Work has been very busy lately! Lots of overtime, no down time, a lot of traveling and not a lot of time to breathe! BUT – Thursday was by far, the best day at work I have EVER had!
The reason I have to travel so much for work is to deliver our product to our users and go through a testing cycle with them before they accept our product. Testing can take several months but luckily I don’t have to be gone that whole time! Zach’s new job is pretty much the same way, he’ll have to travel to do sell-off type activities with his customers.
This year, so far, I have only participated in one flight test. This is actually kind of disappointing to me because I really enjoy flying and it’s a whole different animal than commercial flying! So, my flight test was this past Thursday. When we got on the plane, we were told if we got all the testing done early, we could fly over Yellowstone. I’ve never been to Yellowstone, so I figured it’d be cool to fly over it. What I didn’t know was that we got permission to fly 2,000 to 3,000 feet above Yellowstone!
When we got airborne over Yellowstone, our supervisor to us we could go look out the window and “check it out”… it was like we were on a field trip! So we all had our heads stuck to the windows as we flew only a few thousand feet above Yellowstone! We flew over the Old Faithful Geyser plus a whole bunch of other geysers too! We flew over Yellowstone lake and even through the valleys of the Grand Tetons. We were flying anywhere between 9,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level during this little “field trip”. Yellowstone’s altitude is somewhere around 8,000 feet, Yellowstone Lake’s altitude is 7,733 feet and the highest mountain peak in the Grand Tetons is 13,770 feet. It was unbelievable!
As the pilots circled around the whole area a few times, we were making 45 degree turns to go round and round! It was a blast! It was like riding a roller coaster with a super amazing view! We even got to go up in the cockpit to get a view from up there… one of the pilots even brought his camera! I wish I could have those pictures, but I can’t… so memories will have to do! But I’ll never forget my best “field trip” day at work, flying a few thousand feet above Yellowstone: seeing the rivers flowing (including the intricate bubbles of the rapids), being so close you can count the trees, and even seeing the hot air rise over the geysers!
I know that folks in the Military get to see some pretty cool sights as they travel around the world serving our country. What I got to see Thursday pales in comparison to what they’ve seen – but they also risk their lives to protect and serve our country. I am grateful for them and their courage and am glad I got to experience a little bit of some of the neat things they get to do when time and circumstances permit!
I want to go to Yellowstone and see it all even closer! Maybe sometime….