Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tulare, California ~ Oceano, California ~ Tulare, California

Route: O63 ~ L52 ~ O63  198 nautical miles

Oceano front gate
Katie and I flew the last leg of our Journey and landed at Oceano, California this morning.  A relatively quick flight from Exeter, Ca to Oceano, Ca only took one hour and eleven minutes.  Shortly after we landed waves of morning fog blew in.  The flight over was uneventful, relatively calm winds over the patchwork of farming and dairies that dot Tulare County here in California.  The Coast Range here is not more than 3800' in most places.

Tulare and Kings County Agriculture
AVE ~ Avenal Omni Station
Getting ready to land at Oceano, California

Beach at Oceano, California

 Katie enjoyed the walk to the beach, only about a quarter of a mile, however we weren't dressed for the cool breeze off the the Pacific.  We found more sand dollars in a hundred yards of beach than we have in the last 20 years!  A quick rest on the sand and then we noticed that the waves of fog coming in had changed to a overall overcast with departing planes veering to the north on take off and coming over the beach heading for the blue sky showing to the North.  We started back and stopped at the "Beach Burger", a location that used to house a very nice Italian Restaurant.  I guess Burgers sell to a wider selection of visitors.  Anyway the Sweet Potatoe Fries and Cheese Classic were Yummy!  Walking back to the airport took little time as the beach is easily walked in 10-15 minutes!  We had a good conversation with the banner towing pilot which we had talked to the last time at Oceano, and who I had met when he towed banners in Tulare at the World Ag Expo 2012 this February.  By the time we had checked out his J-3 65hp Cub, T-6 Texan, and 1943 Stearman the fog had cleared off to a steady blue sky which we took advantage of and headed home to Tulare.
Seems like the Pacific is colder than the Atlantic?

Flying East to Tulare over Oceano, California

Coming home to Oscar 63

When I started the trip East on June 6th, I had 495.1 hours, when I landed this afternoon June 30th, I had 561.5 hours.  I'm gonna have a beer and relax for awhile!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Apache Junction, Arizona ~ Tulare, California

Route: KFFZ ~ EED ~ PTV ~ O63  407 nautical miles

Six AM comes early in the Desert!
Took off early this morning from Falcon Field, Phoenix, Az when it was cool, (90+ degrees) headed North skirting Phoenix until we were outside the Class "B" & "D" airspace then turned West for Needles, CA.

Heading North from Falcon Field, dodging mountains etc, trying to stay out of Class "B" Airspace.

Still heading North, a varied country side of agriculture and housing.

No emergency landing down here!

Private landing strip at Skyranch @ Carefree
Coming across the Colorado River it was hard to see where Needles airport (KEED) was, good thing my GPS was accurate and pointing the way!  Finally saw the airport to the West on the Alluvial Plain leading West to the mountains!

Finally I can see the airport, now figuring which runway has the least amount of X-wind!
Opposite Runway 20, I made a left downwind for Runway 2 and landed almost into the wind.

Kenny Macklin, U.S. Navy Veteran, Ham Radio Operator
We flew North, then west trying to keep out of the Class "B" Airspace, leaving the Falcon Class "D". It took quite awhile to dodge mountains etc heading north past Scottsdale, Az then Prescott, Az, then finally west just north of the MOA's and then we headed west toward Needles, California.  There we met an exceptional man (Kenny Macklin), had quite a conversation with him - he loves airplanes!  Kenny was getting ready to leave for back home in the South to take care of his ninety-two year old Mom and Auntie.  Good Luck to you Kenny and your trip!

Took off from Needles climbing back up to a cooler altitude of 6500' and proceeded West again.

Leaving Needles and climbing over the ridge to the west this is what you see!

West of Needles, East of Barstow

Greg & Cindy's Retreat near Yermo, California

Dagget Field near Barstow, California (KDAG)

Some sort of Radar testing Facility?

I could tell you what this is, but then THEY WOULD KILL ME!

Palmdale Regional (KPMD)

Fox Field (KJWF)

Hooked up with Joshua Approach for flight following and flew back over the desert and mountains into the Valley, turned right and landed at Porterville, California for lunch at the Airway Cafe ("Where you can land a good meal!") Which we did!  A 3 1/2 hour flight, fueled up and fifteen minutes later we were landing at Exeter Airport.  In the next few days we will continue on over to Oceano, a mere 99 NM away and stick our toes into the Pacific and complete our journey!

Crossing Ridge South of Bakersfield

Heading North to Porterville, Ca

Parked at Porterville (KPTV) and headed in for Lunch!

Home at Exeter, Ca (Oscar 63)

While I was fueling up the plane, CDF Airtanker 100 paid KPTV a visit and cooled things off!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Apache Junction, Arizona

Georgia & Al Sharpe
113 degrees in the shade; Yikes it is hot! Went out to take pictures of the Superstition Mountains, visited several museums and had lunch in a ghost town. Now we are back in the air conditioning! Shipping excess weight back home in anticipation of the the high temps tomorrow on the way home.

Getting ready to leave tomorrow:  KFFZ~KEED~KGWF~L45~KPTV~O63, with a few GPS waypoints inbetween to stay out of restricted areas and MOA's.

Lunch at Mammoth Saloon, Apache Junction Arizona.

Me (Gene) and Katie, and the Superstition Mountains.

Walked around the trails just inside the Park, then moved on to our Lunch Destination!

Really Great Food!  And we beat the crowd that showed up just after we ordered!

Superstition Mountains
Grind Stones outside the Museum

The Superstition Mountain Museum had several interesting exhibits of local artifacts, and this panorama of Military Uniforms that were used in the area.

Back to the house for the Cool Interior!  Just outside the front door of Al & Georgia's house this plant is thriving, even though the temperature was 113 degrees!

The Weather moved through the day before we left, Fortunately!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Apache Junction, Arizona

No flying today, went to the pool for water aerobics with Al & Georgia.  Visited the Bashas' Art Museum here in Chandler, Az.   Then back to the cool of the house for drinks!

Bashas' Gallery is in Chandler Arizona and is Free!

This small set of pictures does not do justice to the extensive collection at Bashas' Museum; there are hundreds of paintings, artifacts, way too much to chronicle here!  Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area!
There were quite a collection of Pistols hidden in back!