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Old 08-14-2019, 03:36 PM
Jvon811's Avatar
Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fenton, MI (based FNT)
Posts: 110
Default The BWT: 2 RV-4's travel the Western U.S. (Input Please)

The BWT (Big West Trip) will start October 4, 2019 and end October 21st. 17 days for a couple of dudes from Michigan to go explore (almost) everything west of us by RV-4. Two RV-4's to be exact. The idea is to camp as much as possible but I'm sure a couple nights in a hotel will be greatly welcomed. No real schedule to keep, just a day when we all have to be back to work.

Here are the highlight points of the trip (some Lat/Long's deleted to save space)

KRNP, KSJX, KCMX, (Isle Royale, Michgan), KCKC, KINL, KFAR, 64G, ND42, KRAP, KBYG, (Old Faithful), U56, 2U7, 3U2, KSMN, KMSO, KCOE, 66S, KBFI, 8W5, KFHR, 0S9, KCLS, (Mt. St. Helens), KCZK, KUAO, KMMV, R33, KOTH, (Crater Lake, Oregon), KCEC, KEKA, KRTS, KTRK, KMEV, KEDU, KHAF, KMRY, KFCH, (Big Sur, California), KSZP, KVNY, KHHR, KAVX, KCNO, L35, KTNP, (Amboy, California), KLAS, KSGU, KGCN, L41, KPGA, UT75, KCNY, KGJT, KLXV, K57, KRNP

I'm posting this to get some feedback from the collective about awesome places/experiences/bad FBO's/things I'm not aware of along our route. All input is appreciated. Some stops are for family members, some are just because, most are just for the cheap Avgas... The plan will be very fluid the entire trip and as with all flying trips, subject to weather and time constraints. Hopefully we can even be able to meet up with some of you!

RV-4 N249P O-320, Dual P-Mags, Warnke Prop, GRT Sport EX

Last edited by Jvon811 : 08-14-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:47 PM
DRitz DRitz is offline
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Hermosa, SD
Posts: 7
Default KRAP

It looks like one of your stops is KRAP (Rapid City, SD). I'm assuming it's for fuel. Then you have another stop close by but I can't tell what that is. If this turns out to be the end of your day, I'd propose landing at Custer State Park airport (3V0) for the night (weather permitting). It's a great, rarely used paved runway in the middle of the state park. There is a hangar there but unless you shoot all the pigeons in there first, I'd just tie down outside. Perimeter fenced too for wildlife. Camp beneath the stars with buffalo, deer, elk, coyotes, and mountain lions all roaming around at large. I'm a couple miles away and would love to stop in and BS with you for a while. Make sure to fly by Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Harney Peak, and the Badlands on your way in or out. I'm kidding about the mountain lions...kind of.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:51 PM
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Jermechanic Jermechanic is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 103
Default Missing a few great airports

Looks like a fantastic flight!

You missed 3 of my favorite West Coast Airports.

KORS- Orcas Island Washington- Crew Car- crew bicycles- Camping Friendly- showers on field- 15 walk to Eastsound- fuel available

KPFC- Pacific City Oregon - 5 min walk to the beach- Great 1860' paved runway in the center of this Oregon Beach town-restaurants and accommodations on the edge of the runway- no fuel

0Q5- Shelter Cove California - Fantastic location on the California Coast- food and accommodations within walking distance, no fuel,
Jeremy Prpich
C-GJZI RV6 Slider
Home base CYYJ- Victoria Int'l
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:10 AM
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Saber25 Saber25 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 211
Default Think about Smiley Creek

U87 is just south of Stanley and one of the best in Idaho. I camped there just three weeks ago and have been visiting this field since the mid 70's. Great view of the Sawtooth Range all from a runway fit for a golfer. Set up camp next to the headwaters of the Salmon river where it's still a sparkling stream. Walk across Hwy 21 to the Smiley Creek Lodge and get a man sized breakfast. Go hiking near the airport, get hungry and stop in for a huge dinner and wash it all down with your favorite beverage. Stanley is a five minute flight up the valley and you can visit the little town but as far as sleeping...Smiley is the best.

Cheers, Hans
Build 'em light, keep it simple

I'd rather fly than tinker.

"There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician, the other is an artist in love with flight."
- Elrey B. Jeppesen,
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:43 AM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 806

While in KMSO make it over to Mackenzie River Pizza. Get yourself an order of Lodge Poles with a Hot Hawaiian and a Moose Drool.

While in KBFI stop by Pigiron bbq I remember the sausage to be quite good.
Also you can stop by Airways Brewing. Go for the Sky Hag.

For KHAF go for Barbara's Fish Trap or Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.
Barbara's for, well, fish and HMBBC for pub grub and beer plus they have music usually on weekends

It occurs to me that it may seem like all I do is fly and eat and I admit that is a fair assessment.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fenton, MI (based FNT)
Posts: 110

Thanks for all the replies. I'm really looking forward to the trip. I've added a lot of potential stops and names to the docket. Between this website and the Facebook (knockoff) version of VAF, I've added a lot of local knowledge. I do hope more people chime in on here though! Lots of good info for a flatlander to know before heading that way.

RV-4 N249P O-320, Dual P-Mags, Warnke Prop, GRT Sport EX
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Old 08-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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YellerDaisy YellerDaisy is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mountain Southwest
Posts: 146


Without knowing anything about your experience/background a few tips that be unnecessary (coming from someone that lives in the west at 5000' MSL and routinely operates at backcountry airstrips with 10,000'+ density altitude (DA) with a 160HP RV-4).

If not familiar with your aircraft's performance at high density altitude, please do some study so it doesn't surprise you. The RV-4 is a magnificent machine but you will feel the difference. Some good rules of thumb are here.

If you want to REALLY see the west, don't fall into the classic routine of flying at 97,000' - get down where you can see it. Nearly every square inch is magnificent. If you disagree, you are there at the wrong time and/or too high. The best light for the southwest is early morning when the early morning light illuminates all the colors. You probably won't be fighting high temps at the time you listed but then again you might. If so, being on the ground by about noon is a good plan. Winds aloft at 18,000 is a very good indicator of turbulence in the mountains. If higher than about 25 kts (@18'k), expect bumps all the way to the ground.

The Idaho backcountry is a fantastic playground and quite a number of the airstrips are RV-4 friendly (I've been to several of them multiple times - some of my videos here). However; the experience is shocking and really requires training and practice - especially if not used to flying in serious mountains. Stanley/Smiley Creek are easy and a good introduction. Johnson Creek is more challenging but VERY doable (as are Big Creek, Moose Creek, Upper Loon, Thomas Creek, Chamberlain, Cold Meadows, Flying B, etc.). The Big Creek lodge is open again and a very nice place to stay (if tired of camping). That said, I would expect that entire area to be rather cold that late in October. I'm not even sure if the grounds keepers are still there that late. Appears the Big Creek Lodge closes for the season on Oct. 14.

I can't make out your route in any detail but it appears you are missing some good stuff in the SW. Sedona, Monument Valley, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon (shuttle to/from park at the airport), Northern NM/southern CO, etc. Of course, seeing EVERYTHING in one trip is pretty tough to accomplish!!
RV-4 - O-320
RV-3B - O-320 - "Daisy" (sold)
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:56 PM
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azrv6 azrv6 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 142

30 minutes south of Grand Canyon is Sedona KSEZ, Skyranch Lodge next to terminal and Mesa Grill next door as well.

For camping, you can't beat Payson, AZ (KPAN). One of the nicest on-airport camping facilities you will find.

Have a great trip.
Dave Binkley
RV-6, O-360-A1A, C/S
1932 Monocoupe 110, Warner 145 (
Sedona, AZ
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:27 AM
roofus4 roofus4 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Spring
Posts: 7

Well? How did the trip go?
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Old 12-06-2019, 11:10 AM
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Jvon811 Jvon811 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Fenton, MI (based FNT)
Posts: 110

Well.... Ya know how life gets in the way?

I had been planning the trip for a year and about a month before we were set to go, I got not one, but two interview invitations for dream jobs. I figured it was better to stay home and prepare for two life changing interviews.

Spoiler: I was offered both jobs! So hopefully this next spring when things warm up, we'll try the Big West Trip again.

RV-4 N249P O-320, Dual P-Mags, Warnke Prop, GRT Sport EX
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