WOW – Women of West Valley Flying Club
After a cool, overcast start to the morning, our Bay Area July weather cleared enough for a group of 14 pilots, students and friends to head up to Ukiah (UKI), where it was a toasty 91 degrees. As the airplanes arrived - from PAO N972TA Sue Ballew with students Steve Green & Heidi Matsuo and passenger Stacey Patton; N65504 (C182) Ioan Iacob and Bogdan Gorbanescu with passenger Jeanne McElhatten; from San Carlos N1322K Peter and Diane Cohan; from OAK (by way of CCR) Cardinal N666RJ with David Newitt & Patti Cobb, we admired a couple of firefighting air tankers and a spotter plane belonging to the Ukiah station of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. While posing for photos in the sun, we saw N380SP with Pete Russell and passengers Chris Hobbs and Albert taxi up, fresh from San Carlos and ready to join the fun.
As Sue went to greet the new arrivals, we looked for the shortest path out of the airport to the main road to the Southwest, to lead us to the Himalayan Cafe and a much-looked-forward-to lunch. Certainly several of us may have been wishing for some nice cool Himalayan weather as we waited on the hot, dry tarmac, discussing whether we could find a gate, or would need to double back to the main entrance - in the heat, we were not eager to take the extra steps. As we stood under some trees deciding to send forth a reconnaissance group, one of the firefighters came out to answer questions and bring us ice-cold bottles of water! These guys got all of our deepest appreciation. And sure enough, we discovered a break in the fence to slip through at the far corner of the airport, so we didn’t have to take the
Long way around after all.
The Cafe, just a short walk down the road, was air conditioned, and we had the place to ourselves. The service was very friendly, if perhaps a little overwhelmed by trying to make so much tasty food at once. The curries were offered at whatever level of spice we wanted and the warm, flavorful breads were soft and puffy. There’s a small stage and sound equipment, and we discovered that some evenings they feature music and dance from their traditions - perhaps a lure for another time. After a fine culinary experience, coupled with lively conversations about travel, music, airplanes, world events and - wouldn’t you know? - flying, we made our way back to our planes and took to the skies, happy for another Saturday well-spent with our favorite things.