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  #1  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:39 PM
rzbill's Avatar
rzbill rzbill is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,750
Default Dam, Canyons and Balloons

Hi Folks,
Looks like this is the season for posting pictures of trips out to the canyons so this is our record plus some storyline.

We planned to leave on Fri Oct 3 but an approaching (and consolidating) front yelled at us to get going on Thursday. We would either get through a hole or run up to it and get a hotel.



We took off from Asheville (AVL) and started running into buildups in mid Tennesee. We used cockpit weather to make some decisions and flew a few more hrs. I thought we were through it (see picture above) until I zoomed out the screen and saw a huge wall that was impossible to pass. We landed at Texarkana (TXK) and got a hotel. I wrung my hands as the storm downed trees and generally played havoc with the area. No damage although the plane had moved a couple of feet when we returned to the airport in the morning. The TXK tiedowns were the kind that attach to a cable running along the tarmac so the plane really is not fixed solid to the ground.

The next morning (Fri) we continued west for a stop at Abilene for LOE. We had a great time talking with the earlybirds to the fly-in. We left Saturday morning as many more RVs were arriving.

The next airport was Sierra Blanca (SRR), my first high altitude adventure at 6814 ft. A bit nervous but followed the rules and everything was fine. Glad the runways are long. Diane watched and called the EGTs for me on takeoff so I could tweak the mixture a bit on the roll (The run-up setting was slightly lean). Beautiful place nested in a saddle between two mountains.

West of SRR was honestly bleak and boring for 3 hrs. Albuquerque complained about my transponder. It worked everywhere else so I think it was not me. Especially since I have 2 outgoing signals. Xpder and Ads-B.

We finally got to something interesting.

METEOR CRATER


We turned north towards the Grand Canyon and I discovered something I had never heard of: The Strawberry Crater Wilderness Area. Its a group of big volcanic cinder cones. There were groups of foot launch hang gliders playing on them. The pics did not turn out well. Sorry.

Next treat was the Grand Canyon. I flew a route recommended here on VAF (starting at the little Colorado)



We landed at North Las Vegas (LVT), hotel, dinner, next morning snagged our car and went to Hoover Dam for a hat sighting. Get the full tour. The extra stops and stories are great.



The white coloration at the waters edge is from the high watermark from 1983. I think it is funny that they call it the "bathtub ring".



The next day we relaxed by the pool and then went out to the strip for the evening. Diane had never been to Vegas so I had to show her the Bellagio.

__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-17-2014 at 05:50 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:40 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,750
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We left Las Vegas the next morning and flew the short hop to Grand Canyon Airport (GCN).
The helicopter traffic was a bit disconcerting since they were all over (and under) the final approach path.
This was my third or forth high altitude landing so I was getting comfortable (you hear something coming right?).

Sure enough, somewhere on final or rollout I pushed in the mixture. As soon as I turned off the runway, the engine died. Flooded. Felt like a fool.
Took a few tries to get it cranked (while the tower is on the radio asking if I need assistance ) but lesson learned.

By the way, I have seen anti GA comments about CGN. I don't get it. They were great. Did not cost me a cent. I did not even buy gas.
The taxi is run by the park service. 10 bucks each way and good intel from the driver.

Diane took this snapshot in the FBO souvenir store.



I have proof below that it is true.



At the south rim with Di.



We passed by a Grand Canyon resident on the way back to the airport.



We jumped in the plane and took a short hop to St George (SGU) which was our gateway to Zion Canyon.

We lucked into an outstanding sunset.

__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-17-2014 at 07:34 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:41 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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Location: Asheville, NC
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Zion. Beautiful. I knew about walking the river but we chose to not pack for that. I learned we could have rented gear from an outfitter in Springdale but that knowledge came at the end of the day when we were strolling the town after eating at "The Bit and Spur". Best Chili Relleno I have ever had.

Next time we will do the river.







We disturbed this Zion resident on the way back to our car.

__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-15-2014 at 11:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:42 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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The intrepid adventurers head out the next morning for Bryce Canyon Airport (BCE). 0.6 hr flight vs 3 hr drive.

Highest elevation yet at 7590 ft. I have this sussed. Diane smacks my hand if it gets close to the mixture control.

She got a kick out of the Bryce Airport Hangar.



Bryce Canyon was beautiful too. We had lunch in a great spot. No other hikers came by while we were snacking. Peaceful.



Here is one of my favorite Bryce images. We took 1100 pictures this trip.
****A TIP****** There are TWO BUSSES to visit Bryce. One goes to Bryce point. Everybody rides that. There is another FREE bus that goes all the way to Rainbow Point. GET ON IT. Its first come first serve and limited. Ask a Ranger how to get on it. The bus driving ranger was a great guide.



We stayed at Rubys Best Western. They have a free airport shuttle. Quaint. Its a motel, huge for handling a lot of people, not a 3 or 4 star but it goes with the territory.
__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-16-2014 at 05:41 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:42 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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Next morning we flew to Albuquerque.
Had trouble with those folks again. I could not raise Center for about 100 miles. As I got close to ABQ, I called the tower and they booted some people into action. Rain storms were around but we were able to thread between them and get on the ground.
We went to the balloon show in the afternoon/evening but the weather prevented any real activity.


We got up at 4:30AM and drove back to the show Sat morning. Following pic is of the "Morning Patrol" which is the first few balloons that test the waters before the mass ascension.



Hmmm. I've seen that bloke before. During the mass ascension. It was awesome. All the noise from the burners and the crowds cheering at each liftoff. It was great.



On the way home in the afternoon. Sandia mountain on the left. You can see weather is in our future.
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Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-16-2014 at 05:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2014, 11:12 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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Location: Asheville, NC
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We flew the rear edge of the front until darkness and then landed for the night at Evansville IN (EVV)
The weather had pushed us north a bit because I did not want to fly in the soup for hrs on end.

The next morning EVV was MVFR and AVL was IFR with some convection in east Tenn.
I filed and we broke out on top at 4000 feet, had a nice flight until Knoxville (TYS) where the convection was.
Fortunately it was mild with tops around 16K. ADS-B is great.



Here is the convection off to our south as we passed TYS


I punched the very top of one cloud (could have gone around) at 15K and got 30 seconds worth of clear ice.
A little disconcerting but short lived.


Home sweet home. Popped out at 400 feet, dead on the ILS like I was on rails. I like the rabbit.

__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.

Last edited by rzbill : 10-16-2014 at 06:00 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2014, 11:18 PM
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rvator51 rvator51 is offline
 
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Location: Peoria, AZ
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Really good pics Bill. Great to meet you at LOE.
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Regards,

Thomas Velvick
Goodyear, AZ (KGYR)

2020 Donation sent.

N53KT RV-6a finished 2018, Flying
N7053L RV-4 Wife's RV
N56KT RV-4 Finishing
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2014, 07:34 AM
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Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
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A+ rvator. it is what we live for. what is next?
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TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
VAF #840 EAA AOPA FAC FABA QB SPA
addicted pickle ball player
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2014, 01:31 PM
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Location: Utah
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Default Thanks Bill

Bill thank you for writing this I enjoy reading it. Nice pictures especially the one from new bridge it's a bit of an altitude.
The Balloon Fiesta is one of my favorite events I hope to get there again. I even went up for a ride thanks to Carl, a NASA engineer and RV6A owner.
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Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2014, 04:44 PM
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rzbill rzbill is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbo View Post
what is next?
The social director says Acadia next year.

I'll have to practice saying bah-haba.
__________________
Bill Pendergrass
ME/AE '82
RV-7A: Flying since April 15, 2012. 850 hrs
YIO-360-M1B, mags, CS, GRT EX and WS H1s & A/P, Navworx
Unpainted, polished....kinda'... Eyeballin' vinyl really hard.
Yeah. The boss got a Silhouette Cameo 4 Xmas 2019.
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