I had to take this picture to show you the late 1990's panel we are still flying with (and which works perfectly fine for the flying we do :-)
The flight from St. John took us east until we got around the corner of the restricted area then we 'turned the corner' southeast bound to Slaton Municipal (F49) for fuel, 390nm in ~2.5 hours:
One more leg to go (~1.5 hours) to get to the Hard 8 BBQ
in Stephenville! I'd been waiting two years to get back there and eat REAL BBQ!
We climbed out to 9.5K, settled in at an easy 160 knot cruise....I'll be having BBQ soon....I call Forth Worth Center for flight following, life is good.
Here's another shot of the XM weather screen and 'out the window':
I failed to mention that for breakfast, we each had a powerbar and then had a couple of the 100 calorie snack bags to munch on....I was READY for a good meal at the Hard 8 BBQ, ~190nm away. I'm watching the gauges and thinking about what I was going order out of that big, roll-up smoker they have....
Getting closer...10 minutes out on the 'downline' at 180 knots indicated...the BBQ is calling my name....I swear I could smell the 'smokers'... and then...Fort Worth Center calls (I'm less than 10 minutes out):
"8PV...I just got a call that a plane has 'fouled' the runway. The Stephenville airport is closed".
"Can you call them and ask how long it might be? I'm trying to get over to the Hard 8 for a late lunch."
"Sure, let me call them back...........8PV, no answer at the airport".
I'm thought to myself, "Two years I've been planning this trip with a stop at the Hard 8 and I can't land!?!"
Ok, quick, zoom out...what airport is nearby, cursor over...ah! 9FD is nearby...
"Fort Worth, 8PV now landing 9FD"....silence...no reply...then...
"8PV, my system does not show 9FD"....
Hurry, cursor over 9FD, press enter, read "Dublin Muni"...
"8PV landing Dublin Muni"...
"Fort Worth, 8PV can't read when hungry. Dublin in sight."
"8PV, squawk 1200, frequency change approved"
Here's the screen shot where we 'dog-legged' slightly to the right of course to get to Dublin. So close yet so far:
We landed at Dublin and taxied to the ramp...this airport is barren, weeds coming up through the cracks of the runway and taxiway. Tuppergal keeps reading her Kindle (she loves to read)
I found the Hard 8 BBQ phone number in the Garmin 496 AOPA database page (thank you very much AOPA!). I dial the number.
"Hi, can I talk to a manager...no, nothing was wrong with the food...yes, I'll wait....Emily? Hi, I'm calling from Dublin airport. I'm flying from California and have been flying for about 7 hours. I can't land at Stephenville because the airport just closed to clear a plane off the runway. I've been waiting two years to get back here and eat at the Hard 8 BBQ. Is there ANY CHANCE
you can send someone to come get me? PLEASE?
...Oh yes, I can wait 20 minutes, thank you!" SCORE!!!!!!
A young man, Barrett Joiner shows up in a nice, big pickup, very friendly guy, 100% Texan. We pile in (forgot to bring the camera darn it) and we arrive to the Hard 8 in minutes. We get in line, the cook opens the smoker..."I'll have some of that, that, that, that, one of those, and a couple of Chicken Poppers".
Once inside, a small tub of Blackberry Cobbler, a coke and the free beans....I'm a REAL HAPPY GUY now! We enjoy the Angels-Texas game, finish up and Victoria then 'rolls me to the truck', I'm stuffed (and did I say I was happy). Barrett drives us back, and I ask him for the name of the Manager because I want to write a letter to thank 'his' boss for this...then Barrett says, "I'm the General Manager." Whoa, 29 years old and he's 'the man'! Thank you Barrett for taking time to ensure these Californians did not miss out on the great BBQ you have at the Hard 8!
We departed Dublin and landed Pecan Plantation (0TX1) around 1730 local time, maybe a 15 minute flight. We are staying with longtime friends Don & Shirley Saint at their beautiful skypark home. While out for a walk, we saw Claudia & Martin Sutter who are leaving with Tom & Bonnie Lewis in the morning for Sun 'n Fun. Their 2-ship will now be a 3-ship departure, ~0700 CDT.
We plan to fly to Daytona Beach (Spruce Creek Airpark) to visit/lunch with a longtime teacher-friend Barbara Rodriguez and then depart for Clearwater to overnight with my former Lockheed co-worker, Honeywell 'Navboy' Bob Coughlin and wife Vicki.
Here are the Day 1 flying stats: ~1015nm in 6:40...nice ride, no bumps...just wish I could have had more of a tailwind!
Thanks SO MUCH for following along and keep poundin' them rivets because it's ALL worth it!!! Rosie & Tuppergal