Wel had breezed by the Illinois State Capitol Building as described in Part 1 of this two-part post and maintained that heading straight south. Because of the haze, it was harder to recognize landmarks I see every day of my life from the street. One landmark — the twin 12-story Sankey High Rise apartment buildings just a block north of my home on West Vine had been brought down by a demolition company in 2013, and finding my home after finding the apartment buildings was easy in the past. Last Friday, however, darn near all I could see were trees! And even from the air on a hazy day at about 2,000 feet altitude, the scenery was going by pretty fast at a sedate 100 miles an hour. Almost everything seemed painted in shades of gray, also, thanks to the hue-stifling haze.
“Where to now?” was the question of the moment. I had recently played guitar at an event in a shopping mall in Chatham, slightly south and west of Springfield. The Goodwill bookstore and coffeehouse were in a new, long building facing south and just off Illinois Route. 4 and should be easy to see. Perhaps I could photograph that. But the growth of that former “village” into a thriving, small city in recent years, made familiar places seem lost in the profusion of new construction. I was unable to identify my shopping mall, though Trevor orbited the area where I thought it was. When I reviewed the pictures after landing, I recognized nothing of what I had photographed. . . . . . . . . All the time I was looking for something interesting — anything that looked “Chatham” to me. The best I could do was the interesting layout of a neighborhood baseball diamind.
We departed the area and continued toward Auburn where Trevor and Gillian had been staying with Wendell. Trevor pointed out the house, but nothing stood out to me. It was a nice little town, a “village.”
The sky, as we continued, idly (at 100 knots and 2,500 feet), was getting ugly. With no point of interest in mind and only muck ahead of us, Trevor wisely decided to head back to Springfield. A few minutes later, on a direct heading to our point of origin the view began to improve.
There were no worries about visibility inbound. Since we were so significantly west of Springfield, there was very little of photo interest below. It wasn’t until I saw a major religious facility — Calvary Temple, I believe — just west of Veterans Parkway, that I snapped another picture.
Over the tower frequency, it was evident when Trevor contacted approach, that our friends in what almost everyone was calling a 737 but was ACTUALLY a C-40, was still making “bump and flys” (I think the Brits use that term sometimes. Trevor, please correct me if I’m wrong here.) and we were asked to extend our flight path to accommodate the jet. Trevor was happy to comply, and I was happy to be in the air, the longer the better.
We also reduced speed on final to crank in a little more margin to miss the C-40’s wake turbulence. As we taxied back to McClelland Aviation, the tower advised he was about to turn onto final approach, and when we cleared Runway 4, Trevor advised the tower, as much for the listening C-40 flight crew’s benefit as to maintain communication protocol. Again, your intrepid blog-meister, was stunned by the incredible, perfect timing of what was happening . . .
A few pictures for the photo albums . . .
Thanks to Trevor, Gillian, host Wendell, the SPI control tower crew and “bon chance” for an enjoyable Friday morning adventure.
Thanks for reading this post.
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