When crossing the country back in 2007, we’d found the SouthWest to be by far the most interesting and free flying of the trip. The landscape was varied and dramatic, and there were countless little unattended airports that were perfect for camping; indeed, many of them had their own campsites!
As with the USA 2007 trip, the first order of business was to find an aircraft. A list of 20 or so FBOs was swiftly reduced to two, both offering C172 RGs (a version of the Cessna 172 with retractable landing gear). Only one of these gave me confidence in their service, through swift and helpful replies to emails, and this was Channel Islands Aviation of Camarillo, California. They were only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles too, which was helpful as we were planning to stay there for a couple of nights with our friends Ben and Alejandra from Oceano in 2007.
As far as equipment was concerned, we had all the gear we needed from the USA 2007 trip. Once again we planned to camp as often as possible. A new groundsheet was bought for the tent, the previous one being merely a lightweight tarpaulin, and we bought new “Therma-rest” sleeping pads as well. It’s important to stay comfortable! Flights to LAX were booked and rental cars arranged; we could pick up and drop off the cars at either LAX or Camarillo, which was ideal. Before long, we were on our way!
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