Heidy-Ho, Blogging Pals!! Sorry to leave you with a cliff-hanger... but I had already gone on too long. :)
So... YES!! We waited about an hour and a half while the powers-that-be figured it all out and watched them finally pull our beautiful ride out of the mud. The crew checked everything out thoroughly, determined there was no damage, and we were finally back on the aircraft!! The engines started up for the second time that day!!
We taxied and turned onto the runway. The pilots ran up each engine to its max until all four were roaring. The entire plane was vibrating and you could feel it wanting to be let loose into the sky!! It was amazing!! Finally, we took off and banked left for our ride!
Once we were up, the Loadmaster motioned that we could unbuckle and wander about the aircraft. He didn't have to tell me twice!!! I was outta' that belt and scrambling toward the cockpit like a chicken on a June bug!! (Yes, that's the side of my head at the lower right of the photo below.) We did reach a pretty good altitude although I couldn't really tell you what it was. I was so busy exploring the aircraft, I'm afraid I didn't spend much time looking OUT of the windows!
When I finally realized I should allow some others into the cockpit, I made my way back, over the bomb bay doors, through the radio "room" where we had been buckled in for take-off, and across the gunnery area where the side gunners' machine guns and belts were laid out and reached the rear of the plane. My new excellent friend, the Loadmaster, kindly allowed the spousal-unit to take our picture together. He was a sweetheart and just "loads" of fun.
Apparently there is a lake somewhere near Jasper, Texas although neither I nor the spousal-unit even knew we were flying over one! We saw it in the pictures when we viewed them later! He was pointing and clicking out windows without real regard for exactly what he was shooting. That always seems to work well for him.
One of the good things about our delay in getting off the ground was that two of our other "riders" were not able to remain until it was time to take off. While I am sorry they missed the ride, we were honored to be able to bring along a WWII Navy veteran, Ken Fling, when we finally got going. I got his address and forwarded the picture below and another one to him. Remember to always thank any veteran for their service, please? We owe them such an incredible amount.
While we were in the air for about 40 minutes, it all ended WAY too soon for me! I would have stayed up there until we ran out of fuel! But... as all good things, it came to an end. We were given certificates in a lovely red folder as proof we had actually made the trip. One of the crew was kind enough to take a quick picture for us under the nose of the beautiful bird we had been so incredibly fortunate to have flown in. This is definitely one to remember. The flight and the kindness of the spousal-unit in making it happen will remain with me as long as I live!!
That's all I have about this. It was just amazing.
Until next post...