Been a long time since I posted anything here.
I've been flying but not too much. Been working mostly. The wheel
fiberglass work took forever to complete and I'm not quite finished. Just
some final work on the upper gear leg fairings and she'll be ready for paint.
Anyway, thought I would let you in on the latest trip which we just got back
Dan C. and friends have been heading out to
a local dry lake bed for some amusing times and let us in on the little secret.
It's El Mirage dry lake bed. It's got plenty of history. Google it.
It's flat as a pancake, huge in practically every dimension and is hard like a
rock, in fact it's surface rivals many runways I've landed on.
Dave Richardson and I left on Saturday around 11:00 AM after
packing the plane with camping gear, food, chairs, and pretty much everything
else we could find in the garage. Look at that baggage compartment.
We made the short trek to the dry lake bed. There is a
bunch of UAV training, apparently 7 days a week, with spotter planes in the area
and you have to keep an eye out for them and the pesky dirt bikers and
4-wheelers hauling ass all over the lakebed in every which direction.
On Saturday they were like flies on a carcass going every
which way. Made a couple of passes and set her down. Height and
depth perception are not as accurate because of the vast expanse of nothingness
and it's a bit hard to judge your distance. Made a fair landing and taxied
over to where Dave Leonard was waiting. He arrived an hour before us from
Sandy Eggo, by way of Temecula, in a rental C177, fortunately for us, as the
high wing provided great shelter from the sweltering sun which sent the midday
temps to almost 100, but of course, it was a dry heat. (why does everyone
say that? Dude, it was bloody hot, regardless of the lack of humidity)
It would have been nice to pore over his rotary RV-6 but I did appreciate the
There isn't much out here...
But it is pretty cool to have the most fun toys on the
lakebed. Everyone was coming by to check out the crazy pilots and their
The C177 is a great trash hauler and Dave had it stuffed to
the gills. We also had another expected guest Louis who drove out in his
truck from the Valley bringing a truckload of Wood, Ice and water. Mucho
appreciated Louis. Later Louis would drive all the way back to the valley
and get his GS100 and ride on the bike back to camp for the night.
Rightmost pic: Dave, Louis, David.
He kindly let me and Dave ride his pig in the middle of the
night on the lakebed. Kinda neat, especially after a couple of cocktails.
You can get very lost on the lakebed at night. It was difficult to see the
raging bonfire from only a 1/4 mile away. I wouldn't want to land there at
Another visitor, Seamus, flew in on his way back from Lost
Wages in his C180. Of course the obligatory flyby was a treat.
Shortly after he arrived a very strange thing came into view. Man, did we
gobble up the Ice Cream. This is really a weird place.
Then to round out the crew, Sharpie and Wingnut show up around
6 pm. We bs-ed for a few hours and had a great time.
The sun started to set and it was time for them to depart.
Of course the obligatory flyby was in store. There was no disappointment
in this flyby either.
It was starting to cool off and we brought out more, uh,
cocktails, lit the bonfire and cooked some raw cow.
The stars are plainly visible out here, not like in the LA
basin. It's fantastic.
Gratuitous pics of 447RV. Get 'em in the air folks!
Woke up the next day and departed around 8:30 am.
Unfortunately the LA basin was socked in so we headed to Hemet. Hemet's
cafe was closed so we headed for Corona and had breakfast. After a fine
chicken fried steak meal we left for Compton and finally had clear enough wx to
make it in by noon. A great weekend.