POCKET GPS SPEED CAMERA DATABASE : SPEED CAMERA SIGNS LAW.
Pocket Gps Speed Camera Database
Subject: Trip with Dad to Monument Valley in N618MK to meet Alyson,
Caitlin, and Christina - Notes
Dad and I met Thursday afternoon 05.30.02 at Palo Alto and loaded MK. We
were airborne by 1730 and headed towards KBIH. We cruised at 11,500' with
the sun at our backs and took some slides and video along the way. We
crossed the Sierra and spiraled down over the town of Bishop to lose
altitude. We landed and I had a chance to wash the plane off while we
waited for the motel van to pick us up.
Dad and I had an extended post-flight cocktail hour in the upscale hotel
room we had in Bishop, resulting in us showing up late for dinner and having
to eat at McDonald's. I sat in the jacuzzi and had a nice time talking to
some local kids (5 boys and a girl) who snuck into the pool area. Bishop is
a good town.
With nearly full tanks we pulled out of Bishop Friday a.m. for St. George.
The heat and our weight made the climb out of Bishop slow, and we had to
circle a few times before we found a relatively low pass over the White
Mountains. After the White Mountains we got a full dose of the Nevada
Desert. Even with a ground speed of 135kts the desert just seems to go on
forever. Huge mountain ranges come and go, most of which aren't even named
on the WAC chart we were navigating with. The gray/brown of the desert
stays until just before Utah, when nice orange colors start and the scenery
becomes more interesting.
St. George is a fun airport to land at, being on a bluff directly over the
town. Dad and I had lunch at a restaurant across from the field with a
great view of the town - Mormon country. After fueling we departed for
Monument Valley (UT25 or 71V depending on which map you read). The database
in my Garmin GNS430 did not have Monument Valley in it, but Dad noticed that
it did recognize state lines, and since Gouldings Lodge was pretty much on
the Arizona/Utah border, we could just follow the state line on the GPS
display. The Page VOR made it easy, Monument Valley was 73nm out of Page.
We flew over Lake Powell, and just south of Navajo Mountain. Salt Lake
Center warned us of Navajo Mountain - a procedural thing they do which is
really nice, although somewhat funny on a day with 100+ mile visibility. We
flew thru the canyon and right over Gouldings Lodge, just like we saw the
pilot of our chartered Cessna do in 1977 when Dad and I were there. I paid
special attention to my first landing, knowing that it might be challenging.
It turned out to be an easy one, on the 4000' mostly dirt strip. The
temperature on the ground was 102, at 5,200'.
We met Alyson, Christina and Caitlin at Gouldings Lodge and went for a much
needed swim. Just before sunset I took Caitlin and Christina up for a short
ride. I emptied MK of all unnecessary lage, and got about 500+ fpm on
climb out. My second landing at UT25 was fine, although I could feel the
wind picking up a bit - naturally directly across the runway. After
landing, the girls got off and I picked up Alyson for a short ride. Dad did
great work photographing the takeoff with the video camera. I flew the
exact same route with Alyson, coming back thru the canyon with a low power
setting so as to not annoy the Navajo. On final approach with Alyson the
crosswind was strong, and I had to drop my right wing down into it pretty
far. The landing was smooth, but got my attention.
We had a really nice dinner and got up early the next morning for a tour of
the valley that Dad treated us to. That afternoon a dust storm hit, and I
spent a few hours out at the airport basically trying to stop MK from
blowing away. I parked Alyson's car next to the plane and used it as a tie
down, since there weren't any on the tarmac. I watched a few brave pilots
take off in the dust storm, one of whom nearly got killed. It was a group
of four, in a Cessna 185 tail dragger. The 185 has the same
engine/propeller as my 182, so I am familiar with its performance
characteristics. There was a 10 knot crosswind gusting to 23 across the
runway. The temperature was just below 100 when the fully loaded plane made
its takeoff roll. All looked well and it made a steep takeoff, climbing to
about 50' and then suddenly pancaking back onto the runway with a big cloud
of dust - and then shooting up again! It was scary to watch and I can only
imagine how the passengers must have felt. They were on their way to
Durango, I sure hope it was worth it.
Sunday morning came too quickly. Dad and I loaded up MK and headed to Page
for gas. We were heavy coming out of Page and climbed out slowly over Lake
Powell. We changed the route on the way home, going to Tonopah, NV for gas.
Dad did most of the flying, which was great. There were clouds building up
all along our route, and we had 2 1/2 hours of turbulence all the way to
Tonopah. As Dad was busy flying, I don't think he noticed it. I sure did.
Tonopah is really out in the middle of nowhere. The attendant said that
the rat that loves you sit in your bra and pockets
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