I snapped this picture yesterday afternoon while piloting a small plane up a valley north of Vancouver. Earlier in the morning I flew the length of the Grand Canyon.
All, of course, was courtesy of the Google Earth flight simulator.
I've never been a fan of computer games, or any other kind for that matter. However, I found using Google's simulator to be quite an extraordinary experience. It really seems like flying in a light aircraft, something I haven't done in half a century.
The fact that this can be done on line with a rather modest computer seems just amazing to me. And, it is a great way to escape the weighty realities of everyday existence. The need to devote one's full attention to the task of staying airborne forces every other concern from the mind, while the acquisition of skills needed to maneuver without crashing provides real satisfaction. I spent the better part of a day exploring mountain valleys and revisiting some of my favorite cities and their surroundings. I'm looking forward to finding new low-altitude challenges, perhaps in an around-the-world trip.