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  #11  
Old 08-14-2017, 03:03 PM
RV7Guy's Avatar
RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
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Default Can't wait!!

Hi Scott,

I was telling my girlfriend about your amazing adventure last year. She is going to read it this weekend. I was mentioning that I doubt you would be doing another long adventure for a while.

I log on and here's another incredible adventure. Absolutely can't wait.
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Last edited by RV7Guy : 08-15-2017 at 05:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:29 PM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
 
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I'm going to have to bug out on this thread. too much foreshadowing of gloom and despair to come. I feel like I'm back in Church.
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  #13  
Old 08-14-2017, 09:35 PM
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goatflieg goatflieg is offline
 
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Wow... powerful as always. What's sticking with me right now is the photos of the hotel. I once co-wrote a song called "Outlook In"... a wistful acoustic ballad. I think my lyrics might fit somehow with your transient tale:

Doesn’t always go the way you want it to
You don’t always get to do what you want to do
There are times it seems you’re chasing all of your dreams
And they’re getting away

It can’t always go your way
It won’t always be your day
But you wait it out, and the good times
They may return

Oh well, oh well
Oh well, oh well

(written by Dan Frost and Martin Filiatrault; from the Dan Frost Confluence album "Positive Identity"; copyright Elephant Trunk Music BMI and Clownbreath Productions 2005)
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  #14  
Old 08-15-2017, 08:26 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
 
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Location: Houston, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Melton View Post
I'm going to have to bug out on this thread. Too much foreshadowing of gloom and despair to come. I feel like I'm back in Church.
I'll follow along for most of the story and the cool pics, but, since I don't do religion or church, the god-stuff narrative is lost on me...

But, I dig these trip reports; makes me wish I had the time to do a long haul trip around the country like this.
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Last edited by jbDC9 : 08-15-2017 at 10:22 AM. Reason: add-on
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  #15  
Old 08-15-2017, 10:17 AM
hrhodes2@comcast.net hrhodes2@comcast.net is offline
 
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Location: TN
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Let's let Scott reflect in his logbook. I will be still,,,,and listen.

Respectfully
HR
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  #16  
Old 08-15-2017, 11:15 AM
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Scott, does your still camera yield the wide aspect ratio, or are you cropping the photos that way?
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  #17  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:55 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Day Two

By the time I made it back to the airport, it was plenty dark. The winds just kept picking up the darker it got. It became so windy that I realized putting up a tent would be next to impossible, so I began searching the airport for a room or a hangar or shelter of some kind to sleep for the night. I found nothing.

I climbed into the cockpit of the Dove, closed the canopy, and crammed a pillow under my neck. It was already after midnight. I had never tried sleeping in the cockpit before, so I figured it was worth a try. In any case, it was better than getting wind-torn and chilled by the weather beyond the plexiglass.

The owner of the Stinson Voyager parked next to me forgot to install his gust locks, and the ailerons were beating back and forth like drums through the wee hours of morning. I knew that trying to get anything even remotely close to what you call sleep was going to be pointless, but I kept trying to doze off anyway. One moment I saw the moon a few feet from the treeline, and when I opened my eyes again, it was glowing through the branches. The next time, it was gone.

Then I just could not take sitting like that anymore. There was an assembly of cars and trucks just beyond the tarmac, apparently for island dwellers who needed a place to park long-term during their absence from Orcas Island. I saw a large dump truck parked there. I decided to go and see if it was unlocked. I really needed to lie down.

The dump truck had a large crew cab with a bench seat in the back. I tried the door. It was open. So I climbed into the back and lay on the bench seat in the fetal position to stay warm. I managed to get about three solid hours of on-and-off napping before the crunch of gravel on the dirt road woke me up.



Two small sedans pulled up and parked right next to the dump truck at about 6:00 AM. Two guys got out and started wiping down their vehicles. I saw that they both worked for a car rental company and were probably getting them ready for the day. I hopped out of the dump truck using the passenger side door and walked away unseen back over to the Dove.
Day Two had begun.

Across the street from the airport, the Eastsound Fire Department was hosting an early-morning pancake breakfast. It was just what I needed, so I went inside and bought a ticket for five bucks.





I sat down at a vacant table, and almost immediately, a mother of a little boy and girl, along with their grandfather, asked if they could sit with me for breakfast. The little girl clung to a stuffed cheetah, and the little boy kept talking through bites of pancakes about dinosaurs. We all had a fun morning together in the fire station.

After breakfast, I bumbled onto a gravel footpath leading toward Eastsound. I felt much better now that I had eaten and the sun was shining, so I began an early morning round of hiking and exploration.



The footpath led right to a church campus that was vacant and clean and bright under the early morning skies.





I hiked through the outskirts of town and explored the local school site where two kids were playing while their fathers stacked folding chairs onto a trailer by the cafeteria. Apparently, the chairs were needed for the festivities that day. I asked the men if they needed any help. They thanked me, but they pretty much had it covered.







As the sun rose higher, people began staging their floats in various places throughout the community and donning costumes for the parade. Eastsound was waking up for a day of celebration. I could feel the whole island throbbing with life.



I decided to walk back to the airport to assemble my mountain bike. I got the feeling that this was something I did not want to miss.
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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-15-2017 at 04:28 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:56 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Day Two (cont.)

The airport manager had opened up the pilot lounge and flight planning room. I assembled the bike in there, and I thanked the manager for allowing me to use the facility for that purpose. Then, it was time to ride.



I watched most of the parade by the review stand, the same real estate office I had seen the night before with flags and festoons snapping in the wind at center stage. I drank a cup of coffee and watched my America go by in a world of laughter and joy and celebration. It was a great beginning to a wonderful weekend.

















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  #19  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:57 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Day Two (cont.)

After the parade came to an applause-filled end, I decided to take my mountain bike for a ride to the other side of the island. Miles away from Eastsound, I came across a small cemetery and decided there to rehydrate and take in some beautiful scenery nearby.









Continuing on, I decided to see what the Red Cross Quarry might be. The road was steep, but it felt good that morning to stretch and to fill my lungs with the sweet morning air.







Finally, at the end of the road, I found an old rusty dredge standing skeletal and defunct under the heights of hillside above it.



After resting under the shade of the forest just above the dredge, I headed back down the mountain toward Eastsound. On the way, I passed the local egg store. It was closed.



I breathed in as much of the beauty of Orcas Island that I could before reaching the airport.



It was time once again to depart for other places, so I disassembled the mountain bike, packed up and preflighted the Dove, and took off into the turbulence and over the town I had come to love in just a day. It was good to be airborne again, but the joy of flight was tinged with the sorrowful, yearning regret of having to bid farewell so quickly to a place that was stamped so permanently into memory.

The San Juan Islands disappeared behind me as Day Two continued in flight.
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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-15-2017 at 04:29 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-15-2017, 02:58 PM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default Day Two (cont.)

At Hillsborough the day before, the gentleman who invited me to spend the night there also recommended a flight near a well-known landmark to the northeast. Flying south from the San Juan Islands, I made the small excursion and beheld the infamous remnants of Mt. St. Helens.





I then cut a sharp line to the southwest to hit the initial coastal waypoint for the upcoming Great American Eclipse of 2017, centered at Siletz Bay (S45). In addition to most of the Oregon coast, Siletz Bay was completely fogged in. From there, I banked hard to the east and began a steep descent along the eclipse path for an approach to Independence, OR (7S5). Realizing I was far too high, I made two 360-degree turns over a little hamlet by the name of Dallas before making a smooth 45-degree entry into the pattern for runway 34.

After landing, I taxied onto the tarmac and noticed two places to buy fuel. One was advertising $4.20 per gallon, and the other was $4.12. I taxied up to the cheaper of the two, shut down, and got out.



The pump did not work. I tried using both of my credit cards several times, but to no avail. The card reader would not let me enter the number of gallons I needed. So I climbed back into the cockpit, started up, and taxied over to the far side of the ramp.

As I pulled up to the $4.20 pump, I saw some people standing next to a J-3 Cub waving at me, and I waved back. When I shut down, the woman in the group came over to help me fuel up. When she asked where I was from, I told her.

“Merced?” she asked. “Really? They used to have a great antique fly-in!” she exclaimed. I told her that, yes, we once did, but that it had died years ago. Once Castle Air Force Base closed in 1995, it was the beginning of the end of the Annual Merced West Coast Antique Fly-In.

She then called over her husband, Robin Reid, and their two sons, Scooter and Jonathan. Robin was the son of Amelia Reid, the famous flight instructor from San Jose, CA, who also performed at many local airshows. I remembered as a boy watching Amelia perform an amazing energy management routine over Merced’s runway in a Cessna 150 Aerobat.

Robin’s wife, Marici, ran the pump as I topped off the Dove. Afterward, I asked her family to huddle around the J-3, the same model aircraft in which I learned to fly so many years ago.



Robin had just given Scooter, the older son, another flight lesson in the J-3. Scooter was getting ready to solo on July 10. The younger son, Jonathan, would be soloing the following March. Robin and Marici asked where I was heading. When I told them that I was flying through America for 40-days and 40-nights, they asked me if I would like to stay the night with them in their home right there on the field.

When I considered the dump truck from the night before, I warmly accepted the offer and thanked them for such kindness. First, however, Robin said they would take me out for dinner in downtown Independence.

After wiping down the Dove, I buckled up in Robin’s Firebird with Scooter in the back seat, and we drove toward town as the sun began to set. Marici and Jonathan would meet us at the Independence Grill soon after we arrived.





The town of Independence was already in celebration mode for the July 4th weekend. There was an open-air concert setting up in the town square, hundreds of people were congregating nearby, and vendors were selling confections and refreshments along the main thoroughfare into downtown.

We had a wonderful dinner, and I was so thankful for having friends of perfect strangers who so graciously took me in that night in Independence. I told Marici and Robin that I would enjoy the opportunity to walk through downtown and back to the airport later so that I would have a little time to explore Independence before heading off the following morning. They understood completely, and Marici gave me their home address and phone number in case I needed to get ahold of them.

After dinner, I walked back to the airport and absorbed as much as I could of downtown Independence.







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Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-15-2017 at 04:30 PM.
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