We are headed to Oshkosh tomorrow AM in Mooney 7CF….hopefully sharing on this site (sometimes internet is mobbed at the show) Watch for updates. This is available direct on our free club app “Fly East Hill” (Apple and Android)
Wow, wildlife and scenery at Yellowstone…snow in June!
After grabbing our rental car, we head into the small town of West Yellowstone, Montana to grab lunch and then go into Yellowstone itself. The town is small, mostly just a crossroads outside of the western entrance to the Park, but we had a great lunch at the Woodside Bakery — and make a note to come back for breakfast! Heading into Yellowstone itself, we weren’t disappointed, with awesome views as soon as we crossed the toll booth. With only the afternoon at the park, we didn’t have time to explore very far off the beaten path, so we spent most of our timing driving from sight to sight, enjoying the views along the way.
Our first planned stop was Old Faithful along the west side of the park. After spending 30 minutes getting the authentic “summertime in Yellowstone” experience — sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, in the…
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Beautiful pictures of Idaho and Wyoming!
Today we’re headed to Yellowstone National Park, the second park we’ll be visiting on the ground this trip. It’s a short flight from Boise: about 240 nm and a little over 90 minutes in 7CF. Our route takes us over the Snake River Plain, just south of the Sawtooth National Forest, where the terrain rises to 12,600 ft. The weather is perfect today, with blue skies all along our route, so it should be a pleasant flight!
After saying goodbye to Max, Maria and Buck, we take off from Boise and head due east toward Friedman Memorial airport in Hailey. We’re only in the air for about 5 minutes — including the time to make a u-turn to get on course after takeoff! — before we’re over the desert, with signs of human life few and far between. We keep the Sawtooth Range off our left…
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7CF Trip continues Eastbound to Idaho.
Today’s flight isn’t long (375 nm and 2.5 hours — we’ve recalibrated our definition of “long flight in the Mooney”), but it’s a turning point in the trip: our first eastbound leg of the journey! We’re leaving the west coast behind and heading to Boise, Idaho (KBOI), where we’ll spend the night with our friends Max and Maria.
The weather was “classic Seattle”, with overcast skies at 800 feet, so this is also the first leg of the trip that we’ll actually need that expensive instrument rating. The off-route obstruction clearance altitude is 16,800 feet around Mount Rainier, so going direct isn’t exactly Plan A. Instead, we file an airways route to Boise that keeps us over “lower” terrain — but the minimum enroute altitude for the airway is still 9,000 feet, so…
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Catching up with news…follow this amazing trip (they are actually back home)
After a week away from home, we decided to play it safe in Seattle, spending our rest day relaxing and avoiding the temptation to go to Seattle-proper and do too much. The line crew at Castle & Cooke picked us up from our hotel, and took us to the rental car office — the service was better than yesterday’s “sorry, we just closed”, but not by much!
The main event for the day was a tour of Boeing’s widebody factory in Everett, which starts from the Future of Flight Aviation Center. No cameras (or even phones) are allowed, so we knew it was going to be a real tour of the production line. The tour guide was fantastic and showed our group a great time. After the tour, we explored the museum, which is small but nicely done, and…
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Northwestern adventures continue…
After lunch in Medford, we hung out for a bit at the FBO — mostly so we could let all of our electronics charge! Keeping an eye on the weather, we saw the beginnings of afternoon thunderstorms forming over the Cascades, so we modified our route a bit: first, to nearby Crater Lake, then to Eugene and up the Willamette Valley (west of the mountains and the isolated storms) to Portland, followed by Seattle. Jean-Baptiste was still our pilot in command, so we could even out our time in the left seat, and we took off and turned northeast, back into the mountains.
We leveled off at 9,500 feet, just below the cloud bases, and Crater Lake put on a gorgeous show: unbelievably blue water contrasting with scattered low clouds and snow-covered peaks. The lake, formed when a volcano erupted over 7,000 years ago, is the deepest in…
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The epic journey continues…onward north up the west coast.
We had an early start today: up at 5:20 am, to catch an early commuter train to Palo Alto — thankfully, an express train that flew past most of the stations along the way. Alberto, our mechanic at Palo Alto, wanted to meet with us before he had to head out at 8 am. We made the trip easy: a cab was waiting for us at Roland’s house at 5:30, and once we were in Palo Alto, it was another quick cab ride to the airport.
We met with Alberto around 7:30, and chatted about our trip and 7CF’s old vacuum pump, which seized internally. After handing us the logbook entry and the new pump’s airworthiness certificate, Alberto shows us that he wasn’t joking about “heading out” at 8 am: he hops into a Piaggio Avanti and blasts off (by himself!), headed to Los Angeles for the day. Not a…
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