Saturday, July 25, 2015

Oshkosh 2015I

As promised here is my Oshkosh 2015 story.  Keep in mind that this has been a bucket list item for my for as long as I can remember.  The idea of building my own airplane and then flying it half way across the country to spend a week camping under its wing was a dream come true this year.

Jeff, his son Lane, Mark, and I took off last thursday the 16th of July and headed east on our two day journey.  We had planned on leaving Friday morning but weather concerns prompted us to leave as soon as Jeff and Mark could get off of work on Thursday.  The first leg of the flight took us to Coeur d'alene Idaho were we spent the night at my brother Jim's house.  Jim was kind enough to pick us up on short notice and take us back to the airport early Friday morning.

Friday morning was a beautiful clear day and we got off the ground shortly after day break.  We had a nice smooth ride over to Townsend MT where we stopped for our first fuel stop.  The airport is very nice and had an old custom van that we borrowed to drive into town and get some breakfast.  A plate of biscuits and gravy later we were saddled up and launching for Pierre SD.   Our original goal was to go to Dickinson ND and spend the night with my sister but the weather forced us to cancel that plan.  Too bad too...Samone had made some fresh caramel rolls for us....

Anyway, we had and awesome tailwind as we flew across Montana and into South Dakota.  In fact the tail wind was so nice that we decided to push on to Oshkosh after a short stop in Pierre for fuel.  Turns out we had a great flight on into Oshkosh and I got my first "rock your wings and land on the orange dot"!  Jeff nailed the dot of course and I don't know how far off I was but 60 minutes later we had camp set up in "Homebuilt Camping" and was out looking for some food!

We had six days of walking 20,000+ steps a day looking at airplanes, seminars, forums, airplanes, warbirds, and did I mention airplanes?  I took a few pictures and should get a few more from others that took pictures.

Finally we were starting to get tired of the food, heat, humidity, and dehydration so we decided to pack up and leave on Thursday the 23rd.  The plan was to fly to Dickinson and spend the night but I think the Thunderstorm gods were conspiring against us because once again we had to deviate due to severe thunderstorm warnings in the Dickinson area....we never did get those caramel rolls....

With weather getting a little dicey in Montana later in the day we decided to push for home.  We had one bout of rain to deal with, a little turbulence around Missoula and a little head wind but come Thursday evening we were safely on the ground back in Puyallup.  We had made the entire trip in one day...about 12 hours after we launched from Oshkosh.  What a trip!

Mark getting ready to saddle up.

All packed up and ready to go.

On the Ramp tied down for the night in Coeur d'Alene.

First fuel stop in Townsend Montana.

A B-52 sitting on the ramp in Oshkosh.

Another picture of the B-52.

Our campsite in Oshkosh.  This is Jeff's airplane and mine side by side.

Sitting back enjoying the evening.  Somebody forgot their razor....

Another picture of our camp site.

F-4U Corsair in the setting sun.

Jeff standing on a sign base trying to get a picture of the area.

Hard to see but there are a bunch of white specs in this picture.  It was a group of 120 sky divers attempting to set a world record during the air show.

Panorama of the Homebuilt camping area.

Last day as we were preparing to leave Oshkosh.  This is Jeff doing his preflight as we wait for the field to open up so we can fly out.