12/5-Having your own plane is nice, albeit a tad on the extravagant side. Being the pilot helps make it more reasonable. At any rate, I flew from Los Angeles Van Huys Airport east with a good tailwind, and in just over four hours and 830nm or so later I land in Lubbock, TX. Lubbock is midway for this trip, (actually a tad closer to LA). I had to find the best Mexican place and it came out fast and cheap and darn tasty.
12/6-Departed with a great tailwind and landed at PDK just slightly less than four hours, covering 880nm. That’s fast in case you don’t know. And yes, the plane has that much range…..and I landed with good bit of fuel to spare.
Now, time to lease another vehicle. It’s going to be hard not to get another LR3 by Land Rover. I put 4000 miles on that sucker in 2 weeks and sort of miss it!
Watching the news of the destruction of the Washington/Oregon coast is just another example of the power of nature. Thankfully, we were one day ahead of the worst of the storm.
Our drive into Calistoga and then into St. Helena, the first city in two weeks that I had been to before, was great as we ventured through the Alexander Valley and into the Napa Valley. If you’ve never done the wine country, you should give it a try. This time of year isn’t as beautiful, BUT, there are no crowds of people to slow you down. We stopped into one of the many fine wine stores in Napa and I bought some wine to drink and some to take home. We drove over to a nice place where we sat outside next to a fire and uncorked some Zin and I lit a cigar. They do go well you know! Jason filmed, I drank, and Jason filmed. We drove over to Taylors Refresher for a burger before driving over to Stockton, CA to load my plane, unload my car, and reflect on how amazing this country is to see.
Just driving along to the coast after two night in FABULOUS Portland where if you don’t like coffee houses, book stores, or tatoo’d girls with spikes on their belt, don’t bother. I can’t wait to return! And there on the highway to Lincoln City is an Aviation Museum. Of course, I pull into the drive and notice the vineyard outside is called Spruce Goose Vineyards. “No way this is the Spruce Goose”, I hollar in anticipation that it might be. It is and oh my oh my. The largest airplane in the world made of plywood and I’m eventually paying 50 bucks to get to sit in the pilots seat. Howard Hughes had vision and money, but this project at least ends up in a museum where ordinary people can see what can happen when too much vision and money collide.
We stopped for the night at the wonderful seaport town of Newport, Oregon. Dinner at April’s was delicious and then we went to the Rogue Bar on the harbor for beers with the fishermen that have all docked their commercial craft securely in port in anticipation for rough weather. Justin, and young guy said his best 4 months of fishing made him over 100,000 dollars. The guys compared numbers of pots and pounds of crabs over Rogue brewed beers. Weather reports call for hurricane force winds starting Sunday.
This morning, we drove in driving rain and powerfully strong gusts along 101 down the coast. Gusts must have been hurrican force on occasion. The ocean is powerful when winds blow that hard and the waves pound into the rocks. ‘White with foam’ today for sure.
We’re hold up in a Holiday Inn in Ukiah, California, and tomorrow to Napa on the way to Stockton to check on the Mooney!