First in Flight

It’s hard to imagine a time before flight, but at the same time flight itself feels really miraculous.

First in Flight

Miniature Wright Flyer

At the Wright Brothers National Memorial in the Outer Banks there’s a bronze statue of the launching of the Wright flyer. From the top of the hill overlooking the scene its hard to tell the difference between the bronze figures and the people looking at the statue, so that they all look like little figurines.

Miniature Wright Flyer

Can’t Hold My Balloon Down

If only the title of this post had proven true. On a warm September day, I was ready to soar over the North Country aboard a hot air balloon! Going up a few stories and returning to earth was charming in its own way (and other people needed their turn), but I had been expecting so much more.

Can't Hold My Balloon Down

Balineario Camboriu

Flying high above Brazil, I got a feel for the strange contrasts of the country. Over the interior, I saw mostly mountainous jungle and farmland; as we neared the coast (as in today’s shot), I got to see more of the urban side of modern Brazil. In the southern part of Brazil, where the climate is Mediterranean (much like California), the same pattern of “intense urbanization adjacent to vegetation-carpeted hills” seems to predominate.

Balneario Camboriu

Purgatory

I’ve always abhorred airports. Actual air travel, if dull, is typically calm and uneventful. Airports are Purgatory-on-Earth where stressed travelers worry and fuss and cope with the imminent delay and cancellation of their flights.

Still, if I have to spend time in an airport, Chicago’s Midway is probably my favorite. It has by far and away the best selection of overpriced food (Potbelly’s sandwiches! Pegasus gyros!) and an at least tolerable amount of seating. In its own way, Midway is not entirely un-beautiful.

Purgatory