Everything hurts. I’m not going to open my eyes. Oh, hell. Bladder warning. Reality check. I’m going to have to move.
Eyes open, I’m assaulted by the Day-Glo orange of the hyperlight tent I’m lying inside. There’s a bucolic moment where I hear birdsong—and then something else. The rapid beating of blades on air. A helicopter: big, inbound. Where was that helicopter pad staked out?
The dome of the tent starts to move. Crap. Did I even tie down this thing when we crawled inside it last night? I know I tied down the airplane. I look over at my sleeping partner, who is snoring away in his sleeping bag. He’s heavy enough; we’re not going anywhere.
Ugh. I heave myself to a sitting position and pull on my shorts. I crawl to the door (this is a backpacking tent, not stand-up—even for me).
“Zippers should be banned,” I mumble, forcing myself to be gentle so as not to tear the seams. Feet out, shoes slipped on, I emerge on hands and knees into a spray of dew off the rather-wet turf. My eyebrows are being blown back by the turbulence generated by the landing Coast Guard helicopter. Standing, I watch as an ambulance trundles up and disgorges a patient onto a stretcher. Within a minute, they are secured on board, and the wind pummels the tent once more as the rescuers depart. Then back to birdsong. And I remember my bladder—run!
No, actually. I don’t run anywhere anymore. Late middle age is not always kind to former athletes. Maybe I just pick up the pace a little bit and usher a prayer of thanks that I am not forced to wait in a line for the bathroom dedicated to campers on this airfield. Inside, it is clean and warm, if a little damp from the previous occupant, who clearly showered. Functional. I’ll take it.
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The Temple of Speed
Reno entices even this altitude-oriented pilot.
Blue over Green, Tent in Between
I’m old , I’m cranky. Why do I keep air-camping?
Gulfstream Reveals G400, G800
The product lineup gains large-cabin and ultralong-range mounts.
Every Airplane Requires a Checkout
Embrace the challenge of mastering a new machine.
Fifty-plus years of f lying forgetfulness
THE MAULE FAMILY APPROACHABLE AIRCRAFT
Choose your mount —the Maules do it all.
“ Women certainly have the courage and tenacity required for long flights.” —Mildred Doran
INSIDE OUT OR OUTSIDE IN?
What kind of pilot should you be?
WE FLY: CESSNA CITATION CJ4 GEN2
THE FLAGSHIP CJ JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT BETTER.
The Island of Birds
Imagine an island untouched by humans and without any large mammals. Colorful and strange birds of all shapes and sizes swoop over lush forests and seaside hills.
Lost and found
Val is saddened by wildlife habitat loss due to HS2, but is cheered by the discovery of rare wild honey bees
An old dog embraces a smart modern trick
Summer has arrived and the pre-season to-do list at High Park is ever-growing — but a 10-day fishing trip won’t just happen by itself
The past is a grey area
The wild English partridge was once abundant and had a complex relationship with man that remains to this day, says Patrick Laurie
“My story isn't over yet”
Every day Sam Bloom longs for the surf-loving woman she used to be before a tragic accident injured her spinal cord. But the unstoppable love of her husband and sons, plus a remarkable friendship with an injured magpie, made her want to live again, she tells Juliet Rieden.
FRANKLY, WE LIKE DARLING FOR THE OAKS
Dave Youngman assesses Newmarket’s hopes for Epsom
TOWN & COUNTRY
Frances and Trevor Halliday were delighted to find a pastoral Georgian gem in the middle of London
‘I've created a HIDDEN GEM'
With a little flair and imagination Sarah turned an uninspiring city garden into a calm and secluded outdoor haven
Birdsong and boating
This month’s walk is an easy four-mile stroll through some pretty countryside just east of Lymm
A sonnet to spring
Once believed to be summoned from slumber by birdsong, spring–from gambolling lambs to pale wood anemones and the rabbity-nosed velvet of ash buds– is a season of timeless joy for John Lewis-Stempel