… Actually a $300 milkshake, but who’s counting? There’s a phrase in aviation – the “Hundred Dollar Hamburger” – which is basically a short flight to go have lunch somewhere. This phrase was coined back when $100 of plane time could actually get you somewhere and back. Not so much anymore, but it’s catchy.
All of that is prelude to saying that I spent my birthday this week flying to Baker, CA to have a milkshake at the Mad Greek. It was an awesome time, and served as further proof that the journey is often the whole point, and to hell with the destination. Baker is a tiny town off I-15, in the middle of the desert, that most people know only from passing it on the way to Vegas. There’s a giant thermometer that can be read from miles away, and that often reads in the triple digits (Baker is literally hotter than hell most days).
Baker also has a tiny airport, which is a generous word to use. It would be more accurate to say that Baker has a runway. 3300′ long or so, and 50′ wide, which is basically separated from the neighboring highway by about 100′ and a chainlink fence. You could literally just drive off the road and onto the runway and nobody would notice or care. At least there’s a wind sock and some parking. The runway was also in surprisingly nice shape (compared to, say, SAS at the Salton Sea). The airport’s call sign even screams out obscurity. Orange County is SNA (Santa Ana). Los Angeles International is LAX. Baker is 002. Naturally, I’ve wanted to fly there ever since I saw the little blip on the Los Angeles chart:
Having only a few hours to fly, it seemed like the right day to finally make the trip, so I took off from Corona and enjoyed a calm, cool, beautiful flight to Baker, a 2 mile walk to town for a milkshake, and an easy flight home. I also got a chance to finally play with Hipstamatic a bit, and I can see why people are hooked. It’s not perfect, but it does make photography on the iPhone a bit more casual, and at least gives the images some character (maybe a bit too much, but it’s something).
By the way… it was a peanut butter milkshake. And it was delicious.