Friday, September 9, 2016

July 28th: Home, Eventually

I felt much better after a decent night's sleep, so I didn't mind too much when the alarm went off the next morning.

We grabbed breakfast at the hotel, then checked out and made the short drive back to the airport...

...where the rain had just started falling. Yay.

I had checked the weather during breakfast and saw that it built up and sped up overnight and was going to arrive a lot sooner than originally forecast. The clouds were still high enough as the first wave of precipitation moved in, and for a little while it looked like we might be able to get home by flying south for about 30 miles before heading east, but the clouds started to drop as the weather moved through and it became clear that there was no good way to get over the mountains and around the storms. We admitted defeat.

A frustrating drive to Zanesville and back for a rental car later...

...we unpacked the plane and packed up the little SUV they gave us. Thank goodness we had all that space, because we used a LOT of it. I didn't realize my plane held so much!

I felt pretty bad leaving my plane but I knew it was the right decision. The weather was pretty terrible by the time we were ready to leave, and I could always come back and get it on a better day. And I guess it was only fitting, since I once had to leave my C120 in Ohio for a week for weather, too. (Note to self: stop flying to Ohio since it apparently likes to keep my airplanes.)

We said goodbye to the guys in the FBO, plugged our address into the phone's GPS, realized that the power charger thing didn't work in the dumb rental (which was great, since our phone batteries were already getting low and we had no idea how to get home), and were on our way.

The weather was, of course, terrible. At least it made me feel better about the decision to leave the plane and drive!

We drove through Ohio and into West Virginia...

...then into Pennsylvania before eventually crossing back into West Virginia again.

The weather was pretty gross the entire way. On the plus side, as word got out to my airport buddies that we left the plane and were driving home, I got a bunch of texts with offers of rides back to get my plane. My airport family takes good care of me!   :)

We were getting pretty hungry and needed a break after a couple of hours, so we stopped at a random gas station/store/sandwich shop in West Virginia. We were also able to charge our phones for a few minutes, too, which made it more likely that we'd eventually wind up back in Virginia.

We drove...

...and drove...

...and drove, before finally winding up back in northern Virginia. We figured we might as well go grocery shopping while we were out, so we stopped at Harris Teeter on the way home. The weather was starting to build up and move in...

...but we raced home and managed to get the SUV unloaded onto the porch right before the skies opened up and the storms started. Six-ish hours of driving later, we were home, but to me the trip wouldn't be completely over until my plane was back in my hangar. At least the doggies were happy to see us!

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