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  #1  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:04 PM
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339A 339A is offline
 
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Location: Littleton, CO
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Default Scott and Deb's EXcellent Weekend Excursions: New Year's 2011/12 in Vegas

This trip started out with the idea of trying to make the So-Cal/Arizona Groups’ New Year’s Day Fly-in to Lake Havasu, AZ at KHII. We’ve been trying to make this event for a couple of years, but somehow weather or other commitments have always gotten in the way. Part of the problem with doing a trip across the mighty Rockies in the winter is weather, you just never know what you’re going to get.

I had some left over vacation time to use and, with both Christmas & New Year’s Eve being on a weekend, a couple extra holidays to take off as well. So the plan was hatched and e-mails were sent scouring the country far and wide for others who might want to join up in Las Vegas for a couple days.

Scott and Tanya Card liked the idea, and so did Gary and Carolyn Zilik. The Cards would meet us in Boulder City at KBVU, and Gary and Carolyn would fly from Front Range with us. While there were other friends we would’ve liked to have join in the fun, schedules just didn’t permit. We were happy to learn last-minute that Rosie and Tuppergal Rosales would be able to join us for an evening of fun in Vegas after all! They would meet up with the Cards in Texas and fly to Nevada together.

With the plan set in motion, we began making the necessary arrangements. I managed to get a hotel in Henderson for the weekend using some Marriot points. While not on the strip, the room was free, and you just can’t beat free. We knew we wanted to see a show while there, but with tickets for Vegas entertainment being pricey and non-refundable, we would have to wait until we were certain we’d be able to make it.

A few days before departure, I started watching the extended forecasts, and it looked like a BIG high pressure system might be moving in to make for some nice flying weather. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened. Some pretty stiff winds and turbulence were forecast for Colorado, but once we got south of the Colorado border, the Airmets went away and New Mexico and Nevada looked GOOD.

With the weather on our side, and after several e-mails debating which night/show, everyone agreed on Cirque du Soleil “Love” for Friday night. Thanks to some due diligence on Tanya’s part, she managed to book us eight good seats together. She also made dinner reservations at Fin, a Chinese restaurant located in the Mirage hotel. On her suggestion, we planned to do some mild hikes in the Red Rocks Canyon on the west side of town on Saturday. Then, on Sunday morning, we would head down the Colorado River to Lake Havasu for the New Year’s Day fly-in spectacular at KHII.

Gary topping off his tanks, getting the "cheapest" gas we would see the whole trip.



Our Trek begins as we head down the Front Range. There were Airmets for moderate to severe turbulence. The ride down the range was a little BuMpY, but not too bad. We were expecting MUCH worse. The only time in the trip headed there that we would have a tailwind.



When we turned the corner to go over La Veta Pass, the head winds increased significantly!! To the tune of 49 KTS at one point while in the pass. We are almost over the pass here. Blanca peak is to the right and surprisingly it's pretty smooth.



Continuing our travels, we are now over Cumbres Pass. Notice the snowmobile tracks running all over the place. I've seen people camping out in the pass, in tents, with their machines.....



Lined up for final on 07 at Farmington, NM. Fuel was $6.56/gal! Really hated to buy it there, but the stop was convenient, and it was time for a potty break. Gary managed to get us 20 cent a gallon discount. We decided to get some lunch at the on- field restaurant called Zebra's Sports Grill.
Can't say that this is a great stop as the FBO is not real helpful. More about that on the return trip.



A new Milestone is reached with 339A--the 1000-hour point. Yeah Baby!!!



After departing KFMN, we head towards the Grand Canyon. Easier at this point to stay south of the canyon and low as the headwinds, while smooth, are killing us. In this pic you can see the North Rim off to the right as we come up on the east side.



We managed to fly over the west end of the canyon airspace by staying above the 8000' limit of the Pearce Ferry Sector. Pretty shot of the river and canyon.



Just before reaching our final stop for the day. Lake Mead and the new bypass bridge off the right wingtip. We suffered 22-28 KT headwinds trying to get to KBVU. Total flying time was 5:20. The longest time we've ever taken to get to Boulder City.



To be continued...
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Scott Mills, Front Range, CO
N339A - 1900 Hours!! since 9/11/05
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Airport Landings

"In order to discover new lands one must have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide

"Never feel sorry for a man who owns a plane" Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) in The Edge

Last edited by 339A : 01-05-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:05 PM
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339A 339A is offline
 
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Default Las Vegas Cont...

Friday night had us down on the strip at the Mirage for "Love" and dinner at Fin's Chinese restaurant. Unfortunately, we have no pictures from "downtown."

Next morning it was a day trip out to the Red Rock Canyon for a couple of short hikes. We were joined by Marilyn, one of Carolyn's sisters, and Joanie, a high school friend of Carolyn's.

Part of our gang on the path. It's always interesting to see the vastly different landscapes in various parts of the country. The desert may be a harsh environment, but it sure is beautiful!



Always gotta have a group shot. Another hiker was nice enough to snap this for us.



New Year's Eve was spent at the Sunset Casino where Deb and I only lost $16.00 dollars trying to beat the poker machines. Seeing that we are mostly old farts (except for Scott & Tanya) who can't stay awake past 10:00 PM, we were quite amazed to make it to 10:30! We had to be at KBVU for an AIS of 8:45. Rosie would be meeting us there coming from Henderson for the New Year's Day Fly-in at KHII.

Here we are getting ready to taxi to runway 27 for our departure from Boulder City.



Three-ship departure from KBVU. The Cards needed to get back home to Texas and wouldn't make Havasu.



The next three shots are of the Hoover Dam and the new bridge. Really an interesting mix of structures and engineering.










A great tailwind blew us down the Rio Colorado towards KHII.




Coming up on Cottonwood Cove, Lake Mohave. Much different view of this from the air than during our camping & boating trips on the river with the Rosaleses. You can read about one of those adventures here. (See Day 7) Next stop would be KHII for our first landing of the New Year at a new airport!



To Be Continued...
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Scott Mills, Front Range, CO
N339A - 1900 Hours!! since 9/11/05
Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScottandDeb...tures/timeline
Airport Landings

"In order to discover new lands one must have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide

"Never feel sorry for a man who owns a plane" Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) in The Edge

Last edited by Rosie : 01-05-2012 at 08:13 AM. Reason: Not the Henderson Fly-in ;-)
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  #3  
Old 01-04-2012, 07:06 PM
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339A 339A is offline
 
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Default Las Vegas Cont...

Due to the nice weather, the So-Cal and Arizona RV Lists had a good turnout (43 people arriving in 24 planes) at Waldo's BBQ this fine Sunday morning. Many thanks to Katie Velvick for pulling all the strings to get this set up. It's always great to meet up with old and new RVing friends.

Interesting on-field restaurant with lots of aviation props and pictures scattered throughout.



All good times must come to an end and so it was with this brief encounter. Note that with the exception of Andrew's father (second from left) everyone in this picture has flown their Homebuilt RV across the ocean.


(L-R: Andrew "Shark Bait" Brandt, Andrew's dad, Chuck, Carolyn "Red" Zilik, Gary "Seismo" Zilik, Larry & Geri Schneider, Scott & Deb Mills, Paul "Rosie" Rosales, Victoria "Tuppergal" Rosales)

Saddled up, getting ready for departure back to Colorado.



So how come it is that the entire trip to Vegas we fought 22-30 KT headwinds, and as soon as we depart from Henderson we are slapped in the face with a 10 KT headwind? Meanwhile, the planes headed back to California get a nice 5 to 15 KT tailwind? Hmmm.... Oh well, and so it goes.

About a half-hour after clearing a couple ridge lines, the wind turned around on the tail. Mind you, it was only in the 5 to 9 KT vicinity all the way back to Farmington. But WAY better than 49 KTS on the nose!

Due to our afternoon departure, we knew we couldn't make Front Range before running out of daylight. Not being night current and not wanting to take the risks of trying to make the passes in the dark, we stopped again at KFMN.

Now here is when we run into $6.56/gal gas, but with NO discount this time. Plus we are told that we can't use the courtesy car to go to the hotel as they didn't want us to keep it overnight. In all of our travels (landing at 206 airports in 48 states), this is the first time that's happened. Heck, we've had people hand us the keys to their personal vehicle!! Called the only cab in town. After waiting a half-hour and still no cab, we wound up with an $83.00 rental car.

The one saving grace was that we found a great pizza and brewery place in town. If you ever have occasion to be in Farmington, NM, check this place out. Three Rivers Brewery. I had an Amber Ale and a Powerhouse Porter. Yummy!! Plus they hand toss all their pizzas.

After checking out the Holiday Inn Express, we came across this strategically placed sign and just had to laugh.



A very chilly night and an OAT of 17 degrees when we arrived at the airport made for some very frosty wings.



Always the conscientious pilot, I took out the High Tech DE-icing equipment. Gary and I both had pretty hard starts, but we finally managed to get them going and warmed up for about 10 minutes.



Our final leg back home. Here we are coming up to Cumbres pass again. The air was as smooth as silk. I flew most of the way home with the rudder only. It was awesome! In spite of the stiff headwinds we encountered during the first half of our trip, the high pressure system made for some absolutely fantastic flying weather.



Some of the more interesting trip stats:

Fuel = $422.00, Show Tickets = $326.00, Meals ~ $180.00, Rental Car = $280.00 (split 3 ways). Our hotel rooms were paid with my Marriott points. We logged about 10.5 hours and flew 1617 miles. Took us 5:20 to get to KBVU. About an hour playing along the river. The trip home from Havasu was 4:10 total time. (over two days)

It's been said many times before but bears repeating... All this fun and adventure is made possible by the airplane we built in our garage. Stay focused. Stay motivated. KPR!

Regards,
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Scott Mills, Front Range, CO
N339A - 1900 Hours!! since 9/11/05
Like Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ScottandDeb...tures/timeline
Airport Landings

"In order to discover new lands one must have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Andre Gide

"Never feel sorry for a man who owns a plane" Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) in The Edge

Last edited by 339A : 01-05-2012 at 08:31 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-04-2012, 11:16 PM
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RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
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Default Nice

Nice write up Scott. It so great to get with everyone. Got to do it more often. What's the next one????
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2012, 06:53 AM
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zilik zilik is offline
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Default Wow

You two really know how to have fun! Great trip followed by a great write-up.
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2012, 11:17 AM
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RV7Ron RV7Ron is offline
 
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Default

As always, great stuff Scott, thanks for posting.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:10 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
 
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Default One of these days...

I love the pictures and the write-up. Looks like Aneta and I missed another great trip. However, while you guys were gallavanting around, we had our first child, Amelia. She is adorable (except during the wee hours of the night). We'll have to bring her to your next movie night. Thanks for the motivation!
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:54 PM
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zilik zilik is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppilotmike View Post
I love the pictures and the write-up. Looks like Aneta and I missed another great trip. However, while you guys were gallavanting around, we had our first child, Amelia. She is adorable (except during the wee hours of the night). We'll have to bring her to your next movie night. Thanks for the motivation!
Congratulations on your first born. You know she'll always be welcome at movie night.
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RV-6A N99PZ S/N 22993 SOLD

Last edited by zilik : 01-05-2012 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Cross my T's and Dot the I's
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2012, 09:57 AM
flybill7 flybill7 is offline
 
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Default

Great trip report!
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