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Cross Country. Lazy M's USA Route.

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Loic and Sabre's adventures have gotten me Jonesing to do something similar.

I considered a travelogue through a foreign country...specifically Egypt. I fancied traveling down...Up? the Nile...South anyhow...to Lake Victoria.

But frankly, I don't know crappola about Egypt and it started sounding more like doing a book report with FSX pictures attached, and I am too damned lazy for that kind of effort. :D:P

I decided to take a lazier approach to this, and roughly plan a "Lazy M" route across my own country, the USA...much of which I know about as much about as Egypt frankly, but at least I speak the language, if not the dialects I will come across, and be able to read all the signs along the way.

In general, I plan to head towards, Portland, Denver, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, then fly Over the lakes and across to New York city, then down the coast to Jacksonville, Fla, and the Naples, Fla. That is the "M". I might (MIGHT) close off the bottom of the M and head home across the south coast of the USA...not sure bout that yet.


Sooooo...here I am picking up my freshly painted Piper Comanche 250 thanks to the awesome painter Jan Kees Blom, whom I had secured travel arrangements, and brought him to a paint shop at KCCR, Concord Ca. to do the custom retro livery on my bird, N801PC.


She is such a beauty...I am stunned by the work. Jan did such a wonderful job, I feel like I didn't pay him Nearly enough actual dosh for his fine craft work ( :D ), so am trying to make up for it in virtual thanks...expect to hear many times on the trip; "Thanks Jan!!!"


Thanks Jan!!!


So, here she is:





Could NOT be happier with this.

Thanks Jan!!!


So, now to fire her up and take this fresh paint back to my normal home base for light GA aircraft: Angwin Parret, 2o3.








I left the speed mods up here as we did most of the prep work at home, long before flying Jan out to do the final paint work. His time is WAY to valuable to be cleaning seagull poop off of old paint, or sanding for that matter...so me and my mechanic spent  more than a few hours getting her ready as possible to paint...so, back to Angwin to reinstall the slippers, fairings, etc, which are already sprayed with fresh white and ready to reinstall. Plus I changed the oil, all the filters, and even put on brand new tires and battery for the big trip.



This afternoon, my girlfriend and I are going to begin this adventure by heading over to the coast. We have set a GPS course that will take us fairly indirectly to the coast via d83, Boonville airport, dear to me because my folks retired up there in the Anderson Valley nearby. We may stop for the evening, but suspect it will be too early and we may press on up the coast...like I said...kind of a lazy trip in terms of "definitive destinations".


The trip will be loosely based on stops at locations where friends of mine live...most are virtual friends met online through various forums and message boards, some I have met in person. It gives me at least a purpose to head towards along the way...and nice places to stop and explore along the way. And visiting them "virtually" seems kind of appropriate actually :)


The first leg, to Astoria, at the Oregon/Washington border. Ok, I don't really know anyone in Astoria, I will actually head to Portland from there to visit a friend whom I shall refer to as "Bee". Astoria is just a gorgeous spot along the way, I know i will want to explore, and I want to fly down the Columbia river to Portland. We have packed some small electric scooters (50 lbs each) for getting around the towns we visit, to avoid the expense of rental cars, or burdening our friends as we most likely will intrude on them on weekdays or "out of the blue". The little scooters are awesome because we can charge them off of a 12V plug installed for the purpose...always ready to roll.


The route for "Section"-1...how many legs per section remains to be seen:



Once we hit the coast, i have programmed a waypoint at nearly every field along the way, both to survey for possible Airhauler use, or for touch and goes, or for potential lunch or night stops. I will do similar for each section.


Loaded and ready to go!



Anyhow, thats the plan. We, or I, will send updates along the way. Not sure if my lady will stick with me the whole trip, she will need to get back to work eventually. Heck, so will I. I may have to fly back home commercial occasionally to take care of business myself. and then return to the plane to continue the trip...so this adventure will proceed at whatever pace I can fit into my RL and VL work schedules.




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Sounds interesting, have a good time !  :)  Looking forward to next episodes. (should keep you busy for the next couple of years... )


We also have a "Tour de France" started on my french forum, flying a freeware Cessna 150L ( or Carenado or Justflight 152 ). The idea is that any forum member can pick up the plane where the previous pilot left it ( posting a warning on the forum "I'm taking the plane for roughly an hour an a half" for instance ) and flying it to where he feels like. Then post a report with a few screenshots. All flights real time and real weather.

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Great start Matt looking forward to this trip. Super choice of aircraft too plus a "Thanks Jan" from me too for the excellent paint job.


It'll be interesting to see if the plan works out and who you manage to hook up with along the way.


Good luck :thum:

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Love that idea of a community plane/adventure Loic. I'd think it would be easier to stick to a default aircraft for that sort of thing...but a "common freeware" is a cool way to go too.


We made it to Booneville last night, and the sun was looking kind of low, so Common (the Lady's) Sense dictated we should pop in on my folk's for the night and spend it there before continuing on later today. :D








Boonville, California is a cute little town now. It's history is kind of interesting, as it was an enclave of rather isolationist folks who invented their own language called "Boontling", a mishmash of blended words that only the locals understood, useful for talking behind someone's back in front of their face without actualy breaking into ancient greek or code or something...they just seemed to start babbling at each other instead.


Boonville is also home to Anderson Valley Brewing Company, speeking of Beer Tours, this is a good place to fly in for a brewery tour...as the brewery is a short distance from the airport.


 A couple of my fav's from here:







Picked up a six pack of the BarneyFlats, and headed to the Folk's.




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Great stuff: thank you - I look forward to the continuation of the travelogue! :)


Your "Tour de France" sounds like great fun. Many years ago we had a similar idea running on the Precision Simulator (PS1, in those pre-PSX days) forum.

Basically, we had lots of aircraft (OK, in our case they were all 744s, albeit in various different configurations of engines, airline configs, pax/freight etc., but there's no reason why a whole range of totally different aircraft wouldn't work just as well) that anyone could pick up from wherever they had been left previously and fly them to.... somewhere else. In the case of Precision Simulator, when you picked up the plane you found it in exactly (right down to every single switch in the cockpit) the condition it was in when the previous pilot left it, which added to the fun, but that obviously took a little bit of organising at the server end and might not be practical with FSX aircraft.

But the scheme ran for a long time and made for some interesting exchanges on the forum, after each flight! ;)



a.k.a. brian747

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Love that idea of a community plane/adventure Loic. I'd think it would be easier to stick to a default aircraft for that sort of thing...but a "common freeware" is a cool way to go too.


This is why we left it open to any Cessna 150 / 152. There are several freeware and payware versions.


Commonly used are the 150 L and 150 K "Ti Bush" from French-VFR  - frenchvfr.free.fr - Justflight C 152 freeware and Carenado C 152 II.

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Enjoyed the start of your adventure and I like the paint job too (Thanks Jan :thum:). I am always up for an adventure and look forward to following along. :)


Your welcome to visit me if you would like, the airport is rather bleak but the guest room is clean and my better half will make sure you don't go hungry. :D


Funny thing, your girlfriend is a perfect doppelganger to mine. (don't tell the wife :whis:

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We were set back a day, in part with projects around the Folk's place that needed some attending to, in part my lady had a tummy ache (too much Barney Flatts?...nah).


We spent the entire next day there, and it was a bit after noon the following day when we got back to the plane. All was well at the ramp. 01PC looked ready to go, and the sky was looking agreeable, despite some forecasts of overcast up north. We would see how far we could get, and set down somewhere if visibility was looking too cruddy ahead. We wanted to see scenery after all, not just cover miles and look at clouds.



Taking off:



Looking clear if a bit hazy over the Anderson Valley on the way out:USMT%20S1%20L2%20clear%20start.jpg


Passing over one of the Airport way points...o48, Little River .... I have hauled stuff here before. A good size runway well lit at night, no ILS...but good coffee. We have some in the thermos, continuing on.



And another fly by; 82CL Fort Bragg.



Ft. Bragg is a great little town to visit by air, car, or motorcycle...foot too I guess if you live nearby.

One of it's famous attractions, along with being a great artist's community, and having a wealth of California Coast Maritime history... is Glass Beach...a place where apparently old dump sites as old as 1906 are getting their old glass of many colors churned up by the sea and deposited on beaches. Glass Bottles and Jars were the Plastic Bags of the Pre-40's and 50's apparently...and no one recycled.



Those clouds north of Ft. Bragg quickly thickened, and from here on this leg became mostly this:



And occasional this:



After a lot more of the former, we took advantage of the next later and prepared to land at KCEC, Del Norte County airport AKA Jack McNamara Field ( I confess, I couldn't find out who Jack was...a google search came up empty. A reason to pop into the airport in future while up the coast and see if they have any info there.)







And parked in the misty Cresent City.




Weather is supposed to clear up, but get muggy and hot tommorow/Friday...maybe we can get the rest of the way to Astoria then.



Matt and "P"

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It was 10 am after a lazy breakfast at a nice diner in Cresent City, and we found a bus tour heading to the Battery Point lighthouse, we got on it.


From the Cresent City Del Norte History website:  http://www.delnortehistory.org/lighthouse/

Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum are located at the foot of A Street in Crescent City, California. This is an active lighthouse that serves as a private aid to navigation. The Lighthouse was first lit with oil lamps on December 10, 1856. The Lighthouse is also an active residence with lighthouse keeper. The Lighthouse and its museum is open to the public for tours including opportunities to look into the personal quarters of keepers and their families and the furniture and artifacts they have left behind since the 1850's. Tours include a climb into the light tower. There are displays of many maritime artifacts, photographs and documents that chronicle its history.

During over 150 years of history for this lighthouse, many keepers and their families have tended its light. It began as the Crescent City Light Station. Until 1936, the U.S. Lighthouse Service was in charge of the light station. Then, the U.S. Coast Guard took over its operation and maintenance. In 1953, the Lighthouse was automated. During the Tsunami tidal waves of 1964, the resident keepers provided a terrifying eye witness account of the destruction caused to Crescent City, even feeling threatened themselves by the largest wave. The Coast Guard continued to maintain the Fifth Order Drumm Lens with 20,000 candle power operated by electricity in the tower until 1965 when it was decommissioned. The light was reactivate as a private aid to navigation in 1982.



And then it was 1:30 ish and time to head out. Weather looked mostly good ahead, with some clouds up north later in the day according to forecasts. Good enough to get going.




It was misty on the way out, so we kept the landing and taxi lights on for a while.




So far it was looking like a gorgeous day once we got up out of the soupy stuff.




Flying over 4S1, Gold Beach Municipal Airport. Gold Beach, Oregon is located at the mouth of the Rogue River. It was originally named Ellensburg in the 1850s, but later on it changed it's name after a beach were hundreds of Placer Mines found gold. Interesting tidbit found on Wiki. Gold Beach has one of only two remaining Mail Boat routes in the USA. It has been delivering mail upstream since 1895. The airport has a good length 3237 x 75 ft. runway oriented 16/34...and a nice cool town to support cargo ops, plus the possibility of gold panning on a pretty coast on days off...could be a good Airhauler base. :D




And then, a short while after Gold Coast, the forecast clouds made their appearance. We were well into Oregon at this point so we decided to press on to the Columbia River, and Astoria.





Passing KOTH, Southwest Oregon Regional Airport...except we can't see it through the muck. I have been there many times on Airhauler trips...not a biggie to me to not spot it this time over.




A glimpse of 6S2, Florence, Oregon. Perhaps I will see it better in future, for now...just a glimpse will have to do. (it is behind and to the right of my tail)





And finally nearing the mouth of the Columbia...it is right up there on the horizon. The seeing has improved dramatically.




Arrived! Man, this is a WIDE river mouth.




We turn east and pass Astoria Regional on our way to the evening destination 56S Karpen's Airstrip, a dirt field, chosen at random, poorly as it transpired.




Approach is not looking confidence inspiring.




And we bailed out of that, and changed plans spontaneously to go to Astoria Regional.




Approaching a more rational approach.




And parked after a long but lovely 3 hour jaunt up the California and Oregon Coast...with a short poke down the Columbia. We will venture further down it next leg.



Astoria is a deep water port situated on the mouth of the Columbia River. The settlement was founded in 1811 as Fort Astoria by fur trader John Jacob Astor, and was the first permanent US settlement on the Pacific coast. Astoria became incorporated into Oregon in 1876.


The Astoria-Megler Bridge connects Oregon to Washington state on the other side of the river. It is 4.1 miles long and holds the distinction of being the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.



In addition to a recreation of the original fort, another popular attraction is The Astoria Column, erected by the Astor family and Great Northern Railway in 1926 to commemorate the city's role in the family business history. The 125 foot column is located on Coxcomb Hill and has an inner spiral staircase that goes up to an observation deck on the top with great views of the surrounding city and countryside.



Cheers folks. We will probably spend a bit of time in Astoria, looks like a lot to see as tourists around here.

Thanks for flying along again.

Matt and P.

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I loved the scenery heading toward Karpen's Airport and would have enjoyed seeing the landing there before you chickened out made the smart decision to head for an alternate. :D Great shots throughout the last two legs and am liking the stories along the way. :thum:
Just in case you are still thinking about who Jack Mack was http://www.triplicate.com/News/Local-News/Airport-Authority-holds-off-on-renaming :)

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Another wonderful journey Matt. Loved the points of interest along the way it really adds to the trip.

Good decision on the landing attempt, you need to look after that Comanche. All in all a great set of shots that really show off the scenery and the aircraft, thanks for sharing :hat:

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Speaking of Lazy.


Posting a Video for the next leg...cuz typing is SOoooo much work :P

And for the change of pace.

This is a few quick shots of the trip from KAST Astoria down to Portland Hillsborough KHIO. I tried to stay in "character" but it was kind of hard...I think I mentioned a couple addons...dang. :D


I will probably update this post with some pictures of the Portland area after we knock around the area a bit with our our Portland friend "B".




Matt and P

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  • 1 month later...

Well, thought I'd forgot this? Not quite, just hella distracted.

We spend a few day knocking about Portland...arrived a week or so late for the Naked Bicycle ride, thankfully. :) But B showed us a very nice time around some local eateries, breweries, and were introduced to some local honey shops that B is a huge supporter of...B loves Bees. :)

Regrettably, P's tummy had more flare ups, and she opted to Commercial flight back to home. I was willing to shuttle her back and then make a B line back to Portland to continue the journey, but another bumpy GA ride didn't sit well with her stomach, and she caught a Southwest flight home.

I ended up spending another day up in Portland readying for another leg, but then a call from the Monterey Ca. office had me catch a rush red eye back home to fill in for a sick pilot on a critical NorCal Coast route...and that led to more work distractions, including a trip to New Zealand to take personal charge of a new start up company, and one thing after another...sigh... busy busy busy.


Finally caught a flight back to Portland to pick up the Comanche, and make another leg. This time to the Boise Idaho area...Nampa specifically is the destination field, sticking to mySsticking to Smaller Field plans. I don't have any Idaho friends, so this is strictly a putting on miles leg before Colorado and friends there.



Pre-flight, and a warning to add some Camgaurd additive to the oil if I plan to leave it sitting so long...sigh, well, I hadn't Planned to let it sit so long...but note to self taken.



On the ramp, cleared for take off from Hillsborough.



And away:



I took a wide swing around the Portland airspace before connecting to the river...my guide for the next hundred or so miles:



There it is, the Columbia River again.



Down river a little ways:



Leaving the river now, and a look at the route or at least up to the edge of Oregon, it goes a bit further as mentioned into Idaho, Boise area.



Approaching Ontario, Oregon Municipal, just a fly over. Most of the route is a series of waypoints between small airports, again, possible break spots, possible emergency landing spots. Seems a sensible way to plan a route anyhow to me. Plus I had the main freeways to follow through most of the route as well.



A couple random shots taken while passing this area...lots of farm and ranch land along this way.





Finally, about 300 miles later, approaching my destination, and it isn't a sneaker dirts strip...woot...looking forward to a restroom and beer break.



Greased in the landing, but still at the expense of the tires....sigh. Shouldn't aircraft tires be rotaing before touchdown? I have a design on paper for an aircraft wheel hub that would get a wheel up to airspeed before landing...how much would that be worth?



Parked, tied down and getting my laptop out before locking up for the evening. I'm going to pick up a bottle of Camgaurd and add it to my oil while here, "just in case" :P



Umm BTW...they probably grow potatoes nearby.


That is your Idaho regional information btw :P







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Last time I saw my 172 was up in Tongass Fjords about a year ago, knowing A2A it probably has spider webs on it. :D


Nice leg there Matt, nice area of the country made for some great shots. :thum: A shame the little lady wasn't feeling well enough to continue the trip, :( you behave yourself while she's gone. ;) 

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