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Thread: Western Tour - October 2015

  1. #1

    Western Tour - October 2015

    Bob Schmidt and I have been discussing a Western Tour after BAC Fest. The "Tour" will be a camping trip, although some hotel accommodations may be necessary. It will start at Dubuque, IA with a first day's destination of Rapid City, SD, or there about's. A few days there, rent a car and visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and maybe Custer. Then on to Rock Springs WY, Somewhere UT, Someplace ID, and Wherever WA. Back down through Oregon, Nevada, California and over to Arizona where I get off. Bob will continue on to NM, CO and the flatland points back East to Wisconsin.

    The details are not worked out as yet. Both of us are looking for someone to share the flight loads and expenses. As we are retired, the trip will take some time. Weather will also be a factor, but generally October is a great time to fly the Western states. Should anyone want to join us with their airplane, you are welcome to do so. We will be flying at Sundowner speeds, I think Bob generally sets up for 120 KTAS. The elevations enroute will be high, but I think can be done mostly at 10.5K with some time at 12.5 K. That should be easy enough for a Sundowner. A Sport or Mouse may have some difficulties. Skippers probably should stick to the flatlands.

    Anyone wanting to accompany me should include airfare from Phoenix home. You can join me and fly to BAC Fest or jump on at Dubuque.
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  2. #2
    Great idea, Marty! I will have to get some "speed improvements" installed since my pokey-little-puppy Sundowner typically cruises at an indicated 2480 rpm and 120 MPH.

    Hope to join in (and isn't retirement a blast!)?


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by trumpet nelson View Post
    Great idea, Marty! I will have to get some "speed improvements" installed since my pokey-little-puppy Sundowner typically cruises at an indicated 2480 rpm and 120 MPH.

    That is not too bad for a Sundowner. I suspect you are a bit out of rig. 120 mph at 6500 ft on a ISA day is 133 mph TAS or just over 115 KTAS. Bob's Sundowner did 112 KTAS on the way to Fairbanks last summer and 119-120 KTAS on the way back. I think he's happy with his rigging now. There are really few "improvements" that help the fixed pitch prop airplane. Changing the pitch is probably the biggest, but to really gain the most, you do have to reduce drag. Can it be done? You bet. I recall that Rap's Mouse could make ~120 KTAS at 7500 ft, WOT and leaned to max rpm. That's not bad for a 160 hp airplane. With a little attention and some TLC you should be able to match or exceed that.

    A three airplane formation would be awesome! And yes, retirement is sweet!
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  4. #4
    Isn't it kind of cold starting in Oct! safely...
    M Greg Johnson

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mgjohnso View Post
    Isn't it kind of cold starting in Oct!
    I think it will depend on the October. Last October was great here in the West. After BAC Fest I flew to Cavanaugh Bay, just NW of Sandpoint, ID and camped one night. The evening was cool but I was snug and toasty in my tent and sleeping bag. I do have a liner for the sleeping bag in case it does get colder. A foam pad over the air mattress helps insulate you and keeps the cold air from the mattress from pulling your body heat through the sleeping bag. But typically October isn't all that cold in the West. Should the forecast call for cold weather there are the new catalytic heaters that can warm the tent quite rapidly. Usually getting out of a warm sleeping bag when you can see your breath, it doesn't make for a nice camping experience. These heaters have their own ignition. So just push the button and wait. It is not recommended to heat the tent through the night. The one pound (16 oz) propane bottle is good for about 14 hours on the 1500 BTU setting, so it should last through weeks of camping if you only use it to warm the tent prior to sleep and again in the morning. After you get up, there is the campfire.
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  6. #6
    I've tent camped in weather down to 30 degrees or so (think sleet, freezing rain all week), in the Boundary Waters with no heat other than a campfire. In a small tent, your body heat will warm the tent some, but it wasn't all that much fun. When we camped in Yellowstone in late August a couple of years ago, it got close to freezing at night, but warmed up during the day, so we will just have to see. We did see it snow in Glacier Park a week earlier on that trip, but that was up in the mountains.
    Bob Schmidt, Founding Member
    Sundowner N282G has landed in:

    Also flew VH-WEI in Oz.

  7. #7
    I'm reviving this thread. Bob and I are still looking for partners to share the flying and expenses. We have a "maybe" with Nelson on making it a three airplane formation and I'm sure he would like some company too. Like this summer on the Alaskan trip, we alternated flying legs. It would be a good time for a fixed gear pilot to get some retract time with me. But, we will still be flying at fixed gear speeds. So, if you have the time and the wherewithal, come on and get on board to get familiar with flying Western style.
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  8. #8

    Still on my list of planned trips. Hoping it happens ...... my tent is ready!

    Put a dot on the map at Salida, CO (KANK). My 3 bedroom mountain cabin is available there for our intrepid group, regardless of my participation. My treat. And a good introduction to a high altitude runway for the team if you wish to go in that direction. Approaching and departing from the east side of the state (and mountains) is best.


  9. #9

    Very nice to offer the use of your mountain retreat. I'll check it out.

    OK, I checked it out. Nice long paved runway. Over 7500' elevation, so probably plan for an early morning departure with reduced fuel load. Rental cars available and a couple of good reports on the service there. Another nice thing is, it's not far from Canyon Lands, a place on my bucket list. The Western Tour is starting to take shape. If we can get to Sandpoint, I have a niece there with two guest rooms. One big enough for two beds. I also have a friend in Port Angles, WA that retired as a B&B operator, she still lives in the house with 4 rooms available down stairs. Would make a good base to see the sights in the Puget Sound area. Weather can be an issue there, but I've never had to wait more than a month for it to clear enough to get out of there. By the way, the Seattle area and Puget Sound in general is a "Foodie Paradise". Especially if you like sea food.

    So far it looks like this: Depart Dubuque for Rapid City and a couple days sightseeing (Rushmore, etc). Then on to Salida for some mountain flying experience. From Salida pop over to Moab and see Arches and Canyon Lands for a couple of days (pack hiking shoes). Maybe stop by SLC for lunch on the way to Boise or ?. From there to Sandpoint (or not) and then over to Port Angles. Down to Oregon, Nevada and swing over to California just to say we've been there. On to Arizona with all stops to be determined.

    Bob and I have discussed moving this to late summer (before Reno Air Races) and starting in Arizona. Perhaps a more abbreviated trip. If I can still fly to BAC Fest, I can return via Rapid City and still see Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
    Last edited by mvanover; 03-06-2015 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Additional comments
    Marty Vanover
    Tucson, Az.

    Where "Sandy Beech" has landed.

  10. #10
    I could join you on a few legs

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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