We parked in the airport garage, with a $10 all day coupon I printed from the internet, rode the Link light rail to the Columbia City station, then boarded a Metro free shuttle bus that took us to the entry gate at the Lake. By now it was about 11:00.
We found a spot on the bank of the lake in the shade, planted our camp chairs there, and parked ourselves on them. Except for about a half hour of walking around during the day, that's where we stayed, and just sitting around in the shade felt great.
The weekend will be busy with an air show each day and small and big boats racing. For those days there is an entry fee. Friday is air show practice and boat qualifying, and it's free. That's when Tom and I go.
Sean Tucker in his little red stunt plane, the Oracle, is amazing. He can make that plane stand on it's tail, stall, then free fall into a dive.
We were a little confused at first when this jet team appeared, knowing that the US Navy Blue Angels would be preforming. But this beautiful precision flying team is The Breitling Jet Team, from France, flying L-39 Albatros planes.
When the Navy did arrive, it got much noisier! First the Raptor F-22 put in a demonstration,
and then the Harrier Jet AV-8A showed off both it's speed and it's ability to stop in the air, hover, and fly backwards, all with a tremendous amount of force and noise. I love this plane!
Fat Albert is the Navy Blue Angels' C-130 cargo plane. He had to show off too.
And then it was time for everyone's favorite, the Blue Angels, thunder in the sky!
The solo pilots pass at high speed within inches of each otherand fly inverted and "dirty" with landing gear down.
After the air show we braved the hot sun for a short walk to the food concessions and display area. These Unlimited Hydroplanes are retired.
Out on the lake, two vintage hydroplanes took to the water for a demonstration run. These old boats were wooden, open cockpit death traps, but their piston engines were wonderfully loud - thunder on the water.
Today's unlimited hydros are fiberglass, with jet enclosed cockpits and helicopter turbine engines. They whine rather than roar.
But they still throw up great rooster tails.
The pits are a busy place when the hydros take to the water.
For many of you faithful readers, that is far more than you want to know about air planes and race boats, but for many Seattlites, this stuff is just way cool!
Jill, Jake and the kids will be on the lake shore on Sunday for the real thing, along with several hundred thousand other plane and boat nuts, or people who just like to party on a hot August day. I'll watch at home on TV, with lunch on the patio. I've had my fix for this year.