Saturday, August 27, 2016

July 22nd Off to Oshkosh!!

I had been keeping an eye on a weather system that was moving in over the past couple days, and I was a little worried that it was going to be in our way when we wanted to leave Friday morning. Turns out I had nothing to worry about...the whole line of storms was just east of us when we woke up Friday morning. It was time to head west!

We had breakfast at the hotel, settled up with the FBO at PCW, then hopped in the plane. Port Clinton was a great stop...I'll definitely be back someday!

There was a scattered layer of clouds just a couple thousand feet up, so we stayed low and flew underneath. Aside from a little bit of haze and a few bumps the weather was fine, and we passed the time by looking at the exciting scenery along the way.

Mark took this picture...these people had so many ponds in their yard!

We made pretty good time and it was still pretty early when we reached our first fuel stop: Warsaw, Indiana (ASW).

There were only three of us on the ramp, but there was a lot of variety!   :)

ASW was another great fuel stop with cheap gas. We checked the weather, Mark updated my iPad (turns out you need to download maps for each state...oops), and we were back in the plane in less than an hour.

Getting closer! You can just make out Chicago in the distance. There was more traffic along this leg, though nothing crazy. We got permission to cut through Aurora's Class D airspace on the way to our next stop...

...DeKalb, Illinois (DKB)! It's such a good pre-Oshkosh stop that I'll probably always stop here before making the final hop north. This day was no exception; they were grilling hot dogs for all of the pilots passing through, and we had fun hanging out and talking with other pilots who were heading to OSH. While I had originally thought about spending the night here, it was only noon by the time we arrived and the weather was gorgeous, so it made the most sense to keep going and finish the trip all in one day. We topped off, wished the other pilots a good trip, and hopped back in the plane.

This was somewhere just over the Wisconsin border. Getting closer!! Mark and I had briefed the arrival procedures ahead of time, and having Foreflight made falling in line with everyone else especially easy since I could see where the other planes were. We fell in line, asked for Runway 27, and a few minutes of following the railroad tracks later...

...we were setting up to enter the downwind. Yay!!!

Downwind for Runway 27. I've never seen OSH so empty!

We were cleared to land on the green dot, and a crazy steep/short approach later...

...we were on final. I wound up touching down just past the dot. So close!

We taxied off the runway into the grass, popped the GAC (General Aviation Camping) sign in the windshield, and followed the flag people to parking. We made it!!

After we landed we checked in, paid for our camping spot, and bought tie downs from the local EAA chapter to secure the plane. Then, the fun part...setting up camp. It was pretty darn hot by this point.

We did wind up with an awesome campsite, though. We were only a couple rows back from the airshow entrance (and some porta potties), and the shower and cafe weren't very far, either. It pays to fly in early!

We walked down to the shower house so I could show Mark where to find everything. This was the North 40. It looked like a giant soccer field! It would look much different in a couple days.   :)

We eventually got our campsite all set up and hung out for a little while under the wing. We were starting to get hungry, so we decided to head to an Oshkosh favorite...Friar Tuck's. It's on the other side of the runway, though, so we started walking.

We only made it about halfway, though, before we were offered a ride in one of the sweet little VW convertibles! The volunteers drive these around through the week to get around the airshow grounds, and it's not often that they give rides, so it was a really cool treat.

He even let us sit in the front when we got to the restaurant! Too cool.   :)

Friar Tuck's was super tasty (and packed!), and we somehow managed to get there just in time for happy hour. We had a couple drinks to celebrate, then eventually wandered back to the campsite, took showers, and passed out. It had been a really good day!   :)

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