Up In the Air
It’s tough to beat the perspective offered by a plane.
The earliest mapmakers could only dream of wondrous machines that might lift them above the earth, giving them a perspective of the landscape that only birds knew. These days, we take it for granted that aerial technology lets us see our planet from every possible angle, with no terrain too remote or too rugged to map and measure.
Some friends of mine are working hard to reinvigorate a fixture of the Paradise Valley, the Flying Y airport. Located between Livingston and Gardiner, Montana, the airport consists of a couple of hangars and a gravel landing strip lit by 100-watt household light bulbs. Not a shrub or tree can be found to prohibit a commanding view of the entire west flank of the Northern Absaroka mountains. Here, bunchgrasses are in charge, thanks to the wind and aridity. Air rushing down off the Yellowstone Plateau creates fickle crosswinds that challenge pilots as they try to lift or land their Cessnas and Piper Cubs.
All the more fun to be a passenger, however. I look forward to sharing more pictures as I start seeing my home from a whole new perspective.