Browsed by
Author: Katamarino

Dakotas part 5 – Bismark, ND to Pittsburgh, PA

Dakotas part 5 – Bismark, ND to Pittsburgh, PA

The next morning Juvy was up for the sunrise, getting some great photographs as the day dawned. We walked over to the nearby Fort Buford historic site, which we had been camping next to, to take a look around. Fort Buford State Historic Site is the preserved remnants of a frontier plains military post. The fort was built in 1866 and became a major supply depot for military field operations. Features still existing on the site include a stone powder…

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Dakotas part 4 – Yellowstone, WY to Bismark, ND

Dakotas part 4 – Yellowstone, WY to Bismark, ND

The following morning we spent a little time in Cody, before moving on. We started off with breakfast at the Hotel Irma, a Buffalo Bill themed establishment in the center of town. The food was tasty in and enormous quantities! The commitment to the theme was impressive, with even the waiting staff being decked out in old time wild west clothing. We feasted on pancakes, bacon, and other American goodies to get our day off to a solid start. Before…

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Dakotas part 3 – Spearfish, SD to Yellowstone, WY

Dakotas part 3 – Spearfish, SD to Yellowstone, WY

The night in Spearfish was cold and damp. Thank goodness for good tents and sleeping bags. By the next morning, however, the weather had improved and the sun was starting to show itself. We took off VFR out of Spearfish and headed west across Wyoming. Regrettably, most of the photos from this section have also gone missing, although one does remain; it records the radio navigation beacon that we found on the IFR charts with an interesting name. Our destination…

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Dakotas part 2 – Mitchell, SD to Spearfish, SD

Dakotas part 2 – Mitchell, SD to Spearfish, SD

It was a peaceful night next to Lake Mitchell. At this time of year in South Dakota nighttime temperatures were nice and cool, ideal for camping. After packing up the site, we drove back out to the Mitchell airport and returned the crew car with a full tank of gas. It really is a great service that so many airports offer, a loaner car to get around after you’ve arrived! Our flight today would take us 200 miles west across…

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Dakotas part 1 – Pittsburgh PA to Mitchell, SD

Dakotas part 1 – Pittsburgh PA to Mitchell, SD

We set off on a sunny October day from Zelienople, PA, the base of my old flying club. We were flying ‘573, a four-seat Cessna 172 with an engine that had been upgraded from 160hp to 180hp. It didn’t offer much extra speed, but definitely gave a significant improvement in take-off distance and climb rate. With three of us on board plus camping gear, a little extra power was very welcome. We had a pretty long way to go on…

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Reno part 5 – Back across the northeast

Reno part 5 – Back across the northeast

The next day dawned clear and sunny. Thankfully Juvy had managed to keep the snoring to a minimum and I’d had a decent nights rest. We returned the crew car to the airport with thanks, and pre-flighted the Arrow for the penultimate day of the trip. Our first destination would be an interesting little town called Wall which Juvy had told me about. It was only about a 30 minute flight across the plains from Hot Springs. We took off,…

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Reno part 4 – Reno Air Races

Reno part 4 – Reno Air Races

I packed up my Russian River camp site once again, and hauled everything back to the aircraft. I took off and pointed the Arrow’s nose east, towards Yolo County Airport. Along the way there were a number of interesting things to see; the first was what seemed to be a large natural gas installation, with multiple wells along the hill tops all being fed back to a central processing facility. The second, which I had deliberately set out to visit,…

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Reno part 3 – Around California

Reno part 3 – Around California

The following morning, we packed up our tents and breakfasted on some of our newly gifted fruits. We wandered in to town and checked out a few of the cheesy tourist shops offering up such delights as Pina Colada salt water taffy. We carried on down to the beach, and spent a while relaxing in the morning sunshine watching surfers and horse riders enjoying the southern California lifestyle. It certainly seemed like a wonderful life; surfing in the morning, and…

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Reno part 2 – New Mexico to California

Reno part 2 – New Mexico to California

We were up early, and enjoyed a simple breakfast at the hotel buffet. After watching a baby rabbit playing on the lawn for a few minutes, we jumped into the hotel shuttle and were dropped back off at the airport. Pre-flight checks revealed that all was in order, so we chose the into wind runway, and took off to head for our first stop of the day, Page. This airport sits at the top of the Grand Canyon, and would…

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Reno part 1 – Pennsylvania to New Mexico

Reno part 1 – Pennsylvania to New Mexico

To maximise our travel time, and quickly get across the “boring bits” of flat farmland that characterise the central US states, Juvy and I set out one evening after work in our flying club’s 1971 Piper Arrow. Of the six aircraft in the club, this was the best suited for travelling cross-country; retractable undercarriage and a 200hp engine gave it by far the best speed in the fleet. We departed from Zelienople airport, just north of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania where…

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