Not long after arriving in Denver, a friend invited me to go for a flight in her two-seater plane, a 1976 Citabria 7KCAB. I have always enjoyed looking out at the world from airplane windows and couldn't pass up this opportunity.
Standing next to Marijke's plane, I was immediately struck by the fact that something so human in scale can take us safely into the sky and back. Commercial passenger aircraft are huge - it's hard to sense just how big they are until you're on the ground looking at them, not getting onto one via an airport jetway. They're also solid, made of metal and plastic and don't wobble as you're climbing into it. The plane I climbed into, produced by American Champion, was originally designed to train pilots in aerobatic flying. They're made of fabric covered steel tube frames and have wood spar wings. You can feel its lightness in the air - how it rolls, bounces and glides on gusts of wind. It's absolutely exhilarating to fly, slowly, so close to the Flatirons and Rocky Mountains. Thanks, Marijke!