Friday, September 4, 2015

August 22nd: Off to Maine

Every year, Mark's family goes up to Maine for a week in August. When Mark and I lived in NJ, we used to go with them, but it's usually a bit tricky to work out the timing with our work schedules now. We managed to work everything out this year, though, so a couple weeks ago we packed up the C172 and flew north for the week!

We had to pick our way around some of the airspace near DC, and at one point flew past Frederick, MD (FDK). It really wasn't too bad, and once we were clear of the airspace near Dulles, we climbed up to 5500'.

The weather was absolutely beautiful that morning! Since we were above all the airspace along the route, we decided not to get flight following and instead listened to music on Mark's iPod through my intercom while we snacked on cheese and crackers.   :)

We flew over Lancaster, PA (LNS) on our way north. They were having an airshow later that day, and the ramp already looked packed!

We made it to Orange County in Montgomery, NY (MGJ), about 3 hours after we took off from Warrenton. The pattern was PACKED when we started getting close, but it quieted down just as we got there and we landed with no problems. We stopped in the little restaurant for some coffee and chocolate (they have an impressive truffle selection!), then topped off at the self serve pump and taxied back out.

We got to share the runup area with this guy! We both finished our runups at about the same time, but I waved him on first, figuring that he was just departing the area. Nope...he was doing pattern work, which I bet was really fun considering the slow Light Sport plane doing the same thing. I took off between their landings and we were on our way again.

I initially started at 5500', but it was getting harder to weave around the clouds as we continued north. I eventually just climbed up to 7500', which worked out even better since we wound up with a 20kt tailwind. I'll take it!

Mark took a picture of my panel and iPad. Between the iPad with Foreflight, the moving map GPS, and all the NAV radios, if I ever get lost I have no business being in a plane!

We started to descend as we got closer to Portland. I had worried that the weather wouldn't hold up, since they had been forecasting IFR for the day for our destination the day before then suddenly changed the forecast to nice VFR, but we lucked out and the weather was great the whole way. I took this as we flew over Sebago Lake.

The scenery changed a bit as we flew around Portland's airspace. It was definitely starting to look like Maine!

Downwind for 19L at Brunswick, Maine (BXM). It used to be a Navy base, but it was decommissioned and is civilian now. At 8000' long, it was way more runway than I needed, but I couldn't turn down the chance to land there since I remembered watching all the P-3s flying overhead when we'd been to Maine in the past.

Ta da! We landed just fine, but it took a little while to find anyone in the FBO. We eventually got the plane tied down and unloaded, grabbed the rental car, and headed toward the rental house.

Hello, Popham Beach!   :)

Mark had found a really nice rental house on a small lake just a couple minute walk from both the beach and the campground where his parents had their camper. Mark's grandmother, uncle, and cousin were already there, so we said hello to them, unpacked, and explored a bit. We eventually met up with Mark's parents, went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant (lobster roll...yum!), then went back to the house. It was a really nice flight up, and I was looking forward to a fun week!

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