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  #191  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:10 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Location: KMCE
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Default 28. The Wind

The son let the heavy galvanized door drop back over the stairwell with finality. He thanked Carol for the tour of the building, but it was definitely time for him to get moving. She walked back through the rear door as the son departed near a lift where a painter was doing prep work to the outside of the building.







Turning through a back alley, the son encountered an American classic that appeared to be leaping out of the shrubs of yesteryear in search of a new life.



A former church building, now the Masonic Temple of Malta, sat in the sunshine under the pose of resurrection. A long-dead trunk of a tree offered a benediction before a triune assembly of redwoods that thrived heavenward in lush bursts of life.



He continued through town by circling back toward the railroad tracks where the grain elevators and shipping sheds awaited the son with another sign of life.









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  #192  
Old 09-25-2019, 12:11 PM
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Default 28. The Wind

Walking back toward the town square, the son passed by the local lumber supply store which lay before him cleanly swept with saws at the ready.



The son entered a popular pizza shop but walked out soon after. His appetite did not match the prices on the menu, nor the wait that always came with ordering pizza. He decided that he would cook something himself when he made it back to the airport.



At the town square, the son stopped. Across the railroad tracks there was a depot where a large group of people were awaiting the arrival of a train. The son decided to walk over there.



Most of the group were Amish, and all were heading east. The mother of several boys told the son that they were heading back home to Kentucky, and another group was heading to Pennsylvania. The patriarch of the Pennsylvania group, whose long Quaker-style beard nestled comfortably along the slope of a protruding belly, happily told the son that home for him was only 10 miles from Punxsutawney where the Groundhog Day festivities originated. The train arrived, and the son stepped back.





The engineer of the train stopped short of the terminal. So when the passengers were given the signal to board, they all had to march over the gravel and pull their luggage through the dirt.



Then they were gone. The son was alone in the depot building.



He used the restroom, replenished his water bottle, then walked back across the tracks. He climbed into the suburban and started it up. About a mile down the road to the south, the son pulled up to a line of veterans in the Malta Cemetery where the wind snapped Old Glory to attention over the formation.



It was perfectly clear in Big Sky Country that day where the promise of resurrection was lifted over the township of Malta. The son turned into the wind and departed. The image was seared in his mind onto a sea of blue.



Back at the airport, the son found a Mooney and 3 RVs finishing up with a fuel stop on the flightline. They were all based in Canada and were on their way home from Oshkosh. The Mooney departed early, leaving the Dove and the Canadian trinity on the tarmac.



The son went inside to cook up a pot of stew as the Canadians cranked over and taxied out for departure. There was a radio in the pilot?s lounge, and the son heard the flight lead make the takeoff announcement. Outside he could hear the surge of engines and a sudden silence as the planes rolled off behind the large hangar and were gone---gone as if never having been there to begin with---as the propane hiss of a little gas stove brought a pot of water up to a boil.
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  #193  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:14 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur







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  #194  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:16 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur

It was still dark outside when the son decided to get up and make coffee. He was well-rested but just couldn't sleep anymore. He spent a long time spanning through the weather reports across the country, and it looked like it would be a great day to put in a lot of air time.

He went out to the Dove to pre-flight. The wind had died to a mere whisper and it was clear and cool, but the mosquitos were hungry and out in force. The son packed his gear as quickly as possible and expedited the morning inspection, slapping his arms and legs as he walked around the plane. Soon, he was cranked over and warming up the engine in the protection of the cockpit, and the son departed Malta a little after sunrise.

He took off on Runway 26 on a left crosswind turnout, climbing up to 9,500 feet and setting a course to the south-southwest. There was a lot of smoke, ash and haze in the air. Passing just west of Billings, Montana, the son could see the layers of smoke creeping over the high plains.



The son made a descent after a short 1.5 hour flight over brightly colored terrain that was patterned with rivulets of watershed erosion.



Beyond his destination, the son extended his descent a few miles to allow a Centurion pilot to land ahead of him. After coming back around in perfectly smooth air, he entered the pattern on the base leg for Runway 22 at Cody, Wyoming (COD).



He taxied up to the terminal building where a lineman parked him next to the C-210 that landed just ahead of him. He shut down and got out. It was a beautiful, crisp clear morning.



Inside, the son was directed to the restrooms by a receptionist. It was an FBO with a corporate flavor, beautifully decorated with taxidermy and paintings of the Wild West.



The son asked about the possibility of using a courtesy car, but the receptionist told him that somebody else had it overnight and wasn't expected to bring it back to the FBO for another 2 hours. So the son drank a cup of coffee, milled around inside the building for about 15 minutes, then headed back out to the flightline. He decided that the beautiful flying weather was too good to pass up.



The son strapped back in, cranked over, and taxied out to Runway 04. Applying power, he made a wide downwind departure and bade Cody farewell as he climbed westward over the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and followed the Shoshone River toward Sylvan Pass.







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  #195  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:18 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur

Coming over Sylvan Pass, the air was relatively smooth with only a few ripples on the leeward side. After that, it was smooth sailing through Yellowstone National Park.



Yellowstone Lake and Shoshone Lake appeared crystalline under the arching blue skies of the park.





At the Old Faithful Geyser, the son pivoted north along a geyser alley, making a circle around the Grand Panoramic Geyser and then heading east for a look at Yellowstone Canyon. The rise of steam and the glow of sulphur below thrilled him with visions of an unfathomable pent-up power being released with cataclysmic beauty---a beauty that grew hidden but certain to emerge as with the birth pangs of a newborn child.













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  #196  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:19 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur

The son climbed up to 13,500 feet and exited the park to the east near Sunlight Peak.



The son continued beyond Cody to the east, landing for fuel at Buffalo, Wyoming (BYG). Except for the Dove, the tarmac was completely devoid of aircraft.





After fueling up, the son walked over to the FBO to use the restroom. Inside, he met up with the owner and his two sons who were busy changing the oil on an old Ford pickup. They recognized him from his visit in 2017. The older son was finishing up an inspection on his Super Cub and getting ready to push it out of the hangar.


After a short break in the pilots lounge, the son walked back out to the Dove, cranked over, and blasted out of Buffalo on a left downwind departure.



He set a course to the east-southeast. A little more than an hour later, the son was passing south of Badlands National Park and getting squeezed into a bottleneck. There were thunderstorms developing on both sides of his flight path, and the encroachment eventually forced a few diversions to the south when he could no longer outclimb the weather.







Near Thedford, Nebraska (TIF), the son cleared most of the storm cells and corrected to the east. After 2.5 hours and covering 483 nautical miles, the son finally touched down again in Wayne, Nebraska (LCG). A crop duster in a Piper Pawnee was waiting to take off as the son cleared the runway. The son taxied over to the pumps and topped off, then pushed the Dove back to a tie-down cross and chocked the tires. It was the only plane on the tarmac.



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  #197  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:21 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur

It was a field built for crop dusters. There were housing units just behind the fuel pumps and a pilot lounge right next door with after-hours access.





Inside, the son found a comfortable air-conditioned building with a snooze room, a shower, and a refrigerator full of ready-made sandwiches for pilots stopping in on their way home from Oshkosh. Unfortunately, it was a kindness that had been somewhat over-planned.





There was a clipboard with a sign-out sheet for two courtesy vehicles. Both were available. The son chose a Toyota Sienna and pocketed the set of keys. He walked back out to the Dove and spent some time wiping her down before he covered her up, strapped into the minivan, and drove into the town of Wayne where he got out and started exploring.











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  #198  
Old 09-26-2019, 02:22 PM
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Default 29. Fire, Smoke and Sulphur

The son found a 120-year-old castle-shaped City Hall building that was surrounded by several veterans memorials. At the front rested some weaponry and memorial markers for those who served in the American Civil War and the Great War.



On the east side of the building, a more recently placed memorial kneeled under the shadows of a bell tower where the evening sun blazed a silhouette of brick and mortar onto a steam-filled sky.



Leaving the veterans memorial, the son drove into town where he ate dinner at a DQ Grill and Chill. He ate a Flamethrower burger, French fries, and a chocolate Cake Shake. He had eaten nothing all day and was thankful to satisfy a raging appetite. He climbed back into the Sienna and drove west down a main thoroughfare toward the setting sun. There was an open gate to his right that led the son into a cemetery where the father's call for resurrection drew him in. The son visited many markers and felt the strength of promise and perseverance lifting him up through the hills around him.











The son drove back to the airport and parked the minivan. Another plane had arrived and tied down next to the Dove. Meanwhile, the Pawnee taxied in after its final sortie for the day, and the pilot kicked its tail around and pulled the mixture.



The son walked out to the Dove and retrieved his flight bag and overnight gear. The large hangar next to the pilots lounge was ready to receive the crop duster as he walked by.



As the son was preparing the snooze room inside the FBO building, a couple drove up in a truck and came inside. They were Jim and Sandy, the caretakers of the airport. The son introduced himself and told them that he was planning to spend the night there. Sandy brought out a pair of blankets for the son to use in the snooze room where he wanted to sleep, and she showed him where to find plenty of towels if he wanted to shower. Sandy shook her head with disappointment when she opened the refrigerator and saw the surplus of sandwiches inside. She told the son there had been many pilots coming through Wayne the week prior, but hardly any had come after Oshkosh was over. Sandy invited the son to help himself to the sandwiches, but he was still full from the Flamethrower. He thanked her anyway.

When Jim and Sandy departed, the son walked outside. Nobody remained on the field but him. Even the crop dusters had gone. There was a magnificent half-circle of twilight that arched from west to east in the shape of a rainbow over the airport. The son could see the sulphuric blaze where it shot out from behind a massive storm cell, and when the black curtain severed the final thread of sunlight, and the pink-violets of evening rolled more closely to the purples of night, the son walked inside. The distant rain made him think of a shower.

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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 10-20-2020 at 10:21 PM.
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  #199  
Old 09-26-2019, 08:46 PM
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Default

I apologize in advance for intruding on your epic thread here, but I thought you would approve of the music I added to this video:

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
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  #200  
Old 09-29-2019, 09:55 PM
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Default Scott's Pictures of KBHC--Baxley

On Scott's page 6, post 58, pictures 5,6,7 and 8, I'd never seen an FBO building so pretty inside. So its only an hour from Atlanta, so I thought I'd fly down for a look see. It "is" really really pretty. Two beautifully furnished bedrooms, a shower and toilet you'd find in a $300,000 house, The stairs and railing going upstairs are really a very pretty highly polished wood, again what you might see in a $300,000 house----a very long computer desk. Never seen an FBO building as pretty as this one.

Checked my uAvionix Echo on the way down and back. Finally passed. Been dickin with it for a week.
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