New Experience for a New Friend
The day after Thanksgiving found Wild Mama and crew opting out of the traditional Black Friday
run. Instead, we opted for a Florida Keys run as the day was clear and the winds were calm.
My brother, Chris, came to Florida for the holidays with his wife, and future Team Wild Mama member, Colleen,
and their newly found exchange daughter, Kate. Kate is a lovely 17 year old high school senior from Poland who is here for
the school year to learn about the "American way of life". We wanted to give her a little treat.
We were slightly delayed from a very early morning departure until the ground fog lifted around LaBelle; but from lift-off on,
it was smooth sailing. The remenants of the ground fog formed a line of demarcation just south of Immokalee which turned
out to be quite a sight from the air.
As everyone would not fit in Wild Mama, Vern borrowed
The Beast from Kirk and we had boys plane and girls plane as we loosly flew a formation to Marathon.
Kate was awe struck to see the vast expanse of land of the Everglades
and the crystal clear waters of the Florida Keys. We found a little place on the ocean for a leisurely breakfast http://www.rainbowbend.com/ then headed off to Sombrero Beach so Kate could put her feet in the Atlantic Ocean - something on her
personal wish list. We finished the Keys ground experience with souvenier shopping and dessert of frozen Key Lime Pie on a
We departed out of Marathon and flew up the Overseas Highway. The water was clear enough to see the coral reefs, the ship
wrecks and hoards of boaters enjoying the day on the water. After turning northwest toward the mainland, we were greeted with
a rainbow to welcome us back on solid land. We remained low so Kate could get a good bird's eye view of the marshlands,
wading birds and the fishing villages near Everglades City.
We came in to LaBelle on a simulated timing run so Colleen could get a little taste and feel of the Air
Race Classic in which she will participate in a couple of years. Colleen is a multi-tasker "par excellance" and
will have no problem finding the airport, looking for traffic, manning the stop watch, operating the radios, checking the
time, navigating, organizing the cockpit, programming the 2 GPS units and MX20 all while keeping a detailed race photo journal
for the archives. Seat 0F can be quite busy during the race. (Hear that, Theresa!)
Today was a great day; and we
have to thank Kate for being our honored guest for the holidays and for reminding us how truly great and beautiful this country is. Happy Holidays to all.