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Rosie & Tuppergal's Bahamas Trip 2011


Well Known Member
It's been 2 years in the making and our next flying adventure to the Bahamas has begun!!!!!

Tuppergal and I departed California on Saturday morning, May 21st visiting friends along the way. We start home from the Bahamas on Wednesday, June 8th.

You can track our flight progress over the ground via our SPOT tracker.

This year, we have 12 RVs, 1 Bonanza and 1 Thorp making the trip to Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Here are the pilots and crew flying with us this year;

Alpha Flight
Jim & Vicki Baker (Kansas: RV-6)
Chris & Indira Kleen (Washington: RV-6)
Gary & Carolyn Zilik (Colorado: RV-6A)

Bravo Flight
Bryan & Sherri Wood (California: Bonanza)

Charlie Flight
Paul & Victoria Rosales (California: RV-6A)
Mike Brewton & Denice Nicol (California: RV-7A)
Dave & Alina Buono (Texas: RV-7A)
Mercedes Eulitt & Jeff Brooks (California: RV-6A)

Delta Flight
Scott & Deb Mills (Colorado: RV-9A)
Scott & Tanya Card (Texas: RV-9A)
Andrew Brandt (California: RV-9A)

Echo Flight
Gene & Janet Larsen (Iowa: RV-9A)
Mark & Debbie Bantam (Kansas: T-18)

Here's our itinerary, subject to change due to weather: Deviations indicated by RED due to Joplin Tornado. Other changes in GREEN
Saturday (5/21): Departed SoCAL for Cleveland (OK) to visit friends.
Sunday (5/22): Departed Cleveland for Grove (OK) to visit friends, and the tornado hit Joplin (35nm north of Grove) about 4 hours after landing.
Monday (5/23): Spent another day in Grove, in the pouring rain and blowing wind the day following the tornado in Joplin
Tuesday (5/24): Departed Grove for Asheville (NC) to see the Biltmore Estate on Wednesday.
Thursday (5/26): Departed Asheville for Atlanta (GA) to spend a couple of nights at the home of Mike "Kahuna" Stewart.
Friday (5/27): Spent the day in Atlanta sightseeing with Michael "Moose" White.
Saturday(5/28): Spent the day with Kahuna and Team RV
Sunday (5/29): Departed Atlanta
for Clearwater (FL) to spend the night and Memorial Day Monday with friends
Tuesday (5/31): Departed Clearwater to Venice (FL) for fuel and met up with other planes who joined us to Key West for lunch then to Homestead (FL)
Wednesday (6/1): Departed Homestead for the island of Great Exuma (ICAO MYEF), ~280nm, 2-hr flight to the Palm Bay Beach Club
Wednesday (6/8): Departed Great Exuma, landing Fort Pierce (FL), clear customs continue to Pensacola (FL)
Thursday (6/9): Departed Pensacola (FL) , landing Addison (TX: near Dallas) to visit friends
Saturday (6/11): Departed Addison for Stephenville (TX) for lunch at Hard Eight BBQ then landing Pecan Plantation in Granbury (TX) to visit friends
Sunday (6/12): Departed Grandbury, landing SoCAL late afternoon

You can check with us via e-mail to us if you'd like! Rosie & Tuppergal

We arrived home on Sunday, June 12th around 1530 local time with the hobbs showing 49.7 hours flown over 6600nm ;-) Here are the ground tracks to/from the Bahamas:


Here's our progress as of Friday, June 10, 2011 as we head home to California;


Here's the last leg we flew home from Texas on Sunday, June 12, 2011;

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Rosie and his pals say more with their actions about how to lead rich lives than bozos like me can say with a million typed words. Rosie took my son Tyson on his first private plane ride in his and Victoria's well-travelled workhorse, and arranged Dan Hall to take me up in my first RV ride, while flying in echelon beside Rosie so I could watch my son's first RV grin. Better than any salty sailor, the Rosales's have a friend in every port.

Have fun! Fly safely! Thanks for letting the rest of us tag along vicariously!

Someday, not too many years from now, I hope Tyson and I can join you in our own RV, that for all the work we put into it, will be built as well from the dreams Paul inspired in us.

--Stephen and Tyson
Wish we were there!

One of the highlights of this site for me are Rosie and Tuppergals travel stories.
It's what I use for justification of the build when negotiating with my better half for build funds. "See Honey, were going to do that someday". :D
Rosie I'm looking forward to tracking your trip and also seeing your usual ongoing (sometime daily) write ups. You have a big crowd this time so be careful, have fun and especially, fly safe. I got to tell you Rosie I'm jealous! :) Good Luck to everyone.

From Rosie: Thanks for the kind words Tom! People like you are the reason I enjoy writing trip reports because I enjoyed following the travels of Gary "Condor" Sobek when he was flying and I was building!
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You'll be passing close to me.

On your way down from the Biltmore, Louisville (2J3), your route will be close to me and if you don't mind, I'll tag along to Clearwater.


From Rosie: That looks do-able Pierre...let's work it! Will check in ;-)
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For those of us not yet building, owning or flying an RV------this is what dreams are made of!! Keep doing it!!
Foley, AL

There's a Lambert's in Foley also in case you didn't know that. From Rosie: No coincidence there Paul. Care to join us? :)
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paul, 2 weeks of flying around in your rv sounds great. i will keep track of you on flightaware and hope to meet up with you for some fun in venice.
Words cannot describe how jealous I am. Talk about motivation!

Have a great trip, y'all! Anybody going to be using APRS so we can watch your progress?

From Rosie: No APRS that I know of but I will be using my SPOT Tracker . On second thought, I think the Cards have APRS...
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Fly safe and have fun guys/gals...I have several friends in this group! It goes without saying, I cant wait for the day when I can join ya.
I hope Foxtrot Flight from cold Northeast will join your group on next trip. :) My cousin will lead. I bet this thread will be the most visited.
On your way down from the Biltmore, Louisville (2J3), your route will be close to me and if you don't mind, I'll tag along to Clearwater.


From Rosie: That looks do-able Pierre...let's work it! Will check in ;-)

Why don't you fly over to KRYY on the 28th and join Rosie, Tuppergal and me for lunch? Barbeque at Smokey Bones.
Words cannot describe how jealous I am. Talk about motivation!

Have a great trip, y'all! Anybody going to be using APRS so we can watch your progress? From Rosie: No APRS that I know of but I will be using my SPOT Tracker . On second thought, I think the Cards have APRS...

We'll be streaming APRS packets (aprs link) the whole time as always. It will be interesting to see how far they are picked up. Our plan is to depart Austin (GTU) Sunday 5/29 morning. We'll first be headed south to San Antonio to drop off the dog at my mom's house. Then to ... Tanya is still struggling with that plan. Maybe New Orleans or Pensacoloa. Then Monday afternoon to the Tampa area (KTPF). Tuesday morning we hook up at Venice for fuel for the run to Key West for lunch. From there, we're synchronized with "Rosie time". We can't wait!
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There's a Lambert's in Foley also in case you didn't know that. From Rosie: No coincidence there Paul. Care to join us? :)

Huh :). We're not quite as organized as Paul and were just looking at what to do with the 1400mi. return trip. We may be crashing this party on the return.
one more jealous follower...l

i am among the legions of jealous followers this year and hope to get a slot in one of the flights next year. this is what RVs are FOR! y'all be safe and have fun! don olandese (RV9 nearing inspection)
Alpha Flight Checking in.

This will be the 10 year anniversary of Alpha Flight. In 2001 Alpha Flight flew to Pittstown Point on Crooked Island. Jim and Vicki Baker, Laird Owens and Gary and Carolyn Zilik made the trip in the rain, over the ocean:eek:. We're hoping for a little better weather this time.

One week to go to departure time. Friday the 27th will see us leaving Denver for east TX for a visit with my Dad. Then its off to Covington, LA to visit friends we have not seen for many years. Tuesday we'll leave LA and head for southern Florida and meet up with the rest of the group.

Everyone please cross your fingers for good weather.:D
Godspeed Paul and Victoria, your adventure starts soon. We still have to slug through another week of real work... This weekend we will be doing our max gross, aft cg refresh test flights.
Saturday (5/28): Depart Ashville to Atlanta (GA) for lunch with Michael "Moose" White then to ???? (my original plans just changed so not sure where we are going to end up…)

If you want to stick around Atlanta after lunch, I can treat you to a Braves game Saturday night (vs. Cincinnatti) too... :D
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There's a Lambert's in Foley also in case you didn't know that. From Rosie: No coincidence there Paul. Care to join us? :)

Though my 9A won't be done in time, I'd love to join you. I have an airplane to fly though it's not an RV. Surely one spam can won't ruin the party!! Give me a heads up and I'd love to join you for lunch or dinner. From Rosie: You got a deal Paul
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Day 1: Arrived Safely to Cleveland, OK

Hi All,
Just now finding an internet connection... We had a great day of flying, departing Rosamond Skypark at 0612 local, landing St. Johns (AZ) 2:46 later. Nice, smooth ride at 9.5K with 162 KTAS but little tailwind :-( Fueled then continued into Dalhart (TX) at 11.5K, bumpy ride all the way there.

Same speed into DHT for a 2:10 flight leg. Fueled then had a great lunch with Cecil Ingram, 86 years young! He's been in business there over 40 years, and the small diner/cafe on-field there is a MUST-EAT stop! There is no end to his flying stories: On having an air-taxi service in the early 70s, "I was either flying men who were chasing women or flying men running away from them!"

Departed DHT then back up to 9.5K, bumpy with same speeds (sure wanted to see some tailwind!). Landed Cleveland (OK) 1:45 later for a nearly 7 hour day on the hobbs meter.

Visiting here with my adopted step-mom and will continue east into Grove (OK) midday to visit some former Rosamond Skypark neighbors.

I need to check some weather to see if our intinerary still holds up. I'll update this tomorrow when I can find a DSL connection (am on dial-up).

Keep poundin' them rivets because it's ALL worth it! Rosie & Tuppergal

Here's the Rosamond Skypark departing on the downwind eastbound at sunrise.
Pics between here and St. Johns (AZ) don't look so great when taken early morning over the desert...everything is brown.

Here's the approach into St. Johns (SJN), AZ:

Beautiful skies heading over New Mexico to Dalhart (DHT), TX:

You know you have reached the Texas borders when you fly past the crop circles:

Here's the biggest cloud we saw all day:

Final approach into Cleveland (95F), OK

Garmin 496 flight times:
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Taxi up....

In the 70's, I was picking up new Cessnas in Strother, KS to bring to the west coast and would stop at Dalhart. Ingram's Beech dealership was there then!
I wonder if the sign is still in the men's restroom that instructs you to
"taxi up close if you have low manifold pressure"?

Have a great trip Rosie and Victoria!
Weathered the Storm

I just talked to Rosie and he wanted me to let everyone know that He Victoria and the Plane are ok!! The first words out of his mouth were OMG!!! he said that he has never seen anything like that in his life, Heavy Heavy Rain and quarter size hail!!! He said that he is really happy that he had his baby in a hanger! He is going to wait out this next storm and re-group!!! It sounds to me like this will be a really good story!!! can't wait to hear more!!!

From Rosie (Day 3): It's Monday May 23rd and am just back from the airport here in Grove, OK. My friend's hangar has some minor flooding that we cleaned up. The airport is located about 35nm south of Joplin hit by the tornado.

Last night, we must have been feeling the 'outer' effects of the Joplin tornado here in Grove because we had wind, rain and hail (1") like I've never before seen in my life. We had just sat down at the Rib Crib for dinner when the tornado sirens went off and the staff told us to take cover in the bathroom or go home.

We drove home in about 5 minutes and we lost power not long after. We sat in the candlelight in the basement with the storm going full force. Power came back about 4 hours later so went to bed around 11pm.

This morning (Monday) at 10am, it was dark like the sun had set 30 minutes before: Street lights were on as were the store-front signs. The skies were dark and ominous looking...very eery. We have been getting pounded with rain and wind throughout the morning and midday.

We'll regroup for our flying trip as I don't want to fly NE anymore: That direction looks really, really scary! We are going to stay here in Grove another night and see what the weather does.

"It is better to be down here wishing we were up there than up there wishing we were down there".

Rosie & Tuppergal

Here's the snapshot I was able to get just before losing power. This snapshot was about an hour after the tornado;

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Sign is still there, Everything is the same

From Rosie: I got to meet Brent and his friends in the diner. The sign is indeed still there, and I've read it many times in the last 10+ years:
"Pilots with short stacks or low manifold pressure, please taxi closer as the next pilot may not be float qualified!"

Here's a picture of us with Cecil Ingram, 86 years young:

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Strong storms now in the SE Kansas, SW Missouri, NE Oklahoma area. That is what concerns me about cross-counties to the east. I just heard about terrible loss of life from a hurricane in Joplin, MO yesterday.
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You guys fly safe now.....hopefully that's all the nasty weather you'll encounter for the next two weeks.

We're all watching for updates. Wishing I was there with you.

(2001 Alpha Flight)
Days 2-3: We are in Grove, OK

Hi All,
It was quite a hectic day yesterday (Day 2, Sunday May 22) after departing Cleveland (OK). We tookoff around noontime landing Pryor (H71), OK for fuel then continued into Grove (GMJ), OK.

My friend Gary Trippensee was there to greet us. He said they were expecting thunderstorms later on and that we should put the plane in a hangar. For a moment, I thought, "Hmmm, thunderstorms...I just came from blue skies." But Gary is a longtime pilot (Vietnam, OV-1s) so I didn't hesitate other than for my thought. We put the plane in his hangar, and all you know by now what followed less than 4 hours later....a tornado hit Joplin (MO).

Looking back on the flight from Cleveland to Pryor Sunday morning: It was a short flight at 55nm (<20 minutes). We climbed to 5500' MSL to get above the 5-7 miles viz 'muck' (and Tulsa Class C), and at that altitude, we didn't see anything but blue skies, all around us, as far as we could see:


After fueling at Pryor, I elected to stay low for the short flight into Grove. I was getting ready to cross the hold short line and roll when I stopped and told Victoria, "I want to take some pictures for my trip report so I can show (share) that it's OK to fly in marginal VFR." I say that after having flown the Los Angeles basin for the last 31+ years: Sometimes it seems that 3 miles viz is 1.5 miles in front of you and 1.5 miles behind you.

Here we are on the ramp just after fueling at Pryor then at the hold short line looking north, east then south (note the blue skies above):





Now checkout the pictures after takeoff looking west, north and east (and keeping in mind that I had blue skies above me in less than 30 seconds climb at RV speeds: I was not flying under an overcast):




Why did I stay low for the flight to Grove? If I chose to fly VFR altitudes, I didn't want to climb to 5500' MSL then descend to pattern altitude (1800' MSL) for a 12 minute flight. Flying at 3500' MSL would have put me in the clouds: 1800' MSL worked just fine.

Grove airport is 35nm south of Joplin, and I can tell you it was quite a night here on Sunday! More rain, wind and hail (up to 1") than I've ever seen in my entire life....and yes...hearing Tornado sirens scared me!

I was absolutely amazed that such devastating weather could develop in less than 4 hours after having just flown in blue skies...

I TRULY have a new respect for weather. We just don't see this type of changing weather in the California desert.

Today (Day 3, Monday, the day after the tornado) has been very wet and windy and being ground-bound gave me time to get some pictures uploaded. That also gave us more time to hang-out with Gary and his wife Concha. I never tire of his now 49+ years of flying adventures ;-)

We'll be staying here another night and are replanning the trip with our first leg (Tuesday) now southbound to get away from this WX!

Yes, it's all still worth it so keep poundin' them rivets! Rosie & Tuppergal
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Hey Rosie, I can always clean up the hanagr apartment here at Polly if you find you and Tuppergal hugging the coast....
Glad you guys are ok. Just as importantly, you have personalized shirts?! I knew I got into this hobby for a reason - there's so much to look forward to. :D
You low time guys take note.

Rosie didn't get some gray hair because he's stupid. He's around because of his ..."We'll just stay here another night".. attitude.

As Paul said a few years ago, "Weather is what it is"...you can't make it something you want or would rather. It's the boss!

Correct. I am a weather wuss and proud of it. That same area is being hit again by possible strong storms at 430 PM EDT.
The water is receding

We live near Fayetteville, Arkansas not terribly far from Grove, OK. It is 4:29 PM CDT and the flash flood waters are receding off of our back yard into the creek again for the second time in less than a month (April 29 was the previous time). We are in our 7th year here and never saw anything like this in that time. In 1973 I was a resident rep at Eagle Pitcher for the Skylab batteries when some of this tornado alley weather came through one morning and ripped most of the roof off of the Howard Johnson's Motel on Rangeline where I was staying. Sit tight for a little while and it will be good again. It is 4:49 now and in less than 20 minutes it has changed from "is it going to come in the house" to no water in the back yard at all. Good luck on the rest of your trip.

Bob Axsom
Correct. I am a weather wuss and proud of it. That same area is being hit again by possible strong storms at 430 PM EDT.

Yup, weather wuss here too! Double wuss when the wife is along. Spent many an unplanned night in far-away places.
Oklahoma weather

Spring time flying in Oklahoma can be a challenge. We have a saying..."If you don't like the weather....wait a few minutes!" As I write this(0700), the surface winds are 26Kts gusting to 33Kts and the weather man promises tornados this afternoon. Some say this is caused by all the hot air coming up from Texas!

The Cleveland airport is a quiet little airport by a river and nestled on top of a small mountain(we call big hills..small mountains) surrounded by a golf course. When landing, you have to watch out for the golf carts crossing the runway. Only about 3 airplanes hangered there but there is a very active paint shop in the large hanger. They painted my RV6.

Enjoyed your write up and glad your trip through Oklahoma turned out well.
Day 4: Skies are clear

Looks like we are getting out of here today so check the SPOT tracker link to see how it goes :D Rosie & Tuppergal
Where to Go?

So I'm currently stuck in the Vancouver International Airport (Go Canucks!!) (CYVR) waiting for the silver tube to get me back home to Denver. I've been here over two weeks (working) and Deb and I are anxious to get started on this next adventure with the rest of the gang. :cool:

Still have a boat load (more like plane load) to do once I get home before we can depart. Need to inspect 339A and get it ready for the journey south. I have to plan for a work project in Florida when we return from the islands as well.... why does work always enter into the fun equation??

Our original plan was to head over to the North East and pick up the last four states (ME, VT, CT, RI) to finish out the lower 48 states on our landings map. But with all this crazy weather and a look at the upcoming weekend it doesn't look to good for getting up there. How about some suggestions as to where we might go headed south east out of Denver? Something to do over the weekend possibly? Someplace new! Plus I really want to avoid Tornado alley!! ;)

If I can get everything done in time we will depart on Friday. As of right now we have no particular plan other than to be in Homestead, FL on Tuesday. We have no Grandchildren being born this time so baring any major problems we will make it. :D Here is a link to our Spotty Tracker.... Haven't used this in over a year yet I keep paying for it? :confused: Somebody check it just so I'll feel better about having it. Deb and I will post updates here as well during our travels.

Regards to all,
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Tracking Rosie and Tuppergal

You can also track them using FlightAware.
Wow, 630 statute miles for one leg at ground speed of 186 knots. Nice tailwinds.
And my legs in my 172 are usually planned for about half that distance.
As someone else said on this thread, this is what flying an RV is about.
Looks like we'll have a report on the Biltmore Estate in tomorrow's VAF forums! :D
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We usually go south then east under these conditions

Often when these kinds of conditions develop and we plan to go to Florida we head south refuel at Baton Rouge, LA then fly along the southern edge of the country. You can file IFR on airways fairly straight east through the dense collection of military areas to avoid the worst inland weather. I have a little extra fuel and I stop at Lakeland to refuel.

Bob Axsom
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Sorry I'll miss ya when you're in Clearwater....

but I'll be flying the 6A to Indianapolis this weekend to vist friends and see the Indy 500. First time I will have made the trip in Delta Mike and the thought of doing it in 4-5 hours in the airplane (with one fuel stop) as opposed to 16-17 hours in the car is absolute bliss!!! Enjoy the Bahamas, one of these May days I will tag along to see what it's all about.

Dean Psiropoulos
RV-6A N197DM
3 fun filled years so far
Asheville, NC. one minute ago.

Rosie and Victoria will have already had a full vacation by the time the rest of us catch up to them in FL early next week when the "real" fun begins! I just hope they don't use up all the fun before we can join the flight to the islands.
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Yes, its still there.

In the 70's, I was picking up new Cessnas in Strother, KS to bring to the west coast and would stop at Dalhart. Ingram's Beech dealership was there then!
I wonder if the sign is still in the men's restroom that instructs you to
"taxi up close if you have low manifold pressure"?

Have a great trip Rosie and Victoria!

If you notice my location I'm not far from Dahlhart. I can testify, that yes the sign is still there, and I don't have LOW MANIFOLD PRESSURE.
Can't wait to read Rosie's Trip Report on this one. If his trips don't motivate you to finish your RV and set out on your own adventures just quit now and take up fishing or something. ;)

From Rosie: You are TOO kind Jamie! Thank you for the kind words!
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Close Call

Sure glad you guys got out of there. I've been trying to get into Oklahoma City 3 weeks and it's been no go for a VFR RV trying to make a run from Florida. Tell you the truth, you are really luck you don't have hail damage. I'm watching my folks in Okie get hammered tonight. Maybe I'll just let it go and join up on the Key West leg.

I might see you guys about Ft Lauderdale at altitude.
5 more days for us

We are leaving CA Sunday and planning to hug the waves between Texas and Florida with a stop in Mobile to visit friends. How far south do these thunderstorms usually go? We saw on the news earlier today the entire state of Texas was on alert and was shaded red on the map.

We will have our Spot Tracker on as well, but have yet to set up the share page and link. Anybody interested in watching as our plane goes up and down in value every 4 hours as the gas tanks get filled and burned off is welcome. I'll add a link soon.
Day 4: We are in Asheville (AVL), NC

Hi to all of VAF,

The tornados that continue today (Tuesday, May 24) in Oklahoma were enough reason for us to continue not northeast but east. We did not want to try and continue towards Kokomo only to get behind the weather that continues moving northeast.

We woke to clear skies and had a nice breakfast with Gary & Concha Trippensee. Weathermeister showed we had a clear shot to Asheville (AVL), NC today;

We packed up the plane and departed Grove a bit after 9am. I just couldn't leave without one loop over nearby Joplin after the night we had Sunday taking safe haven in the basement.

It was less than 15 minute flight at 4500' MSL where we flew north (west of the city) then turned east to parallel the path of the tornado. I'm sure you've all seen the news of the destruction on the ground but here are a couple of pics that show the St. Johns Hospital and tornado path (looking east to west);


We turned eastbound and could see exactly where the tornado had touched down as it hopped east. We could also see the debris (glass I'm guessing) shimmering in the morning sun as we continued east. We had clear skies ahead;

We climbed to 9.5K where we had a nice tailwind (~35 knots on the tail) and started seeing some weather (mostly scattered with some broken clouds) about 1.5 hours out of Asheville. Here are two pics that were taken one after the other to show you the out-the-window view and the XM WX view;


We let down and started getting bumped around as we crossed the mountains for a right base to final landing on runway 16. Flight time from GMJ to AVL was 3.8 hours;


We got the plane put away for the night then had a great meal at the Apollo Flame Bistro (Greek), VERY GOOD!


We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Downtown Asheville, and I'll get those pics up tomorrow with pics from the Biltmore Estate.

Keep poundin' them rivets as it's ALL worth it! Rosie & Tuppergal

PS: Thursday will have us flying into the Atlanta area to spend a few days (and nights) at the home of Mike "Kahuna" Stewart with a tour of Atlanta on Friday with Michael "Moose" White :D
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Day 4: We are in Asheville (AVL), NC

Downtown Asheville reminded me of...... Santa Fe......very 'artsy' with lots of people on the streets playing music (with guitar or saxaphone cases open to accept money). The city was enjoyable to walk around and see the old buildings and such. Here are some pics from downtown;










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Mr & MRS Rosales, Loved the stories of trips that you have posted. My 9A isn't finished but its your kind of site that makes me keep go'in. Thanks for the PUSH! Say the colors and design on the plane match the University of OREGON Football colors!! Are you a DUCKS fan???

Ron in Oregon

From Rosie: Nope, not a ducks fan...back in the early 80s, we were at a boat show, and we saw the colors on a speedboat and LOVED them!
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Good thing you didn't head up this way. We are supposed to get pounded today with severe weather.

The wife and I were in Ashville last fall. Great town w/some great restaurants in the downtown square.

Have a great trip to islands Mon!

From Rosie: Thanks Randy! I just took a look at the weather near Kokomo here on Wednesday evening: Yes, a good thing:)

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