Thirty years can go by in the blink of an eye. It looks like this. I’m heading to the Reno Air Races in Reno, Nevada. I first went to the races in 1991. My friends Brad and Bruce met me in San Francisco, CA, and we were going to drive to the air races. We met, got in a car and started driving. There is a lot to see in San Francisco. After a short visit to the site, we went up to the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It was freezing cold there. A short drive to Sacramento and we were in 100 degree heat. Then we drove through the Sierra Nevada mountains and discovered more time. Not only did we see a lot of the sights, but the air races turned out to be aviators’ paradise. It was a pleasure to see planes working and flying to the limits.
Then we started to change our trip to go to different places. Next time we went to Seattle and hiked the Columbia River Basin before heading to the races. We reached Yellowstone and were photographed with bison and elk by the side of the road. We even started our trip in Phoenix and hiked all over the desert on our way to the races.
During the races, we stayed close to Lake Tahoe or Reno. There is so much to see. Planes are the things that keep me coming back. Over the years, we have made many friends that you only see once a year.
For a few years I worked in the pits with two different racing teams. The wait there was phenomenal. Getting to work on planes is only a second after watching these large planes fly. Most planes are World War II planes. Besides being historic airplanes, they teach how smart people are. The performances obtained by these planes are astounding. These planes were built in the 1940’s with guys using slide rules for their calculations.
This year is a special year. Not just because it’s the thirtieth anniversary of my first outing, but because it’s been thirty years and I’m not sure if it’s my last trip there or not.
For a long time now, I have been wondering if this is not my last trip. It helps in some ways. I try to make sure that I do everything like it’s the last time I can do it.
This year 3 other friends are going there. I keep saying that we are going to be doing some special things here this year. It is always important to try to do this every time you travel.
You hear it all the time. “Try to live each day like it’s the last.” I always try to do this and it’s still an amazing trip. The flight will leave in the morning. After a five hour flight we will see first hand the fastest motorsport in the world. More to come in part two.