So as not to muck up Rosie's thread:
We launched from home this morning out of 40XS on a local IFR "to VFR on top". We had 500' solid overcast morning crud just in the local area. I made the telephone call to Austin approach while Tanya was on the ramp warming up the EFIS. Of course the oil was already warm via the new electric / timer sump heater
. We launched and were 'in it' by 400' and out the top at about 1000' to a beautiful morning on top for the next ten minutes.
I set the power for 145kts true at 7.5k' burning 6.5gph, and we were off to see the Horton, direct 600nm. The newbies at Austin approach didn't really want to let me loose until I could convince them that it really was "a beautiful morning on top." So here we sat for the next four hours. Eating peanuts and freeze dried fruits. Absolutely uneventful except for the amazement that I still get watching the machine work.
600nm is a pretty long leg for us. I used up most of what was in the right tank down to about 1.5gal, with about 8gal left in the left tank as we rolled out on the super smooth, guaranteed, grass runway at Wetumpka. Ahhhh, 22C lands on grass for the first time Ever! A milestone with no unknowns, because when Dan says it is perfect, "put it anywhere on the green stuff", it must be perfect, right? Yep.
(Scoot too pooped, TC picking up the story here...)
With the grass runway excitement under our belt, we taxied to Hortonville and promptly paid our homage of a bag of chocolate chip cookies and were allowed to deplane.
Off to lunch and a hole-in-the-wall diner that everyone and anyone should request when landing in Wetumpka. Best homemade burger I've had in a long time. Joel, a driver of a very nice RV-10, and his family joined us. Then to an hour of dancing with the locals and chatting airplanes. Never a bad day.
Next stop was the Horton recommended cheap fuel locale of Alexander City (ALX). The Horton with his super slick and fast RV8 allowed us to catch up after takeoff. Scott made the mistake of telling him that we could do 10-15 knots faster for the short trip. That was all it took to see the rocket ship take off ahead of us. His airspeed indicator must be calibrated differently than ours.
Oh, and if you land at ALX, be sure to land short on 18 and long on 36. It has a serious downslope on 18.
We were a little too early for spring in North Carolina, so the Smokey Mountains are still very brown and were covered in a thick haze. We finally landed in Asheville and made our way to the hotel.
We planned for dinner at a little place in downtown Asheville and then off for a beer or two with Bill. Well, the hour and a half wait was a little too much for us travelers and we opted for another of Bill's suggestions that didn't have a wait. A little Scottish-type pub with good beer (ooh, yeah!) and decent grub - Jack in the Woods. Bill joined us for a couple drinks until we were run out by management. They had a band for the evening, and when it was about time to start up, the waitress 'reminded' us there was a cover charge after we ordered another round. Huh? Never heard of being asked for a cover AFTER eating dinner and drinking a few brews at a pub long before the cover-charge time was reached. So, we asked for the check and proceeded to finish our round. Well, it apparently wasn't fast enough - the manager then came around to remind us of the cover charge. Ask all you want, from where I come from, you're going to have to kick me out
. Yeah, not really, but I ain't paying your $7 per person 'cover charge' on my dinner.
The sun had been down for a while, and our traveling tootsies were too pooped to pop, so we called it an evening and headed for the hotel to see what happened on VAF today. It is kinda' funny, after you've been traveling all day, you're informed of the VAF conversations that you haven't seen yet, about your travels over dinner at your destination. Off to the Biltmore tomorrow.