Tuesday, August 23, 2016

July 20th: Off We Go!

After I got back from Oshkosh a couple years ago, I told Mark that he had to get out there at least once to see what it was all about (and see why I love it so much). We were lucky enough to get the time off for an Oshkosh trip this summer, so this was his lucky year!

I knew we were going to be close to max gross weight, so I did a very thorough weight and balance. It sure was fun stepping on and off of the bathroom scale repeatedly in my 90+ degree hangar to get exact weights of everything in the plane, but it was worth it to know we were legal and safe. We wound up 115 pounds under the limit (and had the option to free up a few more pounds by taking some old camping gear we could toss if needed), so we could buy plenty of stuff on the trip!

We decided to leave a day later than we originally planned to make sure that the flight planning, packing, and weather were all good to go. I spent most of the day getting things ready for the trip, but we took a short break in the afternoon for a glass of wine at Molon Lave. Wembles got to come with, too.   :)

The weather was beautiful the next morning, so I did a short test hop to flight check my new main tires, then we finished loading up the plane. Time to head west!

The weather was pretty good, though it was a little hazy and bumpy in spots. There were lots of wind turbines on some of the ridges in West Virginia.

We made it to our first stop in a little over two hours: Cambridge, Ohio (CDI). Dave and I stopped here a couple years ago when we flew to Oshkosh, and since it worked well with our flight this year I decided to use it again. We had a couple snacks, checked weather, topped off, and hopped back in the plane for the second leg of the day.

The next flight was pretty short - about an hour and a half - but it was pretty bumpy. Mark flew for a little while so I could take a break before we got to our next stop.

If it was up to me, our next stop would have been Griffing-Sandusky (SKY), right on Lake Erie. Dave and I have taken numerous trips here, and it was always a great stop when we wanted to go to Cedar Point. Not anymore, though...they closed the airport, sold it, and turned it into baseball fields!! Not cool. You could still tell where the old runways were.

We did fly past Cedar Point, though. We had a few extra days before we planned to fly into Oshkosh, so we'd be spending some time here! I was really looking forward to it; I hadn't been here in years and they had added some cool new roller coasters since then.

SKY might have been closed, but that just meant I got to add another new airport to my list: Port Clinton, Ohio (PCW). It was only a half hour drive from Cedar Point, had several bigger runways, and was really easy to fly into. We landed, got the airplane put away, picked up our rental car from the FBO, and were off!

PCW is also home to the Tin Goose Diner and the Liberty Aviation Museum. We didn't have time to check out the museum, but we did grab lunch at the diner. It was delicious; it would be worth flying here for the food (and I'm sure the museum) alone.

After lunch we checked in at our hotel (which you could almost walk to from the airport), then hopped back in the car for the drive over to Cedar Point. There were roller coasters to ride!

Oh Wicked Twister, I've missed you.   :)

Mark took this picture of Gatekeeper, which was one of my favorites. It's big and loopy and sometimes get so slow that you don't know how it'll make it over the next hill, plus it has a really nice view of the lake. We went on this one twice.

We didn't go on the ferris wheel, but I still thought it looked neat.   :)

I also didn't go on this spinny swing thing (I always skip the swing rides - I was on one that broke when I was a kid), but it looked pretty neat once it got dark.

The hotels were having some weird light-up-inflatable dance party thing on the beach, so we watched that for a little while. They were showing a movie on the beach a little further down, too. We were getting pretty tired, though, so we eventually left, went to Steak N Shake for dinner (which took foreeeeever), then went back to the hotel for the night. It had been a good start to the trip!

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