Leg 1 D.C. to Denver: If the key fits, turn it and see where it takes you

As I sit at my kitchen counter, uploading D.C. to Denver flight videos and photos, I can’t help but continually glance at the set of airplane keys that are resting next to my Mac. These keys carried me from Washington D.C to Denver, Colorado. They are scratched and used. They are small but important. When this set of keys is grasped by the eager hands of a pilot, they are electric. These keys are never apathetically, absent-mindedly picked up. They are always held tight, with authority, by a knowing hand, who plans to fly.
The flight from D.C. to Denver was filled with focus, intention and beauty. I bounced out of bed on Thursday morning because it was time for a 9.5 hour flight across the country. We filed an IFR flight plan and cruised between 4,000 and 6,000 feet to Spirit of St. Louis, then climbed up to 12,000 ft between St. Louis and Denver. We had no turbulence, but 3.5 hours of time in the clouds.
Here are my iPhone photos from the flight.

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7 thoughts on “Leg 1 D.C. to Denver: If the key fits, turn it and see where it takes you

  1. Hi Amelia, all the best on your journey to Oakland, then from there all the way to Florida. Looking forward to hearing you describe the experience of your first time flying over open water like the Gulf of Mexico. Take care.

  2. Awsome!!!! I really envy you!!! I have wanted to learn to fly since I was in Civil Air Patrol when I was 15 but the cost was always just a little out of reach. I got relatively serious when I was 21 and the cost at that time was $500. That was in 1967 and and at that time it was still a little out of reach. Now I’m 65 and on Social Security so now all I can do is dream. I am sooo proud of you for making your dreams come true!!! ENJOY!!!!

  3. So amazing. I’m sharing your story with many others because I find it so inspiring. I have my Private Pilot and am working on my Instrument. Truthfully, I never thought of a “literal” cross country flight. Probably because I got my license in Hawai`i, but now I’m thinking, someday it might be a cool thing to do.
    Smooth skies and tailwinds to you.

  4. Dear Ameiia; As I watched the video; it brought back to mind so many memories for me! I can’t tell you enough how thrilled I am by the fact you are “taking us along” with you. When you were just cruisin’ above that “white ocean of cotton balls”; I started to remember how much I used to get lost in the idea of just stepping out of the aircraft and walking beside it in that beautiful white color! It’s easy to get lost when your up there; I don’t mean lost as in navigational terms; I am referring to the fact that your so at peace with the beauty of the flight; God there is nothing else like it!! Well I’ll let you go. Thanks again for taking us along your journey! I look forward to your next post. May you have a very Merry Christmas surrounded by your loved ones; you certainly deserve it! Take Care. As Always; “I Wish You Peace” -blue-

  5. I’m really enjoying the postings on this. Your energy is infectious – I just wish I had the kind of cash it takes to run a Cirrus. I’m flying an LSA out of EIK, which is a lot more reasonably priced, but nowhere near as fast (or IFR capable)… I’ll keep working on it and someday be on par.



  6. Wow Ami that flight really charged your batteries! You make me remember when I was learning to fly – the sheer joy of being up there, skating along the layer, or scud running below it. Thank you so much for brining back such wonderful feelings and memory, especially this time of the year. I look forward to your video and photo blogging of your trips. Keep flying!

  7. Hi, Amelia, you’re going through what I went through many years ago. I’m just sorry you won’t have a chance to read the monthly Airman’s World articles by Gill Robb Wilson in Flying magazine. He’s long gone, of course, but I remember one article of his that included a photo of people at an airshow. They were being held back by a restraining rope near the runway and were looking up at the planes soaring high above them. Wilson called these groundlings “nameless, fameless, grounded, grieving, for the chance that passed them by.” By this he meant they were pilots in their heart, but never realized their dream of becoming one in real life.

    But then he asked whether people who are pilots in real life are better than people who are pilots in their heart. Wilson said no, that just because of fate or the inability to pass a medical exam did not mean all was lost for them, or that their dreams were in vain. Then he ended his article with a poem that included this line, which I believe fits many circumstances in life: “Ashes of life’s aspirations are not signs of foul decay, but the hallmarks of a message than a man has passed this way.”

    “Man” of course was used in a generic sense back in that day it would have applied to men and women. Anyway, I love what you’re doing and I wish you the best of luck. Also, read the adventures of Jonathan Livingston Seagull sometime too. You won’t forget that little guy!

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