Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SLO town

We rolled out of Nampa, ID just after sunrise and headed roughly toward Winnemucca in case we weren't sure we could make Reno without fuel. But we did fine despite the heat and humidity that limited us to about 110 mph sometimes at 8500 to clear mountains.
Our route into Reno/Stead was dictated by avoiding Reno class C and a fire TFR. We were cruising down a desert floor, avoiding rain showers, smoke, Reno and the TFR when we suddenly flew over Burning Man, with a long dirt strip and 122.9 painted next to it. There were some campers already; I think we were two days before it opened.
Stead was hot and a lot quieter than during the races.

There were still cool planes parked about.

Takeoff at 5000 feet, gross, in the heat was an experience. After a WWII bomber length takeoff, I cranked around a bit much to avoid someone in the pattern and it quit climbing. I'm pretty used to 1000 fpm, but I had to maneuver around a bit to get above the highway by Truckee. Climb too slow and you get CHT alarms. We're not in Alaska any more. :-)
Somewhere over the central CA valley.

It was hot even at 9000 feet.
We had some trouble finding a tie down in San Luis Obispo. The FBO's just want to chock your wheels and thought I was a bit of an asshole insisting on tying the plane down. But a flight school (Their's were tied down!) let us use a spot for 10/night.
Jake and I had fun walking around SLO (the evening weather is perfect), then met my college friends Mike and Ginny for breakfast in Templeton the next morning and had a great visit.

After a short detour to the James Dean monument, we went up past San Miguel to visit my very cool Uncle Burt and Cousin Elaina. We brought lunch, walked around a bit and ate a bunch of grapes from their vines. I hope to go back in a couple weeks and fix an electrical problem they have.

We walked around Morro Bay a bit in the fog and had dinner.

Tomorrow we should wrap this portion up!