I flew a quick business trip to Idaho Falls, but I had to delay my return to California because of thunderstorms in Nevada and over the Sierra Nevada. In fact, I received texts from a friend and from my wife saying, “Don’t fly! There are big thunderstorms here”. So I sat in the FBO (private air terminal) in Idaho Falls working on email and waiting. I figured I would wait and time my takeoff so I would arrive home just after sunset, when most of the sun’s energy is gone and all that remain of thunderstorms are usually just a big ball of mist.
In fact I got to pull out my big old survival knife to lend to someone that was trying to cut hard foam with a pen knife. For the rest of the day I got some strange manly satisfaction because every time someone walked in they would exclaim, “Now THAT is a knife”, and this poor fellow would have to explain that he didn’t actually have a big, splendid knife like this, but that guy on the couch over there did.
That thunderstorm plan worked out pretty well, but I did have to dodge a few thunderstorms in Nevada. One, over a dry lake bed, blew out a tongue of dust (microburst?) that was just plain surreal. In the photo it looks like wind from right to left is picking up dust. But this tongue was moving from left to right over the farmland, likely carrying fine dust from the dry lakebed marked on my charts, and directly under a big thunderstorm. Anyway, that is what I think what was going on. I guess I could have flow into it to see if my plane was blown to the left or the right, but of course I wasn’t going near that thing.