Saturday, 11 June 2011
The seat is not well padded and an hour in, my rear-end is already complaining bitterly, sending little pain messages down my legs. Missing the dual density seats from the Beaver and the accompanying leg room too... They build an 801 too, now that would be more my size!
2.3 hours later we roll up to the pumps in Perry Foley. Quick run to the air-conditioned pilot lounge, bathroom, internet, close one flight plan and shortly there after open the next. On the way back to the Pumps we notice we got company. A somewhat familiar, and very mint looking Carbon Cub from Cubcrafters in Yakima. I know this plane, I have seen this paint job, ...as it is being pushed back from the Pumps to make room for us. N711..? help me out here; "are you the fellow that wrote the article in Kitplanes about the trip from Yakima to Florida?" a big grin rolls up on his face, both arms go up in the air and a smiling ..."that would be me!"
Small world! Just before we left, I've tried feverishly to find this article to look at their route through the Rockies for reference. Anyhow they, yes the better half's a pilot too, are off to Yakima once again. He hands me his AOPA flight plan... tempted, but we'll go a bit further north first, before we head west. But Moab does sound good! Next Time!
Off on our next leg to 70J Cairo - Grady, as a reference only to avoid the Tallahassee Airspace and than over KEUF, Eufaula, Alabama. Repeat after me, Euphelia, NO, Eufaula as in "u folla" me? That's closer! U'AWL get it in TEEEIIIME! OKAY, we have entered the deep South.
The air is a getting a bit choppy as the day goes on and we see the OAT flicker up to 43c and this thing is placed well hidden from sunshine and air-cooled.
Hans watches in dismay as I change the GPS from 70J to KEUF and it offers another 1:57 minutes over an 106 mile course. No one ever said a 701 is a speed demon. About 20 minutes short of our planned destination Hans has had enough and is ready to just land.
Ah, let's just carry on and end up as planned! KEUF, "U FOLLA" with air-conditioned pilot lounge, bathroom, town, internet is just so much more appealing than spending the afternoon heat in the afternoon heat on some unknown tarmac. I am wearing a bit thin by now too and really look forward to a break. Just short of 5 hrs of flying with the last 1.5 being a bit of a climatic challenge. Arriving at KEUF, Hans is about 23 minutes of rough air past, and a few smiles short of a good time ...and I am not lagging much behind!
Looks like Aviation Lesson 102.1 has just made it's mark on us; "It a'int always as glorious as you think!"
"But Hey" ...blame it on the heat! Seems like everything else is being blamed on it these days! And while you are at it, might as well include the looming thunderstorms to the NW blocking our way. As we look over the radar maps on Foreflight we simply decide to call it day. Just as well! 4.9 hrs on the first day is being off to a pretty good start!
Eric the Airport Manager here at KEUF looks over our shoulders onto the displayed radar map, and promptly offers us a slot in the hangar to keep the plane out of the potential rain and/or hail. His wife Ruta, fluent in German, compliments the hangar offer with some fresh homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. To top things off, Mark from Murray Aviation Services drops us at the near by hotel. Talk about getting spoiled!
Or maybe simply put; "Southern Hospitality at its finest"!
Let us extend our sincerest gratitude, as for on this Journey it is really you, the good people we have met and keep meeting along the way, that make this Journey!