Sunday, June 21, 2009

Busy Saturday

It was Friday night and I knew the weather was going to be a challenge Saturday.

As my alarm sounded Saturday morning, I slowly arose and went to a window to find that my concerns were coming true. The skies were gray and overcast, and rain was threatening. The day begins...

My friend Rick and I had a full schedule of places to go and things to do. Every time that I do not drive it feels like I have to move. I have my camera, laptop, tripod, power inverter, safety gear, jacket, etc.. etc... Good thing Rick also has a large vehicle.

Even though I had attended the Mile High Hook and Ladder event in Littleton before, finding a large number of Fire Departments in attendance to contribute to the parade down Littleton Blvd to downtown Littleton's Main Street, this year proved quite a disappointment. In addition to the dreary overcast and misting skies, the parade was lucky to have lasted 10 minutes, and that may be generous. In years past many departments proudly displayed their equipment to the people lined up along the parade route. I would assume that due to the tight municipal budgets in our staggering economy, many departments failed to attend this year.

As Rick's primary photographic focus today was on the apparatus that departments were showing off to the public, his rewards were few to almost non-existent. I usually try and focus my efforts elsewhere, but I do occasionally take shots of this nature.

The parade gave way to a Fire Muster event on the grounds of the Arapahoe Community College. Even though the crowds were decent, the parking lots that have been full in past years remained mostly empty of the fire equipment that we were there to shoot. The departments that were in attendance, attempted to create an atmosphere that would be of interest for the children and they also provided some exhibits and demonstrations.

My camera had been somewhat active during this event, but there were no shots that I would plan on using.
So on to the next event on the schedule...

We made the trek up Highway 285 to the Inter-Canyon Fire & Rescue's Station 1 in Jefferson County. They were providing the community with an Open House to display some of their equipment, familiarize citizens with their local fire department and answer any questions. It always helps attract folks when you are serving coffee and donuts.

All of the members of the volunteer department were very friendly and were more than willing to give you any information that you wanted. Some of the members of this department have full time jobs with Denver metro area fire departments. Inter Canyon provides coverage to local residents of 60 square miles of Jefferson County, including a stretch of Highway 285.

Rick was able to get all of the shots that he wanted to get, and I was able to get some different shots that I will be posting over the next few days.

Thanks to all of the members of the Inter-Canyon Fire & Rescue for welcoming us and their courtesy.

I want to also thank Christian of the Jeffco 6A Troop of the Colorado State Patrol. He had stopped by to introduce himself and meet with some of the firefighters. He was kind enough to let me shoot his vehicle for our Colorado State Patrol group on Flickr.

Although I would have preferred sunny weather with some blue sky, the lighting from overcast skies sometimes is preferable for photography. I was able to get a few shots that made this stop worthwhile.

Okay, so far we had ventured from my home in Wheat Ridge to Littleton in Arapahoe County, the foothills of Jefferson County, and now we were en-route to Boulder. I told you that we had a lot on the plate...

The skies were persistently overcast to this point and were now becoming more ominous with the afternoon heating and scattered thunderstorms building to the west.

As we approached our final planned stop of the day, the skies were buzzing with aircraft. Although most of the main events at the Boulder Municipal Airport were held in the morning, including a hot air balloon launch, skydiver demonstration, and a flyover by a MiG-17, we were still able to catch the aircraft exhibition area. This was all part of the 4th Annual Airport Day and Open House.

Although Rick had planned on being able to catch the Boulder Fire Department and the Boulder Emergency Squad displays that were scheduled to appear, he was somewhat disappointed when they were not there.

Oh well, there were plenty of other things to our liking to catch some shots of. I know that I was not disappointed.

Once we entered the airport, my eyes were immediately drawn to some of my favorite aircraft. Helicopters!!

The Army Blackhawk Helicopter stood proudly on the tarmac on the west end of the airport.

Even though it was getting to the end of the open house, there was still quite a few people milling around exploring the aircraft, but the majority were in and around the dark military helicopter.

Unfortunately, I am not a pilot, but I have flown in helicopters many times, and I do so at every opportunity. I love it.

A Grumman TBM 3 Avenger was also a crowd pleaser. This large 1942 airplane is 1 of only 16 still flying today. It was designed to carry either torpedoes or bombs and carried a crew of three. For air to air combat, the plane had three (.50 cal) machine guns, one in the turret and one on either wing.

And if you are interested in owning your own single engine turboprop airplane, the Swiss made Pilatus PC-12 NG goes for a cool 4 million dollars.

I seriously thought about putting in an order, but I decided to wait until I win the lottery...

But if you are interested in more of a classic passenger aircraft, you could have perused a 1943 Beechcraft SNB-5/ UC 45 J. This airplane is privately owned, however you could purchase a ride for $75.
There were also a few other airplanes that we did not have time to look at.
All in all, it was a good day. The weather could have cooperated a little more, but you have to go with what Mother Nature deals you.

No comments:

Post a Comment