Sunday, October 13, 2013

Black Diamond

Flathead Rob & I decided to run out to Black Diamond today. Last weekend I attempted to find the route he'd take me on out there once before but failed. It's a cool road, wooded two lane and it seems like there is an interesting old vehicle stashed away in every other driveway.

 We stopped by the Black Diamond Bakery. It's not the best stop if 2,000 calorie pastries aren't on the top of your food list but they have good coffee and it was a good place to study a map to plan our next leg. Rob & I were both amused to Jack N. Beanstalk's sister tuning in the Seahawk's game.

As we were leaving we saw a father and son looking over our bikes. As the conversation progressed vintage airplanes came up (rumor has it radial engines leak oil too). They mentioned owning a couple of vintage airplanes and invited us to stop by as they were planning to have a couple planes out to fulfill a couple of promised rides. Hard to say no.

Once we got there we got a quick tour of the hanger and really enjoyed chatting. Quite the incredible family with some equally incredible vintage airplanes.

Cessna 140
Polished Aluminum - Stop drooling Stephen

 Ben is the 17 year old son of two extremely accomplished military/commercial parents. Quite the incredible guy. Ben mentioned having 200+ hours, .4 hours of which was NOT logged in a tail dragger. One of the rides they were giving was to the owner of a glider company considering bringing Ben on as a tow pilot.

Ben's mom (who you can see in the photos) was taught to fly by a WWII era Air Corps flight trainer father in a Stearman. This is BTW HER Stearman. She seemed understandable proud of Ben's pilot chops. As it should, Ben just killed it. As the day progressed one of the folks scheduled for a ride backed out. The sun had finally just cracked outta the clouds for the first time that day. Ben walked up and said "So who's next?" Rob pointed at me.

Pretty incredible. It was my first ride in an open cockpit biplane. Rob was next.

 What an amazing day. Ben has taken a recent interest in motorcycles. It seems only natural he needs some time on a foot-clutch, tank-shift bike. That will happen soon.


english stephen said...

I know, I know, I should have been there... What a great chance meeting. Anyhow, what better combination could you have that vintage bikes and vintage airplanes. The 140 in polished ali. is just about the prettiest plane around. Very cool...

BitMonkey said...

That 140 is a pretty stunning plane inside and out.

Both the Stearman and the 140 were at South Prairie Fly-In last year and will be there again this year. That's the event you need to be around for. We'll see to it you have a cool bike to ride if you show up. I think that event it normally in May.