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  #131  
Old 08-26-2016, 09:42 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 508
Default "The Lord wanted me elsewhere"

Been thinking about that idea lately. If you're not willing to dump your own schedule/plans occasionally, how are you ever going to find God's plan? It's what the Good Samaritan did, and a key to having a great x-country trip in your RV.

A lot of people down here in South Louisiana have had their plans go out the window. It's been tough, but many new relationships have been established as people come together to help one another. I met an old friend I hadn't seen in 30 years while helping to gut a flooded house the other day. It was great to see him again. Wouldn't have happened if my wife hadn't pestered me into changing my plans to help some flood victims.
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  #132  
Old 08-27-2016, 10:10 AM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plehrke View Post
I must have been 5 minutes behind you. I ignored the announcement and went into OSH. Plenty of parking spots in HBP and HBC.
My understanding is there's always room for homebuilts at OSH. Especially RVs.

But my guess here is Scott is going to end up in Minnesota, so it's all good. :*)
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Blog: Letters From Flyover Country
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  #133  
Old 08-27-2016, 05:00 PM
morganjp morganjp is offline
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Oshkosh is never closed to homebuilts . Unbelievably great trip write up by the way.

John Morgan
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  #134  
Old 08-27-2016, 05:30 PM
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f1rocket f1rocket is offline
 
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Location: Martinsville, IN
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Never say never. As I understand it, this was the first year they considered HB full. However, I thought there was still room in the corners.
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  #135  
Old 08-27-2016, 06:51 PM
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catmandu catmandu is offline
 
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I believe there was some correspondence of some sort from Jerry that "we WILL find a place for you in HBC" when the reservation thing got thrown out there.

I know that my partner flying there in our Vintage aircraft declared he did in fact have a reservation (at my suggestion: "what's the worst that could happen, they tell you to take off?") after the 'reservation only' broadcast and did indeed find a place to park in Vintage Camping.

Just for future reference.

We are all blessed to be reading this, Scott. Thank you.
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Maryland's Eastern Shore
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  #136  
Old 08-27-2016, 08:54 PM
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Infidel Infidel is offline
 
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Not to drift, but Osh will never turn a HB away. Even if that means they have to evict a spam can to make room.
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  #137  
Old 08-29-2016, 12:49 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KMCE
Posts: 433
Default 25 July: Solon Springs, WI

After breaking ranks from the inbound queue at the railroad tracks, it was a quick hop over Rush Lake direct to Waupaca (PCZ) where, crossing midfield, I made right traffic for runway 28. The place was packed. Taxiing in, I found the last available parking spot on the asphalt. There were a few planes landing right behind me, and they had to park in the grass by the taxiway. I chocked the Dove and went into the FBO.

I filled up on some coffee and checked the weather up ahead. There was a local pilot who came into the lounge and told me about what he had witnessed the day before at Oshkosh. He told me that he had been ferrying aircraft to OSH for the better part of 30 years, but yesterday, he had never seen anything like it. He said the scene on Sunday was complete insanity. He told me there were so many airplanes in the area---many flying unbridled by controllers to escape bad weather---that it was a miracle nobody was killed. I told him about my being inbound for Fisk and getting turned away that morning because I did not have a reservation, that the airport was officially saturated, as the controllers called it. The pilot told me he believed it. He said it was probably a blessing not going in. He asked me where I was from, if I was going to try to get in later, perhaps the next morning? I told him I was from California, that I was flying a mission around America and that I was instead pushing forward. He wished me the best, and I thanked him for his conversation.

Heading back out to the plane, I saw a group of about 15 pilots in the briefing room. It sounded as if they were briefing for a mass arrival at OSH that morning.

I taxied back out to runway 28 and launched outbound through a scattered layer and climbed up to 8,500’. The weather to the northwest looked great, so I cut across Wisconsin toward my final destination that day. I landed at Solon Springs, WI (OLG), about 30 miles south of Superior:

The fuel pump had a combination lock on it that required the CTAF frequency to open it. There wasn’t any card swipe system available, so I walked into the terminal building to find out about payment after topping off. Using the punch code system to get in, I discovered that pilots were asked to leave either a credit card number or a check for payment. I wrote a check. Then I settled in for an overnight stay:





I started cooking up some pasta with my backpacking stove since the microwave was broken. While the water was heating up, I assessed my quarters for the night. The couch was a pull-out bed, so I planned on using it in conjunction with my pillow and sheet. Showers were available for both men and women. The airport was clearly unattended and there wasn’t a soul in sight, at least until after I finished cooking dinner. I took my bowl of chili-mac outside and sat down at a picnic table. That’s when John drove up. He was employed with the highway department and wanted to know about the RV-8 and about my mission around America. He was excited to text a photo of the Dove to a friend of his who recently earned a private pilot’s license:



I asked John about what I might expect to find in Solon Springs. He told me they had a Dairy Queen. I figured that was good enough for me to walk the two miles into town that evening. I thanked John as he went back to his truck and drove away.

Back inside the pilot’s lounge where all my bags were, I found some guy sitting at the computer station doing some work on it. He must have driven up and entered through the rear door while John and I were talking. I greeted him, but he seemed too engaged with what he was doing to carry on a conversation. So I left him there and began walking into town.

Crossing the freeway, I used the old highway to walk into Solon Springs, plus a little hobo tracking. At one point, I felt thunder coming around the corner about a quarter of a mile back, so I had to jump off the tracks suddenly to feel the rush of American commerce racing by. Then I continued walking toward town on the main highway:









I made it into Solon Springs in about an hour. I wasn’t in any hurry. The Dairy Queen that John had told me about wasn’t really a Dairy Queen at all, but it was still painted like one. It didn’t matter. The banana split I ordered really hit the spot, and I enjoyed it under the pines on a set of picnic benches by the road:



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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-29-2016 at 01:00 AM.
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  #138  
Old 08-29-2016, 12:55 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default 25 July: Solon Springs, WI

After I ate my banana split, I found a dirt path by the park benches leading around the back side of a small lake. I followed it for a few hundred feet until I found an old abandoned school, weed-ridden and weathered down. It had been poured in the traditional art deco fashion of the 1930’s. Then I walked back to the airport using an ATV shortcut that took me back over to the freeway:









The guy who was in the lounge when I left was gone. I had the airport all to myself, and it did not take long for the rotating beacon to awaken and send me on my nightly prayer walk. I saw two children, a little boy and a girl, walking their dog near the edge of the forest bordering the airport. They did not see me. It was a glorious evening. Their laughter danced over the clearing as they disappeared back into the depths of the forest, and sun descended slowly, with reaches of heaven branching in beauty toward an American nightfall:





I took a shower that night, then pulled out the trundle bed. I slept soundly, and after rising at first light, I gathered my belongs and prepared for departure. A locally based C-206 float plane owner, named Jay, pulled his plane out for fuel as I was pre-flighting. The wind picked up, and a few showers raked the skies in the distance.



When I departed runway 19 that morning, I pulled the Dove around and continued my cut to the northwest with joy on my heart and the thrill of the unknown humming through my frame. I watched over the starboard wingtip as God’s glory beamed through the portals of a fractured sky, and I felt the pulse of His breath pushing me onward, skirting Superior, WI and Duluth, MN:







When the ceiling broke apart and the Dove and I pulled through, the ascension marked the beginning of my fifth and final week of travel around America. I had no idea what to expect in the coming seven days, but I knew that just as this journey had been driven by the Divine from Day One, so, too, would that drive continue in my final push toward home.

Home. Home. It was still the furthest thing from my mind. Wrapped in America’s beauty, I was already there. Already there, yet coming soon.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-29-2016 at 01:12 AM.
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  #139  
Old 08-29-2016, 11:43 AM
jeffsvan jeffsvan is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: detroit, michigan
Posts: 135
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WONDERFUL Blog of your trip! I have noticed that most pilot/airport folks are generous and friendly. I plan to do something similar one of these summers. I plan to start on a smaller scale. Just a two week trip around my home state of Michigan and the U.P.

The only thing that frightens me is how many times your wrote "I was the only soul at the airport" Makes me wonder what GA will be like in 10 years.


I have seen our own airport activity steadily decrease year after year.

Last edited by jeffsvan : 08-29-2016 at 11:46 AM.
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  #140  
Old 08-30-2016, 01:05 AM
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Scott Chastain Scott Chastain is offline
 
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Default 26 July: Piney Pinecreek, Roseau, MN

After departing Solon Springs that morning, I shot across Minnesota through some of the smoothest air of the entire trip, from beginning to end. There wasn’t a whole lot underneath me but marshland, lakes, and tundra as far as the eye could see. The largest body of water I encountered beyond Lake Superior were the Red Lakes:



Crossing over the eastern tip of the Red Lakes, I set my sights on landing at Piney Pinecreek Airport (48Y). While making my descent, I ended up circling over the city of Roseau and felt immediately called to land there. First, however, I felt compelled to land at 48Y; half of the runway lay in America, while the other half lay in Canada. It was an American airport, and since I had my passport with me, I thought it would be a unique experience to land there:





It was unique, alright. Like something out of a dystopian novel.

I was wiping down the Dove, enjoying the beautiful greenery and the rolled-up hay bales, when suddenly an SUV with U.S. Customs markings pulled up. Leaving the engine running, an officer stepped out wearing combat fatigues and body armor. He was a young guy. He didn’t look happy. In fact, he looked pretty stone-faced and too serious for his own good. I looked at his uniform. Stitched over his heart was the name, Miller.

“Good morning!” I greeted him. I was in a great mood. Then that guy showed up.

“Where are you coming in from?” he asked me. He looked at me like he was about to reach for his gun.

“Duluth,” I told him.

“Well, we don’t open until nine o’clock. Why didn’t you announce yourself coming in?”

I told him that I did announce myself. I told him that I announced myself 5 miles out, then on the 45-entry for runway 15. Didn’t he hear me? Then he told me that I should have called ahead on the phone to let him know that I was coming. He repeated to me that the airport wasn’t open until nine-o’clock, and that I should have called him before landing.

“Yes, sir,” was all I could say. I felt like I was on the verge of being ordered to lie face-down on the pavement with my hands behind my head or something.

Then officer Miller told me, “Look. You see those tanks right there?” He was pointing at the fuel farm. I told him that, yes, I saw them. “Well if you walk past those, you’re in Canada, and you’re gonna be in trouble. Then if you try to walk back, you’re gonna be in even more trouble. You can use the restroom and get fuel if you need it, but stay on this side of the tanks. Got it?”



“Yes, sir,” I said. He started walking away. Just before he reached his vehicle, he spun around and looked at where I was parked. “You might be in the way, there. You might want to move your plane somewhere else. We’re going to have a lot of planes coming through here today.” Then he changed his mind suddenly, “Naw, I guess you’ll be all right there. But we’re gonna have a lot of planes coming through here today.”

“Okay, thanks,” I said. “Have a great day.” He didn’t reply. He just got into his SUV and drove off. That’s when I decided to use the restroom and get out of there before he changed his mind again and came back to arrest me, for God knew what.



I quickly climbed back into the plane and strapped in. It was clear that I was unwelcome and I could not wait to get out of there. Why in the world was there a rotating beacon and a lighted runway if you could only land there at certain times of the day? I cranked the Dove over and rolled forward. As I was taxiing out, I saw the SUV racing toward the tarmac again. It was 9:00. There was a Piper coming in on final, and I waited for him to clear the runway before I back-taxied to runway 33. I didn’t waste any time blasting out of there. As I pulled the Dove back around and headed for Roseau, I looked down and saw Miller walking up to the Piper. A family was getting out of the plane, and I felt sorry for them.

In just a few minutes, I was back on the ground again, this time in Roseau, MN (ROX). The pretty hay bales were again in the Minnesota background, but this time, nobody was around to make me feel like a criminal. The door to the terminal building was open, so I unpacked and went inside to relax over coffee:





There was a couch to sleep on, air conditioning, and a computer station to check weather. It looked good enough to me. And the coffee pot was working, too, even though it looked like it hadn’t been plugged in for months. I cleaned all the dust and stray bugs out of the carafe, filled it up with water, and waited for the coffee to brew.

About a half hour later, somebody pulled up on a quad. The engine was idling right outside the door of the building, so I went out there to talk to him. He was just sitting there on his quad, staring across the ramp at the Dove where it was parked. I startled him when he turned his head and saw me standing behind him.

He asked me if that was my plane over there. I told him that it was. He said that he had never seen a plane like that before. What kind of plane was it? I told him that it was an RV-8, that I had spent the better part of 10 years building it, and that now I was flying it around America. I introduced myself, and he told me his name was Gary. He was a local farmer and a crop duster.

I asked Gary about the Piney Pinecreek Airport, about some guy from U.S. Customs getting upset with me for landing there before 9:00 and not calling him by phone ahead of time. I told Gary that I had never heard of such a thing.

Gary had some choice words to say about that. Really choice words. He told me that he knew the U.S. Customs supervisor very well---the head guy---and that he was going to give him a call and find out what was going on. Gary looked and talked like he was genuinely upset over the story I related to him. I wondered if I should have just kept my mouth shut. I was still a little rattled over the Piney Pinecreek episode myself and didn’t know just what to make of it.

Meanwhile, I told Gary that I wanted to go into town for breakfast. I had a bike, and I was going to assemble it and ride into Roseau. Gary told me not to bother. He took me back into the terminal building and handed me the keys to a courtesy car:



Thanking Gary, I drove into Roseau to have breakfast at a local diner:



While eating a healthy serving of French toast and sausage, I had a nice conversation with a local mother of two kindergarten-aged children who were with her. I asked her what there was to see in Roseau, about how I could spend most of my day there. She told me to tour the Polaris factory. They gave tours there daily, and I really should go and check it out. I thanked her, paid my bill, and drove over to the Polaris factory to make an appointment for a free tour.



The lady at the front desk said that the next tour would be after lunch at 2:00 p.m. Signing up for it, I gave her my name and phone number. Then she told me that I wouldn’t be able to wear my sandals in the factory during the tour. So I went back to the airport to kill some time and change into my shoes.

That is when all the fun began.
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RV-8 N898W Descending Dove

Last edited by Scott Chastain : 08-31-2016 at 12:17 AM.
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