As I leave the cactus and lizard state today on a big silver bird, I include this fun little cactus and lizard artwork.
I dread the overnight flight from Phoenix to our tiny little island.
First of all, when I get to the airport it will be a ghost town. All of the shops will be shuttered and locked and you'll hear the echo of the lone floor sweeper zipping up and down the empty lanes. I can hear the theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly playing in the back of my head.
My flight leaves Phoenix at 11:45 pm Friday and gets to Chicago at some ungodly hour in the morning. I have a three-hour forty-five-minute layover and then on to St. Thomas. Just over eight hours flying time and about five hours of airport time.
I know I'm kicking-up a bit of a fuss about how long it's going to take, but we really are so lucky to be able to travel so far, so fast.
Hell, I can get across the country on a direct flight in less than six hours. If I were flying in an SR-71, I could get across the country in just over an hour.
The 1999 final flight of the SR-71 set a speed record when it flew from Los Angeles to Washington DC in one hour, four minutes and 30 seconds. That's moving. The SR-71 Blackbird Retired By Flying Coast-To-Coast In One Hour.
I was also reading a fun article this week about an SR-71 pilot who clocked their ground speed at about nineteen hundred knots on a training flight. (1900 knots is 2,186 mph) Blackbird Pilot Trolls Arrogant Fighter Pilot with Ground Speed Check.
Speeds like 2,186 mph are mind-boggling.
Here's an example:
It's 816 miles across the breadth of Texas from El Paso to Texarkana. That distance takes almost 12 hours in a car but in an SR-71 it would take about thirty-five minutes or about five percent of the drive time.
My plane will only be going about 500 miles an hour max.
So, as I lumber through the friendly skies in the early hours of Saturday morning at a mere 500 mph, I'll be counting my blessings and thinking of you.
Until next week, I wish you peace.