But once you do, the camaraderie you find there is magical. You are part of a family.

There's picnic tables, fireplaces, a beautiful mountain stream, all covered by a lush canopy of Ponderosa pines. Indeed, the strip itself is surrounded by pines, all the more tough to spot and land.
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas
How they permeate through me
You roll to a stop, kill the engine, hop out. The warm sun greets you from a cloudless blue sky. Children laugh and play. Barbecue wafts on the dusty breeze. Somewhere, somebody plays a guitar. And of course, the sound of prop planes buzzing in and out fill the air like dozens of magical fairies.

It's the warmest, coziest, most peaceful feeling my mind can conjure.

And perhaps conjure it has. As I said, I can't be sure if it's a dream or an actual memory. It may even be mixed with my most cherished childhood memories, of backpacking with my family deep in the wilds of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, south of Yosemite.
Dad fishes at Frank Lake (named after my grandfather.)
The epicenter of my family's most cherished spot on earth.
And there's that one particular harbour
Sheltered from the wind
Where the children play on the shore each day
And all are safe within
In my travels, I've racked up many particular harbors: Juneau Alaska, St. Croix USVI, Interlaaken Switzerland, Telluride Colorado, and St. Barts, Antilles (rumored to be Jimmy Buffett's famed "Cheesburger in Paradise.")

Playin' hookie in Paradise!
(That's me on the left, with Cap'ns Brian & Kevin, & Randy.)
These 3 may know the answer to my riddle; I'm afraid to ask.
And perhaps my favorite, a sleepy little coastal fishing village tucked way back in the wilds of Venezula, with no paved roads, no phones, and not a soul who speaks English. My commuter pilot buddies and I went there for a weekend, and stayed for a week. (We hitchhiked 30 miles to the next town to call in sick. Crew scheduler Paula, God rest her soul, covered our a$$es for the price of a 5th of rum.)

I've seen enough to feel the world spin
Mixin' different oceans meetin' cousins
Listen to the drummers and the night sounds
Listen to the singers make the world go 'round

St. Barts. I could land my Aztec here in half the runway...
but I always rolled out to the end to check out
the nude beach!

But today, decades later, if I detect a slight dust in the air, I'm instantly transported back.

Back to that magical land, that One, True, Particular Harbor.

And I am  completely  at peace.

A most mysterious calling harbour
So far but yet so near
I can see the day when my hair's full gray
And finally disappear

In some ways, it doesn't matter whether my destination is real or imagined. Because it exists in my head, it's real. As real as the oatmeal I had for breakfast.

And the world is a better place, knowing it exists.

One Particular Harbor, by Jimmy Buffett
(accompanied by some random, Islandy pics)

Have you found your particular harbor? Share it with us if you have. If not . . . find it! It's out there. Out there waiting for you to discover.

Remember, Cap'n Aux always sez:
The world is a Disneyland made just for you!
—  —  —  —  —  —  —
                        POST-FLIGHT CHECKLIST
  1.  JOIN THIS SITE....................VERIFY.............................JOINED
  2.  COMMENT............................VERIFY.............................MADE
  3.  FACEBOOK...........................VERIFY.............................LIKED
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  6.  OTHER NETWORKS............VERIFY.............................SHARED 
          POST-FLIGHT CHECKLIST.......................COMPLETE!      
    — — — — — — —

    Feb. 1: House of Rapp - Ron Rapp
    Feb. 2: iFLYblog - Brent Owens
            Aviation Author - Mark L. Berry
    Feb. 3 Smart Flight Training - Andrew Hartley
    Feb. 4: Flight to Success - Karlene Petitt

    And Introducing our new fighter pilot team!

    Feb. 3  - Rob Burgon
    Feb. 4: - Chip Shanle 

    Karlene did a couple great bios on our fighter pilot-heroes. Check out the links, below!

    Other Cap'n Aux Blogging in Formation Posts

    Related Cap'n Aux Vids & Vlogs:

    Related Cap'n Aux Posts:
    • Cap'n Aux "There I Wuz!" Series:

    Related Links:
      — — — — — — —
      Departing February 6 @ 0900 PHX
      Livin' the Dream: A Day in the Life of an Airline Pilot
      By popular demand:
      A new Vlog chronicling my day at the office!
      — — — — — — —
      Departing February 13 @ 0900 PHX
      The Best of Cap'n Aux, 2013—Voted by YOU!
      — — — — — — —
      Departing March 1
      Blogging in Formation Week!
      Posts all week by your favorite Pilot-Bloggers!
      March's theme: Dealing with Passengers
      — — — — — — —

      If so, I invite you to COMMENTSHARETWEETLIKE, EMAIL +1 etc., below!
      vRight down below this line!v


      1. Awesome Eric! I when you think about all the places we go in this industry it is true that we all have our "particular harbor."

        1. Absolutely! And the more I think about this piece, the more I realize our particular harbor doesn't always have to be a's a state of mind :-)

      2. I'm sorry but..I didn't get anything from the read. I got distracted by the ABS!!! :-)

        1. Haha keeping the Abs is getting to be more and more of a challenge! ;-)

      3. Laughing @ MA!! :) But - that spot in Arizona sounds absolutely perfect to get away from life - what a stunning spot!!!! One of my favorite - google an airport called Skukuza (FASZ) - the gateway to incredible Kruger National Park in South Africa - years ago when it was a dirt strip - you had to make a pass over it to clear the animals - lion, elephant could be seen on the runway - but - now its an asphalt surface and blocked off - but - still an incredible place to fly into!!

        1. Wow, Mark, that sounds wonderful! I'll check it out. Reminds me of my favorite destination in Alaska, Kake (which I wrote about in "The Last Bush Pilots.") You had to buzz the runway to chase the bears away! Now, almost sadly, it's a paved-over runway, with a terminal and everything...sigh...the march of progress!

      4. I am convinced the best places on earth are found by a single engine plane that can slip into the tiniest of spots, away from the world and electronics... stepping back in time and being one with nature. Truly heaven on earth.

        1. Yes, well put, Karlene! I think you and I are at the point in our careers, flying the big irons, where we nostalgically look to our roots...I for one look forward to reconnecting with it, especially when retirement rolls is such a simple joy!

      5. Eric,
        Buffett is king. Did you know he is one of only seven writers to reach number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list for BOTH fiction and nonfiction?!
        Cheers, MLB

        1. Holy crap, I never knew that--worthy of the King! As a fellow former Caribbean pilot, I'm sure you're just as hooked on his music and lifestyle as I am, Mark!

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