It never gets old: the sunset from 2,500' over San Francisco Bay, the beautifully-textured and shaped marine layer pouring through the Golden Gate with the two red towers sticking out, the reds, purples, golds, and browns of the Marin headlands and Mt Tamalpais, the lights and reflections of The City itself from the shoreline, the ships and boats on the Bay, the bridges, the distant brooding darkness of Mt Diablo, the busy-but-friendly flight following from NorCal Approach . Just Another Boring Bay Area Sunset, I guess, this time with Sheena C., another colleague from my day job, who's consented to potter about in the little 172 with me for an hour or two's meandering around the Bay, entirely VFR for once. A nice leisurely trip from Hayward up over the Diablo Valley, a short landing at Napa (KAPC), then a long slow lazy go-where-we-want thing over Angel Island, Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Marin, the Bridge, etc. Not a bad diversion from the strains of the day.
Back at Hayward we sit on a bench in the late evening calm and eat a snack in the darkness beside the club. We watch a few late stragglers arriving or departing on 28L long after the tower's closed for the night, and talk about the flight. Sheena's been in small planes before, but as she says, flying in California is so different from flying in most of Texas or over the fly-over states where she flew here's there's always the landscape: mountains, oceans, canyons, rivers
and it's hypnotically-beautiful rather than just hypnotic.
The idyl's spoiled completely by Sheena getting stung by a bee as we sit there eating. I'm never going to hear the end of this one she survives what everyone's telling her is a dangerous thing to do ("those small planes are always falling out of the sky!!") only to be bitten by a bee. I drive her back to her place wondering whether she's going to die from anaphylactic shock or whatever, but she makes it back to her place without any obvious problems.
[Two day later: Sheena's entire arm managed to get incredibly itchy and there's still an angry red patch around the sting, but otherwise there's no obvious harm. I guess I survived that one