AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 77

enough space to maintain distance from
other visitors, and when not admiring its
collection of airworthy warbirds and learning from helpful docents, patrons can sit
on shaded bleacher stands and watch Palm
Springs' air traffic. The museum's B-17
and still-flying P-51D are highlights, and
any avgeek could easily spend half a day
or more checking out the collection and
plane spotting.
Heading into town felt prepandemic
normal, and Palm Springs' fair weather
made dining outside for a late lunch feel
like a choice rather than a mandate. I wandered down the closed-to-cars main street,
bought some postcards and stamps (I was
really on a trip, I had to tell people!), and
took my time getting to the boho-chic,
eminently Instagrammable Les Cactus for
the night. Falling asleep in a new zip code
was a luxury.
TO THE STARS

Weather was no factor the next morning
on the flight south to Borrego Valley. To
the east, desaturated space race blues and
tans stretched as far as the eye could see; it
was easy to picture past shuttles landing in
the nearby Mojave. I followed the edge of
the Salton Sea before turning west toward
Borrego, checking the novelty box of flying
over land with an elevation lower than 0
feet msl-Jackie Cochran Regional Airport
(TRM) is listed at minus 114 feet. The peace
of a simple flight was welcome, and I wished
the field was just a touch farther away so I
could stay up in the air longer. Startup to
touchdown took a mere 0.7 hours, and I'd
arranged for that night's accommodation,
La Casa del Zorro Desert Resort, to pick me
up from the airport at noon.
With rare good timing and luck, I
arrived right on schedule, tied the airplane down for the night, and doubled
the chart for a sunshield-there still isn't
an app for that. The Spanish-style resort
has five pools to choose from, and for most
of the afternoon I had one to myself. The
expansive grounds are lined with matcha green Palo Verde trees, cozy outdoor
seating, and firepits. It's the perfect place
to unwind with no pressure to go off the
resort grounds-I could see myself coming
back for a week with a silenced cellphone
and a stack of to-be-read books.
The Anza-Borrego area is a known dark
sky zone. With clear skies in the forecast
and after a couple hours poolside, I eagerly
anticipated nightfall. I followed the map

I'd received
at check-in to
the star gazing amphitheater. It welcomed
visitors with a sign-
sic itur ad astra- " thus
one journeys to the stars. "
Night-vision-friendly red
bulbs illuminated the path, and
a tall wooden fence kept the few
resort lights out. I used my jacket as
a pillow and laid out, wondering about
the desert wildlife I could be disturbing.
While the hotel was by no means empty, I
still felt it was more likely I'd run into a coyote than another guest. Satellites, shooting
stars, and the discernible edge of our spiral galaxy are rare sights for city dwellers,
and I stayed out there until my imagination
ran away with visions of scorpions crawling
over to say hello.
BACK HOME

One peaceful night's sleep later and it was
time to wrap up the trip. I was grateful for
a noon checkout while I waited for an impish marine layer to lift at Torrance. Before
I set out on this short adventure, I didn't
know how I'd feel about travel in the age
of a pandemic. Turned out it was by far the

most normal thing I've done
since shutdowns started and
N95s became a household term.
I encountered far fewer people on a
three-day, hotel-visiting, restaurant-dining trip than I do on a single visit to the
grocery store. While almost every aspect of
daily life has shifted in unanticipated ways,
flying GA hasn't changed. Like the rest of
the aviation world, I can't wait for us to
get back to fly-ins and big events, but until
then, at least we pilots have the option
to go places as few others do, and we are
mobile in our distance. 
AOPA
EMAIL alicia.herron@aopa.org

aopa.org/pilot AOPA PILOT | 77


http://www.aopa.org/pilot

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 81
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 97
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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