VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

- POSTING RULES
- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

  #151  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:02 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 513
Default Day Twenty-Four (cont.)

I climbed out of Plymouth to 9,500 feet and cruised smoothly over the Boston Class Bravo toward New Hampshire.



At Portsmouth, I cut to the northeast and began a descent into Maine, landing at Biddeford Airport (B19) after only forty-five minutes of flying. There was fuel being sold there for $4.30 per gallon, a good deal compared to pricing further on. Taxiing up to the fuel pumps, I saw a guy tying down his Piper Cherokee on the southwest ramp, but after he left, I was alone at an airport with after-hours access to a clean, well-managed FBO. It had restrooms, a shower, and a nice leather couch. There was a POW-MIA table set up in a corner.



After seeing that, I decided to push the Dove into a tie-down spot and to stay a while. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous Sunday morning for flying, but I felt desperately compelled to remain on the ground for the time being. I had a lot of journaling to catch up on, and Biddeford seemed a great place to write with no distractions.

That was when a guy named Ed showed up. He was wearing an AOPA tee-shirt and dark sunglasses, and he had a grizzled beard, long frazzled hair, and a balding head dappled with liver spots. After he introduced himself and found out about my 40-day mission trip through America, Ed told me that he and his partner were just about to begin a day of banner-towing. He took me over to his hangar to show me his operation.



There, he introduced me to a fellow tower, John, and his lovely wife, Monica. Ed pulled out his phone and started showing John some video footage of attempted banner-grabs. He was discussing ways to improve technique using his C-175.



John was going to be flying a C-170 that day for his towing jobs, but his primary task was to get the banners properly set up for Ed. I watched a couple of missed attempts before Ed finally made a successful grab.



I finally went back into the FBO to get started on my journal-writing. Then all of a sudden, it was as if everyone and their uncles and cousins decided to land for fuel at Biddeford, Maine. The whole airport came to life. Pilots started landing in their planes and coming in and out of the FBO building, having conversations out on the ramp, watching the banner-towing maneuvers, and just getting as much out of that beautiful day for flying that they could.



After a few hours, Ed came back in and said that it was kind of crazy out there. He told me that Biddeford was usually a very quiet airport but that occasionally it had its moments. Today was one of those moments. It was like a fly-in out there. There was so much activity and so much distraction, I began to wonder if I would be able to get any work done at all.

In the afternoon after most people had taken off, I decided to take a shower. I hung my towels outside by the fuel pumps to let them dry in the breeze. I sat on the couch and cat-napped as people kept landing and fueling and coming in and out of the FBO. It was literally a never-ending train of aircraft and pilots traversing Biddeford throughout the day. There was even an RV-8 pilot who came by to ask about the Dove. He told me that he wintered every year in Florida, then spent the summers up in Maine with his wife who, according to him, was terrified of flying. He flew for a couple of hours, then topped off the tanks and taxied back to his hangar on the field.



I walked around to stretch for a time and to pray about what to do next. I found an old caboose that the local EAA chapter had cleverly converted into a kitchen for fundraisers.





In spite of the excellent accommodations and the opportunity to have a decent night of sleep there in Biddeford, the Lord told me to go. The banner towing continued throughout the afternoon, and eventually, as I was getting ready to leave, a few stragglers gathered around an L-19 Bird Dog, flown by another banner tower named Harry. They all debriefed the day as I loaded up and preflighted the Dove.

__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #152  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:03 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 513
Default Day Twenty-Four (cont.)

Soon, I was airborne again on that beautiful Sunday afternoon, cruising over Portland, Maine, and flying a short 85-mile trip to the northeast.





I landed in Belfast (BST). After shutting down, I immediately got out and went over to the terminal building to see what, if any, accommodations were available.





There was an after-hours access lock, rest rooms, air conditioning, and a decent couch in the little shack. I decided to stay the night.



When I went back out to the Dove to wipe her down and get my bags, a C-172 landed and parked right across from me.



The pilot got out and walked over. He was a big guy in his sixties with red skin, grey hair, and a blue button-up shirt that you could tell he didn’t care about tucking in. He asked me if I was from Texas. I told him that, no, I was from California. Why? The guy said he thought I might be a part of an airshow team that he was expecting to perform in another part of Maine in a few days. I told him that I was not performing in any airshows. I told him that I was flying across America on a 40-day mission trip from Merced, California. Where was he from?

“Mizzooruh,” he said.

His wife and daughter were waiting for him in Belfast after driving all the way from Missouri in an RV. He said that his wife hated flying, so he got to fly his Skyhawk solo to Maine. I told him that his wife and daughter did not know what they was missing. We both laughed. The man told me to take a path off the road to cut into town using a short cut. He had a car. Would I like a ride? I told him that I would still be a while getting the plane buttoned up, but thanks anyway. Then the man walked off and disappeared from my life like a mystery.



I decided to leave all my bags in the Dove while I explored Belfast. I was hungry. All I had eaten that day were a few crackers and granola bars. After that hellish night in Plymouth, my belly and my brain and my body were all three dead set on getting rewarded by a full-course lobster and seafood dinner. Where that would happen was yet to be seen. So I started walking.





__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #153  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:04 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 513
Default Day Twenty-Four (cont.)

I crossed a busy 4-lane highway and walked into Belfast down Congress Street. Most of the homes looked to be late 1800’s to early 1900’s vintage, and a lot of them were up for sale.









Pretty soon, I was approaching downtown Belfast and the sun was slanting low and red on the brick buildings and casting sideways shadows that marked in tilting shades the end of a day.











__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #154  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:05 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 513
Default Day Twenty-Four (cont.)







I moved down toward the waterfront in search of a good lobster house. I was not sure where I would end up, but I knew I needed to hurry. It being Sunday, some of the restaurants were closing early. It was already after 7:00 PM, and I could tell the town of Belfast was winding down on the whispers of darkness that were quickly approaching.













__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
  #155  
Old 09-21-2017, 02:06 PM
Scott Chastain's Avatar
Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 513
Default Day Twenty-Four (cont.)

After searching for nearly an hour and still unable to decide on a good restaurant for my lobster dinner, a friend of mine behind the wheel of a Chevy Cruze gave me a head nod in the right direction.



I walked back to Nautilus Seafood and Grill and went inside.





A waitress by the name of Angelique served me some bread and water while I waited for the Shore Dinner to show up. It was the largest dinner on the menu, replete with clams, baked potato, and string beans.



It was, perhaps, the most satisfying dinner I had ever eaten. Fasting specifically for that Maine lobster dinner was what made it especially rewarding. I had a root beer for dessert.

Afterward, I enjoyed a beautiful walk back to the airport.





I saw the First Church in Belfast, established in 1796, lit up before me in the backdrop of a moonless night. Then I cut through the side streets of the town and climbed back up to Congress Street, heading back toward the rotating beacon. It was dark when I walked home. The streets were without streetlights, and there were only a couple of vehicles that drove past me on the way. A serene quietness passed over me as I looked into the homes and saw their warm electrical glow emanating from within, and I wondered how much longer that warm glow would last before it all became as black and as dark as the empty chasm of evening sky above me.







It was not long before the green-white-green-white flashes hovered over me. I walked out to the Dove and gathered my bags for the night. I watched the the rotating beacon as the surrounding hangars pulsed in the reflection.



Then I went into the shack to get ready for bed. When I turned off the light and lay on the couch, there came a strange series of electrical humming from under the shack, each series followed by heavy thumps as if something large and round and solid were seating itself. It sounded like some very heavy plumbing valves arranging themselves under the building. Whatever it was, it stopped long enough for me to fall asleep. And I stayed that way until morning.
__________________
Scott Chastain
RV-8 N898W Descending Dove
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:17 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.