It wasn't long after I arrived in China Lake, CA that I was awarded my first Sailor of the Quarter. I remember this award well because my Department Head was a Search & Rescue pilot and he took me out flying as an additional reward. His crew placed me in a harness and dangled me about 20-30 feet below the helicopter while they flew through the sky. It was really scary at first but after I adapted, it was invigorating.
For those of you that don't know China Lake, it is situated near the Mojave desert and it gets extremely hot. Nearby, in the mountains, there is snow during the winter months. Within a matter of minutes, I went from 110 degrees to about 30 degrees. We landed in the mountains, the crew jumped off, and we had ourselves a snowball fight. Those were the good ol' days.