Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 03-29-2020, 09:29 AM
larrynew's Avatar
larrynew larrynew is online now
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In New Braunfels, ist das Leben schön!
Posts: 919
Default Mystery Airport with Trip Report (Hint: 3T9)

Here's where we went this weekend. A day trip with some extreme social distancing and hiking. Anyone know where?

Another photo clue. More details on the trip to follow.

On Saturday, we wanted to get out of the house making sure we were social distancing plus get some exercise. We flew to Big Bend Ranch State Park and landed at the park’s airport, 3T9. This is in the State Park, not the National Park. Some say the State Park, which was formed in 1991, is like Big Bend National Park was in the “good ol’ days”. The ranch and airport were owned by a succession of businesses and owners including Julian Sprague, hence the rusty sign.

The flight was a little over 300 miles each way, so it was going to be a good trip for me just getting to fly. There were gusty winds for landing with a serious West to East wind. We saw 54Kts tailwind on the return at 11.5K! Since there is no gas at 3T9, we planned a fuel stop on the way to allow us to continue to Big Bend and return home without a fuel stop. Almost throwing a wrench in our plans, the self-serve fuel pumps at both Sonora (KSOA) and Ozona (KOZA) were inop due to network connection issues. Luckily, Mr. McCleary the FBO owner in Ozona, met us at the pump (at a safe distance) and bypassed the payment system and gave us an invoice. You can be sure I’ll have a check in the mail tomorrow morning! Love small town hospitality and airplane folk.

I had called ahead to the Park office to make sure they were open. They were but just for day trips. No overnight camping and all the facilities were closed including bathrooms. They sounded genuinely excited that someone was coming and especially to the airport. I suspect their funding is related to traffic like many municipal airports. We bought day passes online at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for $5 each and attached them to the airplane much like Oshkosh.

The best I can describe the runway is tar and gravel. You see that on rural roads, but the gravel usually gets forced into the tar by auto and truck traffic. It’s still pretty loose on the runway but no problem landing and I made sure I slowly added power on takeoff to avoid picking up any of the gravel with the prop. There are tiedown rings but no ropes. The tiedowns are kind of random so you have to find the best orientation to get three points close together.

The closest trail to the airport that we wanted to see was the Cinco Tinajas Trail. It is about a 2.5 mile walk from the airport to the trailhead, so we did a little more hiking than we planned by the time we made it back to the airplane. Be sure and take a lot of water. We didn't see any other hikers, only a park ranger. He checked on us from a safe distance in his pickup as we were walking back to the airport. I'm sure he was just making sure we weren't planning to spend the night and had enough water but our daughter said he probably wanted to say, "y'all git".

The Cinco Tinajas (5 ponds) Trail has water filled basins in a water carved arroyo and a beautiful overlook high on a bluff. There is a short route and a longer route. We took the short route due to time but plan to go back and take the long route. We got a late start due to weather in New Braunfels and wanted to be back at the airplane well before sunset.

We didn't get to go down to the Tinajas but they are easily accessible from a branch on the trail.

Even the walk along the dirt roads was interesting. We saw a small herd of Longhorn cattle making their way along a trail not far from the road. Initially, we made noises to get them to look our way to take their pictures but then had the shocking realization that there was no fence, no place to hide and they were wild animals with really big horns!

We also saw this lucky horseshoe hanging from a huisache tree in the middle of dang nowhere. Wonder what the story is behind that?

Larry New
RV-7A - Built, flew 950+ hrs, sold
RV-10 - Built, flying 250+ hrs
RV-12iS - All kits ordered!
VAF on Annual Autopay

Last edited by larrynew : 03-29-2020 at 11:57 AM. Reason: Added more
Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2020, 11:50 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,834

BBRSP is a great retreat! You’ll have to go back when they are open for overnights and spend some time. The ranch house was a great place to stay back when we were visiting back in the 2007 timeframe.

Special place for Louise and I - it’s where we met!
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 02:34 AM
Gash's Avatar
Gash Gash is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Goodyear, Arizona
Posts: 949

Thanks for the write up and great photography!
Karl, Goodyear, Arizona (KGYR) ATP, CFII
Yak 50
=VAF= donor 2021
Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2020, 08:28 AM
db1yg's Avatar
db1yg db1yg is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Default BBRSP

Ahhh-brings back some very pleasant memories! Janie and I visited the park 5 times during the 2007-2009 time frame- including a couple of RV fly ins (info in archives). It is a hidden treasure! When you can you must spend the night-the night skies are incredible!!
Dave B.
RV9a/ECiIO360/James Cowl/WW RV200 Prop
Flying since 3/06 and still smiling!!!

Last edited by db1yg : 03-31-2020 at 08:29 AM. Reason: Typo
Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2020, 11:23 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Thumbs up

That?s a great place to visit! Thanks for the report on the ranch. I will get back there some day

Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:07 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.