Day 1 - Saturday, May 26th, 2018
We departed Dumas, Texas early on the first official day of our attempt to visit 48 states in 7 days. Today, we visited Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and spent the night in Nevada.
Sunrise leaving Dumas.
Our first stop was in Boise City, Oklahoma (17K). It wasn't our original stop as Guymon, Oklahoma (KGUY) was actually IFR with ground fog. No problem to divert as we will probably have to do it many more times on our trip. Quite a desolate place but the weather was fine.
Next stop was Elkhart, Kansas (KEHA). Small town but pretty looking from the air with a nice golf course. We only hopped out on the taxiway for a quick photo. And, it was a planned stop.
<image goes here. Limited to 10 per VAF post>
On to Triniday, Colorado (KTAD). This was an old but cool FBO from probably the 40's or 50's. It looks like it was a frequent stopping point at some time. There was an old soda fountain in the lobby and a very old radio in the back room.
Next stop, Aztec, New Mexico (N19). On the way in, we saw a TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) that was obviously for fire fighting. We could see the firefighting plane or probably helicopter on our instruments. After landing, we saw a mule deer cross the runway. Glad it waited to cross. Inside the FBO were directions to old Pueblo ruins. There was a TV and VCR with old aviation related VHS tapes.
A pleasant surprise as we were happily flying along when Austin said, "what are those red rock towers over there?" Turns out we were close enough to take a quick detour to see Monument Valley.
Page, Arizona (KPGA). We were surprised at how busy the airport was with all the Grand Canyon tours arriving and departing.
Lake Powell was beautiful. And big!
<lake powell picture goes here>
On to Utah but first a detour past the Painted Desert and then through the Grand Canyon. We flew the Zuni and Dragon corridors which allowed us to get down lower. It was unpleasantly bumpy.
St. George, Utah (KPGA). We took a quick nap in the large FBO back in the crew lounge. Very windy so we tied the airplane down.
We stopped for the night in Hawthorne, Nevada (KHTH) but made a gas stop in Tonopah, Nevada (KTPH) on the way. Tonopah looked like it was a giant airport back in WWII days and the older (and only) gentleman at the really old FBO said Chuck Yeager learned to fly P-39 Airacobras here. There were huge wooden hangers falling apart and the wind was blowing at 30 knots. Austin had to hold onto the airplane while we refueled. It was a short hop to Hawthorne.
Shelby paid (my birthday present, Thanks!) for a night in the Travelodge. Hawthorne is billed as the most explosive town in the world and we saw thousands of bunker looking things in the desert outside of town. Betty met us at the FBO and was the nicest person we encountered on the trip. She provided a courtesy mini-van without asking and was a wealth of directions and helpful hints. Austin and I were sad the Bomb Museum wasn't open.