Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Weather Dance

It's that time before a trip... the time where my stomach starts to do little flip flops and I am easily distracted from everyday tasks. I start watching the clock till when the next weather update comes out on, and trying to compute enroute times, mapping possible routes in my head against the weather map.

I always think I'm not going to do this dance this time... but somehow always seem to do it anyway. One reason-- the weather's always moving, always changing. So- even if it's nice in one area, if you're flying anywhere distant, you're likely to hit weather issues somewhere else. This time-- it looks like there's currently a low front across my route of flight... and at some point between now and when I reach that front, it may turn into a cold front. And that multiplies the worry, because I have a general idea of how cold fronts behave... and a general idea about warm fronts. But how does a warm front changing into a cold front behave? These are things that will keep me awake tonight when I should be sleeping.

The good news is: we are about 85% packed up. I just need to do the final little bits tonight-- in addition to my real flight planning. Our new plan is that I am going to fly most of the way myself, and meet up with Husband tomorrow evening after he flies out on a commercial flight. Then we'll go together to the formation flight training required to participate in the Cessnas 2 Oshkosh.

For those that didn't click the link to see what Cessnas 2 Oshkosh is... we will be flying into AirVenture in formation with 60 other Cessnas! I've never done any formation flying (and neither has Husband), so we'll spend Friday learning how to do it safely for the arrival. Pretty exciting! Last year, it took the group 11 minutes to get all 60 planes down once the first one had landed. That's crazy fast! I have to admit, I'm a little nervous-- so we've agreed that if we don't feel confident about our-- or the group's-- ability to do the arrival safely, we'll just drop out and go on our own. But I'm hoping it works out-- can you just imagine?!

And the countdown begins...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oshkosh Dreaming... Again!

It's that time of year again. Time to dream about Oshkosh! Husband and I are again making the trek west in our airplane. I think I understand more the annual journeys that some pilgrims go on... I really do feel the call of AirVenture!

Of course, we're going through our usual cycles of trying to decide what our plan is for getting there. Originally- we were going to depart home on Saturday-- spending the night along the way so that we could arrive at Osh on Sunday morning. Then, we thought about flying straight there on Saturday. Our latest thinking is that we may try to do the Cessnas 2 Oshkosh arrival on Saturday. To do that, we need to get away from work earlier than planned... so I'm not sure if it will happen or not.

We're also debating the best method for getting us, our stuff, and a mode of transportation to Oshkosh. We haven't decided whether it's better to ship our camping gear and take our bikes, or to rent bikes and take our camping gear with us in the plane. Dilemmas!

In any case-- for those also planning their own trips, here's my detailed list of camping gear we're taking. Hopefully, I've gotten it all down. We have a lot for cooking as we tend to enjoy camp cooking. If you see something missing, drop me a line in the comment area!

Bungee cords (for strapping stuff into the plane and for strapping things to a bike)
Solar charger with tips for phones, etc.
Tent (lightweight one)
Self-inflating sleeping mats
Sleeping bags
Queen-size sheet*
Electric lantern with remote control
Camping chairs (folding)
Roll-up table
Single burner stove
Lightweight grill
Mat for under grill?
Ceiling fan/light
3 plastic boxes- food, cookware, purchases
2 backpacks
Sunscreen, bug-spray, chap-stick
Pack light on t-shirts (will buy lots!)
Tie Downs & chocks
Forks, spoons, knives
3 sizes of cutting knives
cutting mat
mess kit
extra pot
bowls (4)
measuring cups
spatula (rubber and metal)
wooden spoon
sponge, steel wool
extra rope
can opener, bottle opener
playing cards
sugar, salt, pepper
Notebook with full procedures (impt info highlighted and tabbed) and schedule, etc.