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  #1  
Old 07-13-2016, 11:14 AM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 10,352
Default Quick Western Tour

Just got back from a little spin through the western states. Key event was my sister's wedding at Lake Tahoe, and it seemed like a good excuse to fly the sights.

So, in four days of flying, it was (1) Alabama to Boulder, then (2) over the Divide at Rollins Pass and down the Colorado to Grand Junction, Monument Valley, Page AZ for fuel, overfly the Grand Canyon and Vegas, then north up Death Valley to Dayton Valley, which are definitely not the same thing. Post wedding (3), it was down toward Sacramento, then back over Tahoe to Wendover, Salt Lake City and a stop in Wyoming. Day (4) took me down across Grand Junction again, to the Gunnison area and over the big hills to the San Luis Valley, through LaVeta, and across the plains to South Alabama. I was parked at 08A before 5 PM Central, if that helps you understand why you're building an RV.

I took hundreds of photos, as this flatlander was agog at every view. Rather than bore my western brothers with one more beautiful snowcapped mountain, here are a few amusing shots.

Paul and Louise have a beautiful home at Dayton Valley, which I hearby propose we nickname "The Bunny Ranch". Seriously, they're everywhere!



This is that Starkey guy, the one who welcomes all the new people to VAF, here photographed in front of his World Headquarters:



The sky really is huge in Wyoming. Had a pleasant overnight in Evanston, one of those out-of-the-way places ignored by the rest of world. "Here, take this pickup truck into town for the night, and try not to run over a cow". No kidding; it's open range country, a serious novelty for an easterner.



Got fuel at Spanish Peaks, and discovered this warning sign right after taking a shortcut to the office, through the brush between the hangars. I took the long way back.



Weather was 100 mile vis everywhere out west, with a few windy places. I'd been cautioned about western winds, both for the mountain crossings as well as runway alignments. As it turned out, the sportiest landing of the trip was in Oklahoma, a stop for $3.12 fuel at Henryetta, where it was about 30 off the runway gusting to 28. And the Heart of Dixie saved up a typical "welcome home" convective mess for the last 100 miles. No problem, and the airplane really needed the wash.

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Last edited by DanH : 07-13-2016 at 08:18 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2016, 11:23 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Default

Glad you made it home safe, thanks for the visit.

More photos please.........
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2016, 11:36 AM
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RVbySDI RVbySDI is offline
 
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Quote:
As it turned out, the sportiest landing of the trip was in Oklahoma, a stop for $3.12 fuel at Henryetta, where it was about 30 off the runway gusting to 28.
Well Dan, now you know why the best pilots are trained in Oklahoma!

If you can take off and land in Oklahoma winds you can pretty much handle the rest of the country. Winds 10-15 knots is just a gentle breeze around here.
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2016, 11:52 AM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
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Bummer! If I'd known you where in the area, I would have popped down for a visit.

Next time....
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2016, 03:56 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Well, we'd have to call it "Bunny Ranch II", as you are now well aware....

Welcome any time Dr. Horton!
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  #6  
Old 07-13-2016, 04:13 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Default A little spin

Quote:
... a little spin through the western states. Key event was my sister's wedding at Lake Tahoe, and it seemed like a good excuse to fly the sights.

So, in four days of flying, it was (1) Alabama to Boulder, then (2) over the Divide at Rollins Pass and down the Colorado to Grand Junction, Monument Valley, Page AZ for fuel, overfly the Grand Canyon and Vegas, then north up Death Valley to Dayton Valley, which are definitely not the same thing. Post wedding (3), it was down toward Sacramento, then back over Tahoe to Wendover, Salt Lake City and a stop in Wyoming. Day (4) took me down across Grand Junction again, to the Gunnison area and over the big hills to the San Luis Valley, through LaVeta, and across the plains to South Alabama. I was parked at 08A before 5 PM Central, if that helps you understand why you're building an RV.

I like that little spin Dan. Now we know that dogs with Russian names are busy at Bunny Ranch. Great pictures!


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  #7  
Old 07-13-2016, 04:56 PM
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Infidel Infidel is offline
 
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Nice report Dan and wouldn't mind seeing some more pics.
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  #8  
Old 07-13-2016, 05:09 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
More photos please.........
(Denver area pilots click out now)

The first big jump is 243 degrees and 22 NM from Boulder, Rollins (aka Corona) Pass. It's really just a low spot in the Continental Divide, at a bit more than 11,000 feet. Here's the Google Earth view and the RV-8 view. You can see the old road in both.





The Divide, first looking north, then south. It's 6:52 in the morning, from 14.5K, with full tanks and a full O2 bottle. Darn good way to start an interesting day.

Here in the forums a few weeks ago, David Paule suggested not going if the wind at 12K or so was 20 or more from the west. As I approached at 14.5, the GRT EFIS was showing about 17, and sure enough, I got a good jolt or two a few miles east of the pass. Very interesting, those waves...





Quote:
Originally Posted by RVbySDI View Post
Well Dan, now you know why the best pilots are trained in Oklahoma!
If you can take off and land in Oklahoma winds you can pretty much handle the rest of the country. Winds 10-15 knots is just a gentle breeze around here.
Yeah, yeah, pants on fire. The FBO fella told me I was the first fuel customer in days, even at $3.12, because the wind had been blowing like it was. Clearly the best trained pilots are from Alabama...unless Okies are just trained to stay home

Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
Bummer! If I'd known you where in the area, I would have popped down for a visit.
I'd have detoured to Oregon. Almost did anyway. Oh well, see you at OSH in two weeks.
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  #9  
Old 07-13-2016, 05:14 PM
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colojo colojo is offline
 
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Dan,

Thanks for posting the writeup and pix! Sounds like a great trip.

I've always admired your 8's paint job. Pretty slick. Neat canopy, too.

BTW, this Denver boy never gets tired of looking at pictures of the beautiful mountains around here!
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2016, 05:42 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
 
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Dan, neat pictures, but your bunny rabbit is a Jack Rabbit which is actually a hare... Here is one in our driveway.



Interesting bit on how they got named thanks to Mark Twain - all to do with their giant ears -

Jackrabbits were named for their ears, which initially caused some people to refer to them as "jack*ss rabbits." The writer Mark Twain brought this name to fame by using it in his book of western adventure, Roughing It. The name was later shortened to jackrabbit.

And showing an early application of Political Correctness in the renaming.
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