A Weekend in Santa Barbara

Just after Labour Day, Libby and I flew down to Santa Ynez just outside Santa Barbara. Once out of the Bay Area, the weather was clear and sunny. We flew past San Jose, Hollister then over Pinacles National Monument and then followed 101 down past Paso Robles to San Louis Obispo.

This is the coastline just south of San Louis Obispo.

Oceano airport in the bottom right and the beachfront that stretches to the south towards Vandenburg Air Force Base.

On short-final for runway 26 at Santa Ynez. It was busy when we landed with plenty of local traffic and glider activity.

The lads at the airport office were friendly and helpful. We were impressed by the inviting looking picnic/camping area right by the ramp, but we were met by friends and whisked off to enjoy our own picnic and a swim in a rock pool in the Los Padres National Forest.

On the way back again San Louis Obispo had some interesting cloud play amongst the hills. We kept well over the 2000' minimum above the Santa Lucia Condor Study Area passing over the ridge.

Interesting erosion patterns on the way to King City.

The Bay Area was overcast, so I got my VORs dialed in and headed for SUNOL with only a few peaks above the clouds. It was a situation very reminiscent of my arrival back from the Tahoe trip earlier in the year - but this time with an instrument rating! I asked for, and was cleared for the ILS 27R approach into Oakland which went very smoothly (my first solo approach).

We had a beautiful slow descent, darting in and out of the clouds for a while with a setting sun before descending into the soup and then emerging a few minutes later, very much at night, with the approach lights welcoming us home.


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