To have an aircraft waiting to pick you at an airport is one thing: yes, it is cool, and sounds like fun. To be in a 4 seat Cessna 172R, struggling to climb with the three souls on board, the luggage, and fuel for a one our trip, is another.
It’s a light aircraft, but it’s a good one. With the high wing, it’s pretty stable. But when the aircraft is heavy, the engines screaming at close to full power to squeeze what was barely a climb at 4000ft, dark clouds all around, dropping visibility (visibility was still good, though), an upright seat to accommodate my over sized luggage, and gusts that bump you around once in a while, it isn’t really the comfort you’d expect to enjoy.
It wasn’t bad, it was good. We finally “cruised” (read: bumped around) at 7500ft. It just is the way in which you get thrown around that sometimes makes you wonder if you’ll ever reach your near term destination. This was my longest flight ever on a single engine aircraft. I had to do it someday. And I would gladly do it again and again!