Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Little More Done--June 4, 2010


Woke up at 7:10.  Grabbed a quick shower, then headed downstairs for breakfast.  Came back up to the room and packed up.  Only took a few minutes.  That's how you live a life on the road.  Pete and I loaded our stuff up in the car, then headed to the Super 8.  They wouldn't let us check in that early, so we headed on to the airport.

I'm out of free nights at the previous hotel, so now I'm splitting a $64.00/night hotel.  Not terrible, I suppose.

Pre-flighted the plane, then made the long 118-mile journey out to the flight plans.  It was pretty enjoyable having another guy experience this scenery for the first time.  He was like a kid in a candy store...I loved it, because that is exactly how I was/am!  This country is just stinkin' beautiful!  And he was mesmerized by the ever-changing rocks and formations every few miles.  I smiled in agreement.

We tag-teamed the first flight plan, not sure if we'd even be able to do anymore.  That took about 40 minutes to complete.  We loaded up an east-west plan, and much to our surprise (because of the wind forecasts), we were able to do them!  I had to put the gear and flaps down for the eastern lines, but we finished up that one in about 40 minutes, too.  Two down!  Not bad.  We tried another flight plan about 15 miles to the north, but the eastern lines were WAY too fast.   Not even able to complete one line.  So we moved to higher plans.  And they were pretty hard to do.

My plan took me 15 miles west to the edge of some mountains!  I had just mapped the desert, and now I had snow right in front of me!  It was a pretty crazy change in just 20 minutes.  The west-bound line was fine...but when I turned east, I braced for the worst.  I was now directly over the eastern side of the mountain...usually not a good place to be.  But it was smooth!  Ha!  I lined up for the next line, but I was doing 180 knots.  NOT good!  I put in flaps and gear.  Still way too fast.  And then I hit some NASTY turbulence about 5 miles east of the mountains.  I was experiencing all of the winds that had ramped up and now came crashing back down.  I put the flaps back up, and I had a scary moment of just DROPPING out of the sky with the removal of the flaps combined with an unforeseen downdraft!!!  I mean, I just dropped!!!  It was pretty crazy.  Right then and there, I called it a day.

I dropped down to 11,500 and headed back for Grand Junction.  It was crazy bumpy.  Very uncomfortable.  I waited until I had flown past Pete, then climbed up to 12,500 to fly over the mountains on the way back.  It was a fairly smooth flight up there, but I had about 20-30 miles of rough flying before I was able to climb.  It's just downright nasty down there.

We landed back at Grand Junction...I had logged 3.8 hours.  Not a bad day.  Perfect, I guess.  I would be happy with a 4-hour flight each day.  Anything less is probably not enough...anything more...well, no thanks.  The project is now 52% complete.

I couldn't shut my left engine down, though.  I pulled the throttle and mixture all the way back, and it just kept running.  I did that a couple of times.  Still running.  Hmm.  I finally had to just turn off the magnetos.  She died.  This engine is something else...obviously running way too rich.

We checked in to our hotel, then went downtown for lunch.  I had a roastbeef/apple sandwich!  It was good!  Minus the burning of horseradish in my nose!  OUCH!!!  We came back to the hotel and spent most of the afternoon inside.  It was a very warm 93 degrees outside.  I was bored, so I went outside and just sat.

We planned on going to the JUCO World Series later that night, but since they didn't serve alcohol, Pete wasn't too keen on going.  So we said no.  We ended up just going out to a pub to eat, and I had a wrap and fries.  It's been a while since I've had that type of food.  I don't miss it.  It's just...gross.  Too gross for me anymore.  I don't care for it too much.

Came back to the hotel and became really bored.  Just one of those nights.  A lot of boredom combined with too much time on the internet already today combined with ZERO desire to wanting to drink combined with a roommate that wanted to go out and drink combined with talking to Nikes and missing those memories made for a pretty lonely night!  Such is the life, though.  It happens more often than not.  There's just not a lot to do when you don't know anyone in a town.  I have my hands tied.  No one I know, no one knows me.  Makes for a long night.

The forecast for tomorrow looks terrible.  It's going to be sunny again, but we have high winds in our flight plans.  Moreso than today.  Sunday looks good, though.  I'm hoping for a fun scouting flight over Arches National Park tomorrow.  I've been looking forward to that for 10 days now!  Can't wait!

Went to bed at 10:30 P.M.  Alarm is set for 7:10 A.M.  Don't need to wake up that early, but I might as well stay in the routine.

Here's to hoping for 11 days.  Hopefully.

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