The Airplane Notebook

With our trip to the Short Wing Piper Club convention in Saratoga Springs, New York right on the horizon, I realized it was past time for me to write down hotel reservation information and the like. I set off in search of a nice little notebook to write things in and discovered what I call The Airplane Notebook. It's a smallish, spiral bound, blue notebook with lined pages. The cover has a cut out with a little silver airplane in the window. I picked it up in about 2005 to use as a travel journal for our SWPC trip to Vancouver, Washington.

I haven't taken The Airplane Notebook on every trip to the SWPC Convention but it has gone with us to most of them. It's also traveled with us on other trips, too, like a flying trip to Custer, South Dakota one October, as well as a trip I took via commercial airline back to Washington State to write about Stewart Systems, a environmentally friendly airplane paint system.

The Airplane Notebook turned out to be more of a place to jot notes about our trips than it turned out to be a journal. That's okay. I ended up finding the pages of the book a little small for writing. But they are perfect for taking notes about hotel reservations, for jotting down flight times and for writing about people we have met along the way.

A lot of the notes in my Airplane Notebook have to do with the weather but there are other bits that remind me of our flying adventures and the fun, and challenges, we've had along the way.

Here's a note from our 2006 trip to the SWPC Convention in Kingston, Ontario, Canada: "We are in Sault Saint Marie, Canada. Arrived yesterday. Waiting now to go to the airport. Woke to 600 OVA (overcast) so need the skies to life before we go."

And one from our trip home from Vancouver, Washington, in 2005: "We are on the ground in Gillette, WY waiting out scuddy weather. I flew the first leg from Bozeman. Rose and Ryan were both crabby." Rose was six years old that year. Ryan was three. Our trip to and from Vancouver, WA involved 30+ hours in our little airplane.

In 2008, the convention was at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin. We were in the resort's restaurant waiting for breakfast, watching airplanes arrive from the window when I wrote, "A Pacer arrived about a half hour ago. We're hungry." Guess who arrived in that Pacer? Turns out the pilot and co-pilot are distant relatives of mine that I'd never met before which resulted in this note, "I went for a walk with my newly-found relative, Betty."

I picked up the notebook this year thinking it was too full and I wouldn't have room to write my trip notes in it this year. I was happy to discover there's enough blank pages that I can use it again this year. Already I have written in my hotel confirmation number for our place in Saratoga Springs. I've taped in hotel reservations for New York City (we plan to go there for a couple of days) and notes from an email from our friend, Karl, about where to eat while in NYC.

At this moment, we're waiting out the weather in a little airport FBO in Rushford, Minnesota. Will we end up flying all the way to Saratoga Springs or decide to fly our Pacer back home? If we fly back home will we decide to drive all the way to Saratoga Springs so we can get to the convention? Hard to say. But no matter what happens, I'm sure I'll be able to look at my Airplane Notebook next year and see the notes I wrote about the trip along the way.


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