Once you earn your pilot's license you may ask, "What's next?"
For many pilots, the next step is to fly friends or family to lunch (or breakfast, or dinner) somewhere beyond your normal local area. This is commonly called The Hundred Dollar Hamburger. It can be great fun, and is a great pilot tradition. But what's after the hundred dollar hamburger?
Exploration and Adventure
One of the many things that makes flying so special is that you can see and explore places that are difficult or time consuming to access via conventional means. The view from the air is often breathtaking and unique. Once on the ground you can explore these fascinating places for all that they have to offer.
There are many notable places that can be reached within a single day from the San Francisco Bay Area. Some are even close enough to fly to, enjoy, and return from, all in the same day. A few exceptional places: Lake Tahoe, Sierra Nevada, Mt Shasta, Cascade Range, Death Valley, Badwater Basin, Mojave Desert, Mojave Space Port, Palm Desert, Crater Lake, Great Basin, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, Rocky Mountains, Wasatch Range, and Yellowstone.
There are approximately 240 public use airports in California alone. West Valley Flying Club offers the California Passport Program to make exploring in our own backyard even more fun. They offer awards when you reach various milestones, starting at 25 airports. I've earned all awards in the program, including the top award for 200+ airports. It is a fun and challenging program that will leave you with many great memories and interesting stories to tell.
I'm available if you would like to learn to safely and competently fly to any of these wonderful destinations, or participate in programs such as the WVFC California Passport Program. I even know where many of the great restaurants, attractions, and activities are and how to get there.
Mojave Space Port
Badwater Basin - Death Valley