Our First Long Cross Country to the Northwest

Our first long cross-country trip in "Moody Blue" to visit good friends Steve and Barb Steinhoff was exciting. We planned to fly to Rapid City for fuel and then over-fly Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments and Devil's Tower on our way to our first overnight stop in Laurel, Montana. We encountered some moderate turbulence under high clouds from Devils Tower  to Laurel. By the time we got on the ground in Laurel, we had had enough. The folks at Laurel airport were very accommodating and let us use the crew car for the evening.

We had a relaxing evening and returned to the airport the next morning to a light rain. After calling flight service and being told that 25 miles west was partly cloudy conditions, we launched through the rain and gloom. The good weather was there as promised and we flew to our next fuel stop in a neat little Idaho valley called St Marie. After fueling, we launched toward our final stop at Toledo, Washington where Steve hangered his RV6A. We flew past Mt Adams and right down the valley past Mt St Helens on the way. This was about a month before the mountain erupted again and the first major eruption in 25 years.

We had a very good visit and included flying with Steve and Barb to Van's homecoming and to Pacific City airstrip very close to the beach in Oregon. We walked on the beach, had ice cream downtown and then took off of the short and narrow strip. We flew up the coast and then up the Columbia, back to TDO. During our short 3 day stay, we enjoyed fresh caught salmon, flew up to Puget Sound to Friday Harbor, had fish and chips at Bremerton, WA and enjoyed flying off Steve's wing.

When it was time to head for home, Janet and I took a new route through southern Idaho, getting fuel at Mountain Home, ID; Rock Springs, WY and staying at Camp Guernsey, WY, an old haunt during my National Guard days. We enjoyed the great room on post and supper at the "cowboy" restaurant in town. Again, the airport had a crew car for us. The last morning had us flying about 3 hours back to AIO (Atlantic, IA) and home before noon. Our first big trip was in the logbook and "Moody Blue" was well tested.

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