Flying to the Northwest – The Volcano Tour

I flew up to Bremerton Washington near Bainbridge Island west of Seattle to visit a potential client on Friday. From my home base in Placerville California, the route to the northwest takes me up past a long chain of volcanoes, starting with Lassen Peak and Shasta, and ending (for me) with Mount Rainier.   The volcanoes stood out more than usual this time because of the cloud deck that obscured everything but the volcanoes.

The cloud deck caused me to take the safe route up, west of the volcano chain and over the valleys of Oregon and Washington.  I don’t do a lot of actual instrument flying (although I stay current), so the approach into Bremerton in the rain was exciting, and I’m always thankful that the runway seems to magically appear after each instrument approach.  After a pleasant business meeting, I flew up through the cloud deck and soon the cloud layer broke up, so I veered east and flew over Mount Hood, where my teenage son is a camp counselor at a summer ski camp.  I texted him to go out and look up, but it was too cloudy there at the camp and he couldn’t see me.  I could have slipped under the clouds and buzzed the camp, but crashing in front of my son didn’t seem like a good idea.

I landed in Chiloquin Oregon for the night, where you can taxi your plane to a small parking ramp next to Highway 97 and a remote roadhouse where I had stale dinner and fresh pie.   I camped next to the plane (the only one there), enjoyed a beautiful bike ride the next morning up the Sprague River, and was able to take off and be home by noon on Saturday.

Mt. Shasta
Breaking Out On Approach (the runway is always a wonderful sight)
Mount Rainier (moments after breaking out on top)
Mount Hood (Hello, Son)
Stopping to Eat at an Oregon Roadhouse
Airplane Camping

1 thought on “Flying to the Northwest – The Volcano Tour

  1. Hi,

    Just discovered your blog. Really enjoy reading it. We seems to have a lot of shared interest.

    I’m Belgian flying as an Airbus A330 & A340 check airman/captain based in Dubai, but mostly enjoy flying GA! Together with my wife, who has a PPL (and theoretical ATPL) we do flying holidays, where we rent a single engine and fly around for a couple of hours. Done them in the US, New Zealand, Europe… Last one was out of San Fran going up North to Seattle and coming back through the Sierras. We called it ” Chasing the Volcanos” Very similar to yours…

    Feel free to have a look at my images at:

    I’ve also written quite a few blogposts on the trip.
    Part 1
    There are 6 parts in total spread on SEP and OCT 2009.

    Best regards,

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