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Flying the Edge of America

The trip of a lifetime

The actual route flown

In the summer of 2008 my wife and I flew our small, single engine, airplane around the edges of the contiguous United States of America. Along the way, we encountered America's small towns, National Parks, and National Monuments. The scenery between Glacier and Yellowstone is particularly fantastic and more majestic than I had imagined. The USA has to have the most beautiful countryside in the whole world. I do not say this lightly as I have seen a lot of the world, and much beautiful scenery in other countries. Every continent has something to offer, but North America has it all, from deserts to snow capped mountains, and almost everything in between. It is really hard to compete with the natural beauty of North America.

A fallen redwood in Jedediah Smith State Park

On the most dangerous and exciting adventure of our lives we flew into unanticipated ghastly weather, thunderstorms, and brushed with hurricanes. As we left Galveston and passed over a murky brown sea, hurricane Ike crossed into the Gulf of Mexico and ballooned in size. Ike maintained a powerful structure across most of the Gulf as it continued to expand. On September 13th, 2008, just four days after we left Galveston, Ike made landfall on the island as a strong Category-2 hurricane. Ike created a huge storm surge that topped the seawall and caused extensive damage. The storm deluged the city with a wall of water. Ike was a 600-mile-wide Category-2 hurricane. Beyond Galveston it flooded coastal towns and left widespread damage across metropolitan Houston. Winds gusted to 100 miles per hour. It peeled sheets of steel off skyscrapers, smashed bus shelters, and blew out windows. If our airplane had been parked at the airport I can only imagine what it would have done to her.

Hidden Lake Glacier National Park

By the end of our three month trip we had flown 10,000 miles and spent 70 hours in the skies above the USA. We also discovered a land much more complex than we had imagined, far larger than we could believe, and more beautiful than we dreamed possible.

After a year of hard work my wife and I published our book of this amazing flight around the edge of America. The book is the story of our adventure, and the journey that brought us to a deeper understanding and love of our adopted country.


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