We have been having a great winter rain season here in Southern California and the hills are as green as can be. You only see them green for a couple months (if you’re lucky) and the rest of the year they are brown. A few years back they never even got green.
So… when they do get green you want to go fly and see them. Finally, my schedule lined up with a clear day and we went flying. We departed from Fullerton and headed East before flying South over Irvine Lake and around the south end of Saddleback Mountain to land at French Valley for some lunch.
Lunch was great, as it usually is there at French Valley. We sat at the window and watched the planes coming and going. About halfway through lunch there was a Cherokee rolling down the runway that suddenly got a little squirrelly and then went off the side of the runway. Just taking a guess but I’m thinking he must have blown a tire because he was rolling down the middle of the runway when all of a sudden he was in trouble. Later as we took off he was still off the side of the runway and as we flew past you could see the dirt/mud in front of the prop was all chewed up, sadly he not only ended up off the runway but he had a prop-strike.
We took the route back to the north so we could fly past my old home at the Corona Airport. The west end hangars had partially flooded after the heavy rains and you could still see water close to the departure end of runway 25. There was a huge amount of water behind the Prado Dam. The hills around Lake Matthews had some green and the beginnings of some poppies, but the Chino Hills State Park was as green as I’ve ever seen it, simply beautiful.