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tommylewis 06-26-2012 10:58 PM

Summer 2012 Travels
Tom and Bonnie started our summer travels with a trip to NH at the end of May and a return to TX two weeks ago in our RV 7a. Last week we continued our travels with a flight out of TX to Cheyenne in our RV 10 to visit our son and family. After a great couple days visiting a grandaughter, we loaded up the RV10 and flew to Steamboat Springs to join the Sutters in their RV7a and McDonalds in their RV10 for the week.

Steamboat Springs Airport

The flight to Cheyenne last week went well with tail winds and therefore great speeds. We were VFR on top over Borger when the cloud cover ended and we made a quick descend into Borger. The RV10 performed well and ran LOP with fuel burn of 11 gph at 8500. The flight to Steamboat was more of a challenge because of the high air temperatures. It was 70 degrees at 10500 feet. At this temperature and altitude I had the RV 10 run hotter than it ever has. Hope the temps get cooler by this weekend.

Five of the crew of six.

We have been doing some hikes and exploring the area. Today we hiked to Fish Creek Falls, a 3 hour 2k ascent to the upper falls. Not bad for 6 old fogies. Both upper and lower falls were beautiful with lots of wild flowers along the way. Having a great time.

Tom and Bonnie at Upper Fish Creek Falls

We have a ten week trip planned in our RV10. See you at Oshkosh.

Check out our Spot tracking map link below.

rockwoodrv9 06-26-2012 11:05 PM

Just down the road
Sounds fun. I am just down the road in Glenwood Springs. It has been HOT lately. Have a good trip and let me know if you get down this way on your way back. Maybe lunch?

Peterk 06-27-2012 08:12 AM

Dodged Another One
As usual you planned well. I took my thermometer down to your porch yesterday and it said 106. Enjoy your trip. We always have fun reading about it...please continue (our vicarious pleasure). Our best to the Sutters and Mac's as well. See you in September!


Wayne Gillispie 06-27-2012 09:21 PM

See you at HBC
Keep the trip reports always we enjoy them.

Our first trip in the -10 to Florida went well for us. 16 Hrs FT. Went to Latrobe, PA Airshow last Sat. Averaging 15 mpg, as good as our ground bound SUV, but a little faster. OAT= 58F, Alt= 8500', DA= 10,500', Pwr= 66%, FF= 9.9 gph, 25F LOP, MAP= 22.2, RPM= 2300, CHT= 308-343, OT= 186F, OP= 72 psi, TAS= 154 kts.

We are flying up for our daughter to attend the EAA Air Academy soon then back up for Osh. Flying in Sat am and departing Tue am depending on wx and the funometer reading. We have everything ready to go...even our Marmot 4P tent weighing in at 9.0 lbs. Looking forward to meeting you guys.

flyinmonque 06-27-2012 11:37 PM

.....All the beatle kill tree's! That's why the west is burning up! It's not just a few spots here and there. Go to Grand Lake, close to 100% dead for miles. Runs thru California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana and into Canada. Not sure about the Dakoda's. Could get ugly before it's over!

tommylewis 07-03-2012 03:51 PM

Pirep on Steamboat Springs
We spent a week at Steamboat Springs and found a lot to do. The airport at Steamboat is a nice GA airport but there are frequent strong crosswinds by mid day. The guideline to do your mountain flying as early as possible certainly applies. We all arrived between 9am and 10am and found calm winds. There is a courtesy car which we used to return the rental car before office hours. Rental cars are available from Enterprise and rental condos are also available. We enjoyed hiking the Fish Creek Falls hike which is an easy 15 minutes to the lower falls and another 90 minutes and a 2000 vertical accent to the upper falls. It was a beautiful hike. A good workout for some old fogies. The Strawberry Hot Springs are hot pools in a natural setting with 5 different pools ranging from 107 deg to a cool pool.

View of Strawberry Hot Springs

We also attended two concerts in the Strings concert series. One was a free concert at the Botanical Gardens and the other was an evening concert at the concert hall. The downtown has good shopping, restaurants and art galleries which we all enjoyed. On Thursday evening, the gondola ride to the top of the ski hill has a special that includes your first drink. The area is very beautiful and pleasant to visit with lots to offer vacationing flyers.

View at top of gondola

tommylewis 07-03-2012 04:26 PM

Johnson Creek
Saturday morning we flew out of Steamboat Springs bound for Johnson Creek Idaho. We took off at 0 dark 30, made one fuel stop and landed at JC about 10am. The flight was smooth with a SW wind at 10500. We had one TFR in W WY to avoid. While there were a number of planes on the airport, we found good camp sites and were all setup by noon. Idaho is not quite as dry as Colorado is yet so there were no TFRs or smoke up here. The grass on the JC airstrip is probably as good as I have seen it as shown on the pictures below.

Turning final for JC

So after setting up camp we got the curtesy van and drove into Yellow Pine for lunch. We have our RV10 here, the Sutters have their RV7a here, the McDonalds have their RV10 here and the Moores have their new unpainted RV10 here. You can probably see some of these on the JC Webcam. We three RV10s, you can guess we have a few "extra" items along such as a 6 lb box of dominos and a 8 lb set of boccee balls.

Our RV10

Sunday morning we all flew over to McCall for breakfast at the Pancake House and to buy groceries at the supper market across the street from the airport. 350 dollars later we flew back to JC with our weeks provisions. The weather was cloudy for the trip to McCall and cooler. Monday it was 42 when we got up but warmed to the mid 80s by afternoon.

Our tent overlooking the river

Have a good July 4 holiday

tommylewis 07-10-2012 11:46 PM

Moved on
After a wonderful week at Johnson Creek, we flew out last Sat. This was the view on the flight out.

We flew over to Driggs ID for the week. This is the view out the left side on base for rw 22. The Tetons are awesome.

And this is on final for rw 22.

NovaBandit 07-11-2012 09:20 AM

Beautiful! Steamboat is my all time favorite ski town, but I've never visited in the summer. Looks amazing. Another destination to add for the -10 when it's done.

I've also never seen Strawberry Springs in the daylight (there is a slightly different atmosphere there at night!)

ppilotmike 07-11-2012 01:57 PM

Man, I really want to see those pics, since I live in Colorado. They don't show on the thread anymore. Is there a link?

tommylewis 07-11-2012 08:46 PM

I can still see all these pictures, but if you cannot copy this link to see them. 2012

The country around Steamboat is really nice, but this year everything is so dry so we were glad to move on before another fire develops in CO.

We saw the signs at Strawberry Springs for evening indicating clothing optional. But 8 over 60 old farts probably would not be something anyone would want to see. The pools would empty in a hurry.

This is the view off the deck at the rent house we have this week in Driggs. I am setting here enjoying a cold one and the view.

tommylewis 07-12-2012 11:26 PM

PIREP on Driggs, ID
I could write up any of the great hikes we took this week, but instead today's glider fllight along the west side of the Tetons was a real highlife of this visit.

A Husky towed us up to 11.5k to the west of Grand Teton where we released and caught thermos and stayed there admiring these beautiful mountains.

This was an awesome view of the Tetons.

tommylewis 07-15-2012 10:34 PM

Driggs to Custer
Last Sat morning we flew out of Driggs about 30 min before rain moved into the area. I was flying this leg as Bonnie had flown into Driggs. I climbed to 11.5k and flew around the north end of the Tetons. This was the view out the right wing.

From this point we flew to the Togwotee Pass on the east side of the Jackson Valley and SE down to Riverton then direct to Custer SD. Shortly after the pass I took this picture of the two left screens on our panel. As you can probably figure out, we were at 11.5k, 187 mph TAS, 2370 rpm and 19.9 mp, 10.5 gph. I did not take a picture of the right screen which shows the engine info, but we were LOP with cylinders ranging between -30 and -50 with cylinder temps 310 to 330. Outside air temp was 55 deg. At this point in the flight the winds were from the side, but shortly became a 20 mph tailwind. A real nice flight.

Landed in Custer to find the prearranged rent car waiting and a spot in the hangar to park the RV 10. When I get the picture of the final approach to Custer to load I will post it here.

We are now traveling by ourselves as the rest of the gang went back to Texas.

pmccoy 07-16-2012 11:26 AM

So Cool!
Tom, thanks for sharing your adventure. Very cool photos. I especially like the "Strawberry Hot Springs". I would love to go check that out in person. Keep it up. Those of us who have yet to get flying love to see trip write ups. What a great way to stay motivated. Thanks.:)

Subwaybob 07-16-2012 07:27 PM

Thanks for all the great pics. I love the instriments pic. Three different instriments, three different headings! Just average em out, you'll get there! ;)

Sid Lambert 07-16-2012 07:56 PM

Hey, I saw you guys at Johnson Creek. We left there and went to Cavanaugh Bay. It was sooooo hot at Johnson Creek.

Was the F1 Rocket with you guys? It was a nice one. It was also fun watching Dale land at JC in his Harmon. Interesting approach to say the least.

tommylewis 07-16-2012 08:31 PM

Hi Sid, yes I remember talking to you at JC. We went down to Ice Hole on one of the hot afternoons. The F1 rocket was not with us. We also enjoyed Dale's coming and goings. We had 3 RV10s and 1 RV7a in our group.

Bob, those are not headings, but tracks, and come from 2 different gps. And we did get there, so far.

tommylewis 07-20-2012 04:30 PM

We made it!
Tom & Bonnie flew into OSH mid afternoon today, Friday. Not many here yet, will be fun to watch the arrivals this weekend.

Camped in row 307, stop and say hi.

tommylewis 07-31-2012 10:13 PM

We had a great 9 days camping in HBC. Here is a sunset over the RV10.

Here is a picture of the lineup to depart on 36. Bonnie is flying this leg as I flew in.

tommylewis 08-16-2012 08:23 PM

Moving on
We are still traveling the country but have not had the bandwidth to update this site. From Oshkosh we flew to Miller, SD to spend time with my Mom. After five days of visiting and completing her todo list, we loaded up the RV10 and flew to Gillette WY for a night and visited Devils Tower. There are two car rental companies in the airline terminal and it is a 60 mile drive out to the tower. It is about a 2 mile hike around the base of the tower.

Tom and Bonnie at Devils Tower

The next day we flew to West Yellowstone to meet our son and spent a week camping at the KOA and touring the p ark. The kids had not been to the park before and we had a wonderful week together. We hiked numerous trails and saw lots of animals. The new things for us were swimming in Boiling River and also at Fire Hole Canyon. This is the first visit in years that we have not camped in the pilot camp ground at the airport. We will likely be back camping there next summer.

Final at KWYS

Tom and Bonnie at Grand Prismatic Spring

Load we are carrying in RV10

The RV10 has been a great machine for traveling the country. We have run it lean of peak a lot more this summer and typically see 10.5 to 11 gph and 160 knots true. We started the trip 150 lbs under gross and now are 200 lbs under gross. We have off loaded some camping stuff. You can cover a lot of country with these machines.

tommylewis 08-16-2012 10:38 PM

Let the adventure continue
Last Saturday we met Dave and Wendy Moore in their newly flying RV 10 in Helena MT. We both had planned on arriving between 10 & 11am. As we approached the airport at 11:45, about 20 miles out we had a target on our traffic monitor that was the Moores. So on Sunday morning we flew from Helena to East Sound on Orcas Island. The weather was great, clear with some smoke but good visibility. The sights over the Cascades were stunning which the following picture that Wendy took over Mt. Baker shows.

Our RV 10 near Mt. Baker

East Sound Airport

We have rented a house on the island for this week and next. The temperatures are great with highs in the 70s. Love it!!

View off our Deck

txaviator 08-16-2012 11:00 PM

Wow, Tom! All I can say (from Arlington, TX) is that:
1. I am WAY WAY jealous of your travels!
2. It sure is hot here in the metroplex. You haven't missed anything around here, or in Granbury.
3. Bring some cooler WX back with you!

Great photos and write-ups. I've enjoyed reading them. Great stuff.

Skykingbob 08-17-2012 08:18 AM

Great Post!
Tom.....appreciate you taking us on the trip with you! Great pics.....very jealous!

tommylewis 08-22-2012 12:06 AM

Prep on Orcas Island
Some of you maybe wondering what we could possibly be doing to keep busy on this island. Well we have been very busy. We have explored Moran State Park and taken several hikes that included the Twin Lakes hike, Cascade Lake hike, Obstruction Pass hike and Cascade Falls hike. We have a couple left to do.

View of East Sound from Obstruction Pass

Picture of Bonnie, Tom, Dave and Wendy at the top of Mt Constitution with Mt Baker in background

One day we rode the ferry over to Friday Harbor for lunch and to explore downtown. We visited the Orca Whale Museum while there and had a nice lunch over looking the harbor. This picture is of the ferry dock at Friday Harbor.

The Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival is happening during these two weeks and last Friday evening and this next Friday evening we attended concerts at the Orcas Center. On Sunday a free concert in the park was presented by these outstanding musicians. This is a picture taken during this concert in the park.

On Monday we took a kayak tour along the north shore which was great. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the high 60s and calm winds. We saw a number of seals and two eagles in this 3 hour tour.

Dave and Wendy in kayak

This evening we went on a 3 hour whale watch cruise. The cruise was a wonderful view of the K Pod of Orca Whales. We spent 2 hours following them with the highlight watching the Orcas surf the wake generated by a large container ship. The trip far exceeded our expectations.
Picture of whales

Both the kayak and whale watch tours were taken out of Smugglers Villa which is just north of the airport.

Another to do on Orcas Island is to take a biplane ride with Rod. We have taken a ride almost every year since we started visiting here in 1996.

txaviator 08-22-2012 11:29 PM

Gosh, Tom...
Please tell me what you did for a living here in North Texas before you retired!?

I'm going to sell my business and follow in your footsteps / career! I took three vacation days a few weeks ago, and these were the first days off in over four years. I need a change!

In short, I am WAAAAAAY jealous! It appears you and your wife are having a blast, and that is so great! What a great trip you are having! Please keep the PIREPS coming.

Fly safe!

tommylewis 08-24-2012 12:00 AM

Pirep for trip to Friday Harbor
Today, in spite of early morning rain, we flew over to Friday Harbor and rented a car for the day and toured the island. There were some morning clouds but the view on the flight over was great. I flew over and Bonnie flew back.

The view of Friday Harbor on down wind leg. It is only a 15 min walk to the ferry dock from the airport.

View on final to RW16 at Friday Harbor

Note the taxiway construction.

Two great RV10s parked and patiently waiting our return

Lighthouse along the west coast at Limekiln State Park.

Turtleback Mountain on Orcas Island

View of Point Doughty where we kayaked earlier in the week

On final at East Sound

We had a great day trip and saw much of the San Juan Island.

Thanks to the Seattle based couple we talked with at Johnson Creek that told us about the Bakery just north of the airport. We got great sandwiches for lunch and bread for the evening meal.

tommylewis 08-30-2012 11:51 PM

Moved on
After two great weeks on Orcas Island, last Sunday we flew out of East Sound to Hillsboro where we rented a car and drove out to the Oregon coast to spend a week. We had some clouds but good vfr weather.

View of some of the San Juan Islands on Sunday morning. A little hazy, but good morning weather for NW.

View of Mt Baker

View of Haystack off coast from Cape Kiwanda. We watched a Grey Whale feeding just off shore from this site.

View of coast from Point Lookout after 2.4 mile hike.

Sunset from sand dune above rent house.

We have had a good week along the Oregon coast with hiking, bird watching, visit to an air museum and beach walks.

tommylewis 09-06-2012 11:11 PM

Moved to Tahoe
Last Monday, our 45th wedding anniversary, we flew out of Hillsboro to Minden, NV to spend a week at South Lake Tahoe. The following pictures are of that flight.

View of Mt Hood on departure from Hillsboro

tommylewis 09-06-2012 11:17 PM

Moved to Tahoe
Last Monday, our 45th wedding anniversary, we flew out of Hillsboro to Minden, NV to spend a week at South Lake Tahoe. The following pictures are of that flight.

View of Mt Hood on departure from Hillsboro

View of Three Sisters in Cascades

Half way to Crater Lake the smoke really got thicker.
Crater Lake

Lake Tahoe

View of Lake Tahoe from Rubicon trail

tommylewis 09-06-2012 11:29 PM

Moved to Tahoe
Last Monday, our 45th wedding anniversary, we flew out of Hillsboro to Minden, NV to spend a week at South Lake Tahoe. The following pictures are of that flight.

View of Mt Hood on departure from Hillsboro

View of Three Sisters in Cascades

acroflyrgirl 09-09-2012 11:44 AM

Great trip, great pix, thanks for sharing. Being from the PacNW those shots of the San Juans make me homesick.

tommylewis 09-09-2012 10:18 PM

Summer over?
Thanks, summer is coming to an end for us as we are flying out Monday am to Bullhead City for a night and then back to TX.

We did a lot of hiking while in the Tahoe area. This is a picture of Tom & Bonnie overlooking Lake Winamucka in the back country.

Dave and Wendy on the hike up to Horse Tail Falls.

One night we attended a B52 concert at Harrahs.

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