The Air Show

On Saturday morning, we went to the Hill AFB air show up in Layton, UT, USA (BTW: local grammar would be up to Layton). We wanted to make a day of it and take loads of pictures. Andy and Crystal brought the fixings for BLTs on some of his fantastic sourdough bread (Andy’s a pastry chef). I decided to bring some PB&Js and Korean rice treats just in case.

My kids and I have been to the air show before and so prepared for the normal weather: sun, sun & more sun. Who knew it was going to be very cold and rain (maybe we should have checked the weather)? We had our sunscreen and sun friendly clothing. When we got up there, the sky was overcast, but I didn’t think the clouds would hold. It was warm even.

I suppose I should have suspected something, because there were quite a few people who had hoodies on. As we walked through Hill AFB from the parking lot to the tarmac, I was thinking the weather was perfect. Even at the security check point the weather was great. In this picture to the right in front of the nearest aircraft, the weather was only then turning a little breezy. There was still a jet flying overhead doing tricks and people were buying trinkets and whatnots. There were a lot of people at the air-show and most people were having fun. I was anyway.

In the picture is Robby, my youngest kid. The picture is taken by Crystal. I don’t know what it is, but I love aircraft. I even like flying. Long distances even. I’m not sure what type of aircraft this is. I reminds me of a very updated C130. The C130s I was familiar with from my army days didn’t have some of the cool doodads this one has. I really wanted to see a C17, but I never got a chance to see one.

Andy ran up for this picture to the left and once it was taken, Robby said he really had to pee. I was hoping to get a picture with Crystal. In fact lots of them. Unfortunately, this never happens. We walk off together over to the long line of blue port-a-potties. Rob and I both get into line and twenty minutes later we finally got in. During that time, the weather started to turn. Cold. Windy. Light sprinkles. I stood in line and listened to people complain about the crowds and how the security lines were too, too long, about how the TSA was stupid and how the potty line would be a great place to target, and that the kids just didn’t like the potties because they were stinky. When I finally got a chance to pee, the airman just in front of me zipped up his coat against the cold. I hadn’t thought about it, but it was cold, but I love the cold. Later as we drive home, we see that the mountains were covered with snow only a thousand feet higher than the valley floor.

While we were in line, Andy and Crystal took a neat series of pictures of a bumble bee too cold to fly. Bumble bees around here can get over an inch in length. Crystal said a lady nearby was quite frightened of it. Bumble bees are scary and since bumble bees are so big and do have a large visible stinger, I can understand why someone would be so afraid. The cold and wind, though had pretty much immobilized it. It was as grounded as the flight line soon would be.

As we walked from the port-a-potties back to the flight line, the rain started coming down and the wind became violent. We walked past the radio, satellite center to the left and listened to a person within call out the names of children they had in a tent nearby. At the time we thought this was funny. I told the kids some of the stories about me and my friend Mark and some of the stuff we experienced as he operated a similar piece of equipment as the radio sitting in the back of the hum-vee pictured here.

The rain was cold and we overheard the PA announcement that the flight portion of the air-show was postponed. I didn’t mind. I was not here for the flight stuff anyway. I was here for the ordinance, aircraft, military stuff and displays from local businesses. If I want to see someone do loops, I can download something from Youtube.

Here are some of the cool things we saw:

And this is just about where we decided we better find shelter. It is hard to tell, but the rain is actually starting to come down in earnest. What can not be heard are the children crying. Crystal unfortunately was wearing a very pretty summer dress and she thought we ought to be going. Andy agreed and so from this spot by the F15s we cut across the tarmac to some maintenance buildings where we could at least hide from the wind. Now these building were closed for security reasons. I can understand that. Hill AFB is an important place. Once across, the rain was very heavy and we decided we were just going to go home.

Robby was soaked through and so was Crystal. I could have stayed, but that would have been very inappropriate. Once we got to the buildings, I ran off to some of the trinket vendors to see if I could buy a rain jacket for Crystal. No one had one, but the vendors were very nice and gave me a couple of huge garbage bags. I know they could have charged me a buck a pop, but I am glad they didn’t.

Once she pulled the bag over her head, we trudged off. Water was splashing out of my shoes more than from the puddles I was trying to skip over. It was about this time I heard the PA request that everyone clear the flight line. As far as I could tell, Hill AFB was closed (later, the show resumed, but by that time we were back home). The crowds started for the gates. We joined in of course. As we left, we passed hundreds of people huddled under the C5A and other aircraft. In one of the pictures above, you can see a few people hiding under a F15 wing. As we were leaving, we heard the communications people call out children’s names again. The rain was pummeling us with big, fatty drops. I could not imagine having to search for a missing child in that rain. I would be out of my head with worry.

Once we got back to the car, we ate the PB&Js I made. Quick and easy calories. I didn’t know why I made them when I did, but I was very glad we did. While we were in the car with the heater going, other people were loading into their cars and SUVs with their crying children. Everyone looked so cold and wet. Most people were as poorly prepared as we were. We also drank our water and then ate most of the BLTs Andy and Crystal had prepared. Eventually, we left. We took more pictures than I showed, but I want to leave that to Crystal’s blog. Below, you can see my favorite picture. I’m soaked through, but I’m happy to be with my kids and standing in front of one of my favorite pieces of construction equipment.

Next year, it will most likely be burning hot like it normally is, but just in case, we will bering umbrellas and rain gear.


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