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  #11  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:01 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Location: KMCE
Posts: 404
Default July 5th: St. John the Baptist Parish, LA

On the morning of July 5th, my loving friends and hosts dropped me off at Taylor Airport where I pre-flighted and departed for the New Orleans area. I landed first at Louisiana Regional (L38), because a nasty storm cell was in the vicinity of my destination airport, St. John the Baptist Parish, LA (1L0).



It was blistering hot, and the humidity excruciating. This heat wave would follow me for virtually 3 more weeks up the east coast. Here we see a Louisiana local measuring the 120-degree tarmac with a digital thermometer:



Eventually, the storm cell dissipated over St. John, so off I went. I landed there, again the lone soul on the field, fueled up, and settled in for the night:





The next morning, I stepped outside and it literally felt like somebody threw a hot wet towel over me.



Everything on the tarmac, including the tarmac itself, was saturated and dripping in 80-degree heat at sunrise. And T-Storms were in the forecast big time, so I took off and headed for Oklahoma City, OK.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2016, 10:50 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
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What a great adventure you're on Scotty. Sorry I missed you when you passed through Louisiana. I may have passed you in the air on my own mission trip to Winslow, AZ. It's a good reason to fly. Paul used a boat. You're just updating the means of getting there. John
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2016, 11:24 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Oklahoma City, Shawnee, OK

I landed at Sundance Airport (KHSD) in Oklahoma City early on July 6th after 2.3 hrs. of smooth sailing. I received a very kind gesture from Sundance for free hangar space while I explored downtown in a courtesy car they let me use for the day.





Meanwhile, the Bricktown portion of Oklahoma City was void of people, but I enjoyed the cool of a nice restaurant burger and root beer at Earl's Rib Palace. I also enjoyed a nice walk through the strip park, uncrowded to say the least:







Back at Sundance, I took a shower upstairs in the FBO, then fueled up and headed east for Shawnee, OK (KSNL), where I planned to spend the night. Sundance is a beautiful airport, but no after-hours access shoved me off into the dusk of the day for a place to settle in:





I enjoyed the evening exploring the neighborhoods, walking through the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University, having an incredible milk shake at Braum's, and just relishing the sights and sounds of small town America:





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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-13-2016 at 11:36 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-14-2016, 12:32 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default 7 July: Petit Jean (KMPJ)

Departing Shawnee, OK, I enjoyed a beautiful hour-long flight to Petit Jean Airport, AK. I had heard of the RV fly-ins there before, and I simply thought it would be worth checking out. I actually had no idea what I was about to bumble onto. The place was deserted. But then again, most of the places I had flown into thus far were deserted, too:



Having airports all to myself across America was turning out to be standard ops for this mission, and I loved every part of it. The first thing I did was assemble the bike again and ride the runway for the love of it.



Nobody home? Hmmm, no worries. But a man's gotta wonder: What conversations have taken place here over the years?



A quick look on Google Maps showed me a restaurant only a few miles away at some place called the Rockefeller Institute. So off I went to explore the open road and to fill my belly with something other than backpacking food:





And it wasn't long after when I discovered the Rockefeller Institute. After an awesome buffet at the restaurant, I stayed and explored for most of the afternoon. What an amazing story about a very beloved Arkansas governor, son of John D. Rockefeller! Like I said, I had no idea what I was bumbling onto, and I felt my journey across America was just beginning!









After an incredible day of riding and exploration and discovery, I disassembled the bike and departed Petit Jean for Conway, AK, where I would settle in for the night. Cantrell Field (KCXW) was only 19 miles to the southeast.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-14-2016 at 12:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-14-2016, 12:53 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Conway, AK (KCXW)

I landed and parked on a tarmac that appeared more like it belonged to a bustling metropolis with high rise buildings and Class B airspace. From what I gathered, the airport was recently completed in 2014 after the city of Conway elected to relocate the municipal airport from the center of town to the outskirts along the shores of the Arkansas River.

The Cub pilot landed right after me in a crosswind strong enough to weather vane him completely off the runway. No ground loop, but it could have been. He flew in to drop off his mother, poor kid. She seemed to take it all in stride, however. After he took off, I had another airport all to myself for the night:





Fuel prices were amazing, and the sleeping accommodations? Self-explanatory.





I slept well that night, and it was off to Tennessee first thing in the morning.
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  #16  
Old 08-14-2016, 01:39 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Springfield, Nashville, TN

On July 8th, I departed Conway, AK for a 1.7 hr. flight to Springfield, TN (M91), home of Wingnuts Aviation. Two beautiful ladies came out to help me fuel up just as a local crop duster was taxiing in for another load of pesticide. Afterward, I chocked the plane to check weather in Nashville and to enjoy a morning coffee:







Back on the ramp, things were quiet and still and peaceful. There was only myself, an RV-8 waiting to be flown, and a beautiful reminder at one end of the field that the Lord was with me, guiding me, and protecting me on a journey that only kept getting better with each passing day:



It was off to Nashville, where I landed, checked the weather again, started back up, and broke through an arising monstrosity of a thunderstorm just in time to head south for Fort Payne, AL.

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  #17  
Old 08-14-2016, 02:52 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Fort Payne, AL (4A9)

I landed at Ft. Payne, AL, on the afternoon of July 8th. Full service fuel at Ft. Payne was very cheap, and once again I was given a free spot in a large hangar to park the Dove. T-storms were looming in the vicinity, and the hangar would not only offer me peace-of-mind, but it would also be my bed for the night:





I was handed a set of keys for the courtesy car, a retired police cruiser referred to as a real cream puff, and she was. Not exactly sure where I was on the map, I noticed Little River Canyon Park just up the road about 6 miles. An important part of the historic Trail of Tears, as I soon discovered, the canyon itself was a beautiful place to explore, to relax, and as I soon realized in the sweltering heat wave, a great place to swim:





After a great hamburger in the historic 1898 restaurant, I walked the streets of Ft. Payne into the evening hours. What I found was incredibly moving. For such a quaint little town, it is absolutely loaded with history, the depth of which I was only able to scratch during my one-day visit.



Nevertheless, I remain awed by not having any idea what to expect when I came to Ft. Payne, and coming away filled with an intense feeling of identity with the historic, war-torn fabric of the America we know today.







Before sunset, I happened upon another gem-of-a-discovery: The bronze statues of the southern rock group, Alabama, who apparently hailed from Ft. Payne back in the day. I used to listen to Alabama quite a bit growing up, so this was another sweet surpise for me. I had no idea.



Overhead, the storm clouds began to swelter and flash and thunder and close in on the hamlet. The night was rough, I have to admit. The rattle of hangar doors, the howling wind, the thunder and lightning were exciting but not conducive to sleep. I napped through the night. That's about it.




At first light, I pushed the Dove out of the hangar, fired her up, and headed south. The call to Florida began in earnest on the morning of July 9th.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-14-2016 at 11:58 AM.
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  #18  
Old 08-14-2016, 06:28 AM
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What an ADVENTURE! Thanks so much for sharing!
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RV 7 FLYING SINCE 4/2015!
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  #19  
Old 08-14-2016, 06:51 AM
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f1rocket f1rocket is offline
 
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This is amazing Scott. Beautiful write up so far and anxiously awaiting the rest. I've been to several of the same stops as you (Taylor, Sedona, and a few more). It is an amazing country and you tell the story so well.
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  #20  
Old 08-14-2016, 07:35 AM
wilddog wilddog is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
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Default Bike?

Scott, that is a great post! I'm looking fwd to the next chapter. Question, can you tell me the model no of your bike and a link? What size are your tires? Does it fit in the rear baggage or rear seat area? And do you know the weight?
Thanks, Bill
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