East Coast - 2005
On the way to Appleton
Approaching Mackinaw Island
Parked at Mackinac Island Airport
Steve and Barb
Leaving Mac Island
This is what you would see if you were in a boat about to see the falls up close.
Dining in Vermont with Bob and Ramona
Only two ways to get to the island, ferry or plane. (I think plane is best)
Steve and Barb
Niagara Falls in the morning
American Falls (from Canadian side)
USS Wisconsin (Iowa Class Battleship)
It started as a plan to go somewhere with our friends Steve and Barb. Where could we go? I know. Let's combine a bunch of destinations into one trip. This was the first of the trips that combine many destinations into one trip. Janet wanted to visit her two cousins in Vermont and Virginia and I just wanted to fly somewhere neat. Steve and Barb wanted to visit Washington, D.C. and her relatives in South Carolina. The time frame matched up with Oshkosh so we decided to start with a couple of days there first. On Day one we were off to Appleton to stay at Janet's Cousins, Jean and Jim Beatty. They were going to be gone to Europe so Carol (their daughter) was the gracious host. On day 2, the girls went shopping while Steve and I went to the air-show for one day. We were going to fly one of the planes down to OSH but low clouds in the morning forced us to drive. We saw Spaceship One among other great planes.
On the 3rd day, we departed Appleton and flew up the west coast of Lake Michigan to the tip and then across the lake to Mackinac Island. We landed and took the horse and buggy taxi down to the harbor for lunch and shopping. There are no cars allowed on the island, so everyone either walks, rides a bike or rides in a horse drawn buggy. After witnessing the smell of all those horses, I'll take cars any day. Back to the airport and off to Niagara Falls. Since Mackinac doesn't have fuel, we would need to stop in Michigan for fuel. It was Sunday and our scheduled fuel stop wasn't open for business. Fortunately, we discovered this from a pilot while in the air and didn't have to waste time landing to find out. We asked anyone on the frequency where we could get fuel and were told that Marlette (77G) had a self-serve pump. While fueling we got to watch the local boys launching gliders with a winch. That was interesting. We launched and contacted Detroit center for a handoff to Ontario center for crossing of Canadian airspace to Niagara Falls. That went fairly smoothly. Steve thought we should contact them as individual planes, since he was chewed out in Washington once when returning to the states from Canada as a flight of two. This wasn't necessary at Niagara approach and caused some confusion with the controllers since Steve and I were traveling together. Live and learn.
We rented a car and went to the motel we had reserved ahead of time. We spend the evening viewing the falls with the night lights and supper at the Hard-rock cafe. Next morning, Steve and I took off early for a walk to the falls on the American side while the girls were doing their make-up thing. Then we took the car and drove to the Canadian side for the better view. After the tourist thing was completed, we returned to the airport for departure to the next destination. This is where Steve and Barb and us split up. They headed south to Washington DC area while we headed east to Bennington, VT to visit Ramona and Bob Jones for a couple of days. We had tentative plans to link up with Steve and Barb later, if it worked out. (It didn't)
Our visit was good. We visited and dined and toured the area, but mostly rested. Two days later, we were destined for Virginia. But along the way, we needed to make a stop in Connecticut to see Oscar and have breakfast. It was good to see Oscar again. He picked us up at Danbury, CT airport and we had breakfast at a local cafe. He saw us off and it was on to the next adventure. I contacted NY approach and asked for flight following to the north end of the VFR corridor above the Hudson River. He was cordial and explained the procedure. He released us at the Tappan Zee Bridge. We needed to stay over the river and under 1100 ft elevation. He even informed us of the local advisory frequency for the corridor. (123.05) We flew at 800 ft and listened for traffic. There were a few sight-seeing flights, but mostly helicopters off the city skyscrapers. It was a great way to see New York in a hurry. We discovered that we left the camera in one of the bags, so by the time we got it out, we didn't get very many pictures. If I had it to do over again, I would have just turned around and made another pass up and down the river. As it was, we got only pics of Lady Liberty and the Jersey shore. We headed south over Delaware to Chesapeake airport just south of Norfolk, VA. Charlotte and Dick Palmer entertained us for two days. We spent one afternoon visiting the USS Wisconsin battleship that is mothballed at Norfolk harbor.
On the morning of the 8th day, it was time to head for home. We launched out of CPK, stopped at JVY (Clark Regional) just north of Louisville, KY for fuel and lunch and got home to our "happy to see us" Sandy dog in just over 7 hours flight time.