Rooster Tails


Fifteen years ago my wife and I were touring Nevada on a GL-1000 motorcycle. We were traveling south on US 95 and approaching Walker Lake as evening approached. Equipped with all the necessities for spending the nights in the rough, we wheeled into the Walker Lake Campground.

After serving a decade in the Air Force, I naturally searched the sky when I heard a jet. Almost before I was ready a jet fighter (a Tomcat? I’m not sure) dropped out of a clear blue sky and skimmed the surface of Walker Lake, producing a rooster tail like I’ve never seen before or since.

We were still dehydrated and windblown after dinner was over, so we rode a couple miles further south to a small market overlooking the lake for a couple of beers.

“Did you see that airplane?” I asked the white headed codger behind the counter as I paid for two cans of Old Milwaukie.

“Yes, I did. It’s something isn’t it? It happens quite a lot. I kind of like them doing that…old 95 gets pretty quiet sometimes and these hotdogs break up monotony,” he said, grinning. Some asshole down at the Army Base will have already reported it and tomorrow an Air Force Major will drive up here asking about tail numbers, aircraft type, time of day, and such. Of course, we won’t have anything to tell him and he’ll go back to wherever he came from and file a report.”

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