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Old 12-10-2015, 07:51 AM
Darren S Darren S is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 443
Default Laziness, dead electric bike, AVGAS and food: part 1

Captain Stu, my fellow aviation adventurer, from my local field, wrote an article for the monthly newsletter entitled, ?Will fly for food?. He commented on most of the $100 hamburger joints in and around Southern Alberta. These are places that most of you will have no knowledge of, but that?s not the point of this little narrative.

At the end of his article he mentioned a few other smaller rural Alberta towns that looked to be potentials. They are located a little further away from Calgary, but definitely within RV distance.

This unusually warm December was all the goading I needed to plan a mission. Thus ?Will fly for food Part 2? was born.

It was to be a 532 nm round trip, taking me to Tofield, Vermilion and Bow Island. About three and a half hours flying and an easy tank of gas in the -7. These towns are located Northeast of Edmonton.

That was the plan at least. Let?s see how I did?

Now, laziness being one of the chief motivators in my life, I hoped to exert as little physical effort on this adventure as possible. To achieve this I commandeered my son?s electric race bike and stuffed it in the RV. I removed the passenger seat and it fit in the plane quite snugly.

Once landed, the plan was to ride into each town, check out the local food establishments and cruise back to the airport in style, all without breaking a sweat. Woohoo!. That?s how I roll!

So out to the field to preheat the Lycosauraus

Forget using effort to drag the RV out Do it the easssssy way.

Bike tucked away and the sun?s arising. Time to launch. Now, one second here. I took off about 20 minutes after this pict was taken so there was plenty of legal VFR daylight. Don?t go calling the Feds on me, ok

Tofield was first. Now, I?ve lived in Alberta most of my 44 years and I?d never even heard of this place. Prior to landing I circled the airport and town a couple of times to see exactly where I was to go once off the airport. The winds were gusting pretty strongly and I needed full left boot on approach.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:52 AM
Darren S Darren S is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 443
Default part 2

Once on the ground and properly oriented, I set out. Fashion be damned! Shameless selfie. Man the things I?ll do for flying. Sheesh!

There is a dirt road from the airport to town. Let me rephrase that. There is LONG dirt road from the airport to town. Tofield was cold and there was quite a bit of snow on the ground.

Those of you who know anything about mixing cold temperatures and batteries know that they don?t mix well. I set out on my trusty electric scooter down the LONG dirt road. Halfway there it started to lose power. Oh great, I knew this wasn?t going to end well.

Nonetheless I pressed on. After the dirt road I hit pavement and eventually made it to the first eating establishment, Subway.

I was freezing so I stopped in for soup and to warm up, all the while dreading the journey back because I knew that junky bike wasn?t going to make it and that I?d have to carry it. After Subway I headed down the road a bit more, because it was downhill, and checked out the only other eating place, Burger Baron.

That?s all I could see in this one horse town. Time for the journey back to the airport.

Uphill. Oh, boy. Yep, about 5 minutes in the bike died. DANGIT! Now I have to carry this thing. Who?s great idea was this anyways?! So much for not breaking a sweat. God has a sense of humor!

I wondered if my kid would care if I just chucked this thing in the ditch and left it? I guess that wouldn?t win me the Dad of the Year award now, would it.

About five minutes later God sent me some Angels in the form of a couple of rough looking welders in a pick-up truck. The airport shares land with a big industrial welding factory, so as I was trudging along the LONG dirt road they stopped to give me a ride.

They wondered who I was and what the heck I was doing out here. I told them I was John Lovelace, a hot-shot, high-powered TV journalist-aviator looking to do a feature story on their rinky dinky town. Okay, not really. They couldn?t have cared less, anyway, but were kind enough to give me and the now dead bike a lift back to the airport. Besides, I couldn?t pass for John Lovelace, I got nicer teeth than him

For those who don?t know, here?s a link to John Lovelace.

So once back in the RV, I was off to Vermilion. The strong winds prevailed and they were blowing my way! 187 knots ground speed is my kinda thang. It was nice and smooth, too.

20 minutes later I was in Vermilion. I circled the town a few times and got a direction to go upon landing. From the air this looked to be a bigger, better and more promising place. So with a dead electric bike I had to resort to the two aging legs with which God has provided me.

I was faced with the typical airport high security as I exited the ramp.

A 20 minute walk took me to Main Street. It was still cold and there was a lot of snow, but things were looking more promising for places to report on. A couple of Chinese restaurants, Subway again and Anthony?s Cafe was all I could find. I?m sure there were several more eating establishments on the adjacent roads but without the aid of electrons, I wasn?t gonna go look for ?em.

A quick bite for lunch and then back to the airport. My bursitis, arthritis and meningitis were all acting up so it was time to head home. The winds down in Bow Island were 30 gusting to suicidal anyways, so I figured I?d save that destination for another day.

An hour and five minutes later I was on short final for 16. My other fellow aviation adventurer, Carl, and his beautiful -9 were there to greet me.

So, all in all, not a bad day?s work. Two of the three spots hit, 66%, kinda like my grades in school

A great way to waste a day and burn some AVGAS in the process!

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Old 12-10-2015, 08:45 AM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,297
Default Loved this....

A very fun read on a winter's morning.

Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2450+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN
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Old 12-10-2015, 10:58 AM
flyboy1963's Avatar
flyboy1963 flyboy1963 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lake Country, B.C. Canada
Posts: 2,434
Default my old 'hood!

nice trip report Darren!
the only reason I know ANY of those places would be my family comes from Innisfree, and they are all on the same highway!
Funny how every other town has an airstrip, or a racetrack!
(...of course, that's where the real barnstormers used to land!)
It's pretty funny that you cross the tracks into town, and you're on "57th street"...but the town is only 5 blocks in every direction!?!??!

have you got more pics of your plane? whether 'borrowed' or not, that's one of the nicest designed and executed paint schemes I've seen. Are you based at Springbank?

keep on flying on those 'nice' winter days....we've had nothing but scud here in BC this fall!
Perry Y.
RV-9a - SOLD!....
Lake Country, BC
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Old 12-10-2015, 11:52 AM
Chkaharyer99 Chkaharyer99 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pilot Hill, CA
Posts: 868

Really great story and pics.
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Old 12-10-2015, 03:55 PM
turbo's Avatar
turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,175

nice to remember when i was in the cold environment. nice hat.
check out a gas powered goped. 25 lbs, 400 lb capacity, 20cc, 20 mph, not good for uphill though.
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.
addicted pickle ball player
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:29 PM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 1,674
Default OK

OK, spit my dinner out just now... reading and looking at the pictures. I gotta learn when to read a really funny trip report and when not to.
That sounds so fun !!!!
"Kindness is never a bad plan."

exemption option waived. Donation appropriate.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:48 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Thumbs up

Darren the Master Narrator! Awesome story

Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:53 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,313
Default A great read - -

That is a funny story - ya-know - - sometimes you just want to do stuff without all that thinking ahead and knowing specifications and all that. Sometimes it just jumps up and bites ya. Then - a few guys in a pickup stop to help and the world is right again. They know what that's like, they've been there (I've been there), and someone in another pickup helped them.

LOVE the hat, or as Vlad might say - khoroshaya shapka!

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Old 12-11-2015, 10:16 AM
jfogarty jfogarty is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 121

Great story Darren and write up, that Honda is special. Very fun, thanks for sharing.

Jim Fogarty
RV-9A Flying
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