Day 6 - Thursday, May 31th, 2018
The two man tent was quite cozy. We have a bigger one but this one is nice and light and was only meant as a backup for this trip. Glad we had it. Austin said he didn't sleep well as he had forgotten his eye shades and didn't want to get up to get them. We had a few good rain showers overnight with no leaks in the tent plus a nice wet airplane to make it easier to clean. For breakfast, we added cold water to my powdered milk and cereal in a ziplock that I had read about on a camping blog. They said the key was the best quality powdered milk and it was actually pretty good.
When we were finished with breakfast and almost finished packing the airplane, an older lady drove up to the fence and yelled she had unlocked the FBO for us. We finished packing and taxied the airplane over in front of the FBO and went inside to use the facilities. While washing my hands, I had an odd feeling like vertigo and worried maybe I was too tired from the trip or getting sick. Turned out the mirror was warped at the top and the peripheral reflection behind me was like a fun house mirror. Whew, crisis averted! We ended up waiting in the FBO about 30 minutes for the weather to clear. The man from last night and the lady from this morning were in the FBO with us but neither visited or even said hi. The open pilot lounge looked like the grand kid's playroom and before we left, we got the distinct impression that the couple was paid to run the FBO but didn't care much for those pesky pilots or airplanes. Hopefully we're wrong and this FBO is as pilot friendly as all the others we've visited.
Today will take us to Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Pikeville, Kentucky (KPBX) was our first stop. It was on the top of a mountain and the valleys were so deep and steep that we couldn't see the town. The sights were pretty but the fact that they listed showers was key to our decision to stop there. We appreciated being able to wash off camping grunge in nice warm showers. We were met at the fuel pumps and assisted by a very nice young man who worked at the FBO. He was born and raised in Pikeville and we enjoyed a long talk with him about the town and the airport and Kentucky basketball. Austin thought he had the most stereotypical accent we heard on the trip. Before we left, two older gentlemen who arrived in a Mooney chatted with us and said they liked the airplane and our story. They were also born and raised in Pikeville.
Jonesville, Virginia (0VG) was the poorest looking part of the country we saw from the air. The airport looked almost abandoned but the FBO was very nice and new and the A/C was cold. We borrowed the loaner car and set out for lunch. Neither of us had cell reception (different carriers) so we guessed on the turn out of the airport. After 15 minutes of driving and nothing to find, we decided to return to the airport and eat our freeze dried sweet and sour pork with rice, which was delicious. Notice the change of clothes?
Turns out the town was the other way but it was about 20 minutes away. This is what we saw during our drive.
Elizabethton, Tennessee (0A9) has very pretty hills and valleys. This was just a quick stop for a picture. A Cirrus Vision Jet landed right after us but opposite direction with a tailwind. Departing, we had to climb to cross Appalachian mountains. If the weather had been better, I would have enjoyed flying by Boone, North Carolina to see where I lived for a year in High School.
Shelby, North Carolina (KEHO). My daughter.'s name is Shelby so how could we not stop here even if it was a little out of our way. We did have to race a localized storm to get there but it ended up dissipating so we didn't have to hurry after we arrived.
Union, South Carolina (35A) was an old airfield where the water fountain didn't work and the liquid from the outside spigot was brown. We did buy some bottled water from the soda machine. Someone saw us land and came over from his hanger to visit. He was helping daughter work on her car in his hanger. We didn't stay long as we had called ahead to relatives in Georgia that we were coming so we didn't want to keep them waiting.
Perry, Georgia (KPXE) was a planned stop for the night as we have many relatives in the area. My dad had six siblings and they never left the area so I can't throw a rock without hitting a cousin. My uncle Tommy and Aunt Lois were there to meet us. Uncle Tommy took us to his house and fed us dinner after we had swum in his pool while eating boiled peanuts. We also got to see several more relatives including Aunt Guynell (my dad calls her Penny), and my cousin Laura who I probably saw more than any growing up. We forgot to get a picture of the state stickers as we were enjoying visiting with relatives.