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Old 07-03-2018, 10:08 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,204
Default Weekend in Michigan - Part 1

Finished work a bit early on Friday, picked up Andi at home and headed to KANE to grab the plane - Destination the Wolverine State! Andi and I finally had a free weekend and wanted to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It was National Cherry Festival up in that neck of the woods as well. Weather looked hot and windy, but nothing the RV-9A could not handle!

We headed South around the big cold lake, but cut the corner at 11.5k over the top of O'Hare and the Loop.

First stop Niles, MI to take my Mom to dinner. Mom and Andi caught up while I tended to the garage-built contraption. We spent the night with Mom and her cute little Snorkie, Smokie.

We got an early start on Saturday morning enroute to Frankfort, MI. The airport manager said if we got there by 8:30, we were just about guaranteed to get the airport car. The thick, warm air over the cold lake water made for some serious June Gloom, the 30kts off the lake was pushing it over the shore as well. Frankfort was reporting low scattered clouds, but we pushed on.....

When we got to Frankfort, things did not look good. Minne center could not hear me to cancel Flight Following, and the wind was a howling crosswind! To enhance he fun, the clouds were just off the approach end of the runway....... I made the ugliest approach of my very below average flying career and the -9A bailed me out with a smooth(lucky) landing. We tied her down tight, and I called Center to tell them to not send the troops out to look for us. We grabbed the old cop car to get some coffee and pastries in town, then off to the lakeshore!

We chose the recommended Pierce Stocking Drive with it's many curated stops to maximize our little time in the park. It did not disappoint!

The inland lakes were first - even with the haze they were beautiful :

The dunes are the real draw here, and we learned all about how they were created and how they continually shift, like a living thing.

Some hoomans for size - there is ranger on duty to tell you that if you can't make it back up, there is a $3000 rescue fee. We were in a hurry so we stayed on top.....

The blue water is always a treat.....

Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2050+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN

Last edited by petehowell : 07-04-2018 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 07-03-2018, 10:09 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,204
Default Weekend in Michigan - Part 2

We did not want to monopolize the airport car, so we ran back to the airport to see if anyone else was waiting for it. A nice couple from Saginaw just landed in a C-210 and wanted to go to lunch, so we booted up the backup plan and headed over to Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival. We departed Frankfort at 12:30 and I called TVC tower and told them to keep the airport open for us, and they said "no problem" we won't close until 1pm. The turbo wind off the lake had us at almost 180kts over the ground and a 7 min trip over!

Planes waiting for us to land were a C-17 and a B-17, it was airshow time!

The people at AvFlight at TVC could not have been nicer, they fed us lunch, drove us down to the lakeshore for the airshow and took care of our baby on a blistering hot day.

We made some friends and found ourselves in the VIP viewing area! The Blues put on a great show despite having one of the solos needing to RTB.

After the show, we caught a bus back to the airport and cooled off with some local ice cream provided by AvFlight - a classy operation.

Went up to 6500 for a smooth, cool ride back to see Mom in South Bend.

We knew getting home Sunday was going to be a challenge, but we had rough plan. Get around the lake, maybe to Madison, wait for the storms to come thru, then run home after. We tried to get to Madtown, but the Wx shut the door, so we turned back to Dekalb, home of long runways, reasonable gas, and a car to get food. Rhonda at the airport was a gem. While we waited, she started getting wx alerts and told me to put the plane in the big hangar and that there was a surprise in there. We pulled 9PH in and got to see some history!

If you have to get stuck - KDKB is the place to do it in style! The storm rolled in loud, hot, and heavy, but behind it were cool temps and high ceilings. We marveled at the green countryside on the flight home.

A barge on a sunlit Lake Pepin provided a nice end to a great trip. Nearly 10 hours in the air, 4 great airports, 2 nights with Mom, a National Lakeshore, and the Blue Angels. Not too shabby!


Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2050+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN

Last edited by petehowell : 07-04-2018 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:31 AM
leok leok is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 234
Default Photos not showing

Not sure if it's just me, but no photos show
Building my RV-10 since Oct 5th 2014
Flying .. once I figure out how to pay for everything
RV Hotel
Dues paid 2018
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:36 AM
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dougweil dougweil is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hudson, WI
Posts: 228

Pete... you always come up with great trips. Here I am stuck at home watching the nasty thunderstorms go through.
Doug Weiler

Hudson, WI
president, Twin Cities RV Builders Group
RV-4, sold
RV-7 completed and flying N722DW, 730 hours
Based Lake Elmo, MN (21D)
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:21 AM
tfreye tfreye is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fruitport, MI
Posts: 3
Default Inspiration!

Your write-up and pictures were a delight!
I'm in the early building stages of a -9A I found reading about your recent trip to Michigan to be nothing short of absolute inspiration. Cross country trips such as yours are the reason I chose to build a -9A. Thanks so much for sharing.
Tim Freye
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