Mountains and adventures!!

by 13. June 2013 22:02
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I'm not even quite sure where to begin about today's adventures.  What started off as a fairly quiet breakfast at the hotel In Holdredge, NE, ended up with lessons learned and fun as well.  

We decided at breakfast that we wanted to see one of the race stops that wasn't exactly on our way to Washington, that stop being Woodward, OK.  We're fast enough to go a little out of the way and if you look at your map, you'll see that from Nebraska, Oklahoma isn't exactly on the way to Washington.  But it was a great choice as we got to practice some lower altitude flying and the folks at Woodward were exceptionally friendly.

From there, we wanted to see what some of the mountains we would be crossing looked like, so we headed towards Spearfish, SD.  Now it's a long way from Oklahoma to South Dakota, even in a fast plane like Dianna's Cirrus SR-22.  But we had some pretty good tail winds and had an airport to stop at for fuel all planned out.  Heading out on our 2 1/2 hour journey from Woodward to Spearfish we were able to admire some of the scenery and enjoy the flight.  As the terrain rose, we monitored our systems and fuel and dealt with a little increasing turbulence. We had some storm systems to our west that we monitored during our essentially uneventful flight.  As we approached our destination, we listened to the specific frequency for the airport that described their weather and gave any other important information regarding the status of the airport.  And the fun began.

The runway was closed.  Yep, we listened to the information a couple of times and sure enough, we hadn't checked our appropriate information before we left Woodward or we would have known that.  The neat thing about becoming a pilot is that it teaches you that you always have options. And we always have a plan B and most of the time a plan C as well.  We looked for the next closest airport and only had to divert just a few short miles from our path. The difficult part was that we had to navigate over some terrain.  i was still flying as PIC ( pilot in command ) and got us lined up just great for what  should have been a routine landing.  All my experience is in our Cessna 182, a high wing airplane that travels about 150 mph.  I ended up being too high too close to the runway and wasn't sure I could safely land the plane so I asked Dianna to take over as PIC.  She got us athlete ground and all was well.  We each gave a huge sigh of relief that we had our plan B airport to divert to.

While we were fueling the plane, the airport manger noticed the Wilson Combat sticker on the plane and we started talking about guns and shooting.  He mentioned that he was going to shoot his first IDPA match this coming weekend.  It's a small world.

We left Custer, Wyoming on our way to Logan, Utah.  We had to dodge some weather and deal with some higher elevations, but Dianna flew and it was a great flight.  We landed at Logan, greeted three of the air race teams that had landed before us and headed to our hotel. 

We ended the evening with a nice dinner to celebrate a great day of flying and Dianna's birthday.  She's a youngster.  A whole 11 days younger than I am.  Tomorrow is the last of the pre-race journey as we find our way to Pasco, WA.  We'll keep ya posted.



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