West Coast 09 


  The Plan:      Janet and I would fly to Idaho, California, Arizona and home making a great circle. We would stay with friends and relatives mostly and top the trip off with a first-time visit to Sedona, AZ. (It was on our list)


See the maps of our flights


See the pics of:

To Idaho

To San Jose, CA

Visiting San Jose, and Carmel, CA

Aquarium at Monterey Bay

To Rosamond, CA

Sedona, AZ




































Pics of

Visiting San Jose, and Carmel, CA










Pics of

Aquarium at Monterey Bay













Pics of

Sedona, AZ





































Our trip to Nampa, ID; San Jose, CA; Rosamond, CA and Sedona, AZ by Gene and Janet

Our granddaughter, Evyn's birthday party was scheduled for Saturday the 5th of September, so we attended and packed for our trip that evening. I did the final research on the internet, checking weather, fuel stop prices and identifying alternate stops if needed. Morning came early since anticipation of long trips tends to act as an automatic alarm clock for both of us. Our first day was going to be 7 to 8 hours flying time depending on winds aloft. The plan for day one was: fuel at Torrington, WY and Bear Lake County, ID and arriving in time for supper with John and Betty Panther in Nampa, ID. Betty was Gene's Dad's cousin.

The plane was loaded fairly heavy for the long trip. Weight of baggage was 85 pounds and included 10 lbs of tools and 7 lbs of Oxygen bottle. This makes the plane handle differently, but many trips with a heavy load has given us experience to handle it.

Gene fueling in Atlantic, IA

The weather wasn't totally cooperating with us on our first leg of our trip. The eastern half of Nebraska was overcast with ceilings between 500 and 1500 feet. Without great confidence  in our equipment and plane, we might have deviated greatly or postponed our trip, but since we have a very reliable plane with a very dependable autopilot, two GPS's  and satellite weather on-board, we launched out of Atlantic, IA for our first fuel stop in Torrington, Wyoming. We climbed through the broken clouds to 6500 ft and quickly lost sight of the ground. We saw only brief periods of broken clouds until we were half way across Nebraska. I watched the ceiling reports intently on the satellite weather screen and deviated slightly all across the state to insure enough ceiling to safely get down if needed. The forecast for the rest of the route was good with scattered or few clouds. Very doable.

Torrington, WY (TOR) was a good stop with moderately priced fuel and clean, modern facilities. We did a quick turn and launched toward Idaho. Next stop was Bear Lake County airport in southeast Idaho. There was a series of rain cells trying to get cranked up all across Wyoming. We dodged them and . had to stay under some clouds because the tops were too high. This brought periods of turbulence, but couldn't be helped. We hurried along and got across Wyoming before the storms developed. Idaho was clear.

The fuel stops were lonely places since this was the Labor Day weekend. I picked airports with credit card pumps and even called ahead to make sure all was OK. I didn't want to waste any time landing at multiple airports to find fuel. After all, it wouldn't be polite to be late for supper. Janet brought along snacks and sandwiches so we wouldn't have to take time to drive to town for lunch. We enjoy having lunch in different places when we can afford the time.

After a quick fueling at Bear Lake County (1U7), we took off for Nampa. Bear Lake Co elevation is almost 6000 ft, so the heavy plane was fairly sluggish, even for an RV, in the climb so I followed the valley to the north instead of heading straight over the mountains to the west. Our route took us close to Pocatello, Idaho and then straight across the valley to Nampa. We flew past the "Craters of the Moon" monument. The lava flows were still very evident.

John & Betty and Gene & Janet in Nampa, Idaho.

Upon arriving in the Boise area, we picked up Boise approach for the straight in to runway 29 at Nampa Municipal. We had used this airport 3 years earlier, so we thought we were familiar. We knew there was free tie-downs at the avionics shop on the west end of the ramp. There was cheaper avgas there also. What was different was the security procedures adopted since 2006. It appeared that we were the only ones at the airport at 5 PM on a Sunday of a holiday weekend. The walk-through gate we used last time was locked and the terminal was a long walk away. John and his son Paul were on the other side of the fence and we had no way to get out. Janet stayed put while Gene walked to the terminal building. It had a coded walk-out and access to the pilot lounge with a code (CTAF Freq). Trouble was, it was a 1/2 mile walk with bags. On the way back to Janet, Gene ran into a pilot who had just returned from a flight in his ultra-light. He had a pick-up and agreed to take us and our bags out through the coded drive-out gate. he gave Gene the code so we could get back in when we returned. John and Paul met us there and we proceeded to John and Betty's home where we had a delicious meal and good conversation. On Labor Day, we spent the day with John, Betty and Paul. We took a drive through Boise and seeing Johns garden. We picked fresh peaches from their peach tree in the back yard. Gene ended the day by giving Paul and his daughter, Linnea, rides in 'Moody Blue'. The weather was great.

On Tuesday, we took off and flew southwest to our fuel stop at Reno-Stead Airfield just north of Reno. They were getting ready for the Reno Air Races.  Not many race planes were there yet. We fueled and walked over to Rare Bear's hanger to get a few pics. We departed and picked up flight following to transition the Reno airspace , down the valley past Carson City and through the pass to over-fly Lake Tahoe 'on the way to San Jose'.  It was a great flight over the Sierras down the valley to Reid-Hillview airport. Sherry and Bryan met us at the airport. Janet and Sherry took off for home in Sherry's convertible Mustang. Bryan and I tied the plane down and unloaded the bags for the 2 day stay.

Sherry and Janet (California Girls!)

 After settling in, we drove down to Santa Cruz to walk on the pier and eat at one of the restaurants. On day two, we traveled by car to Carmel Beach and shopping. Bryan and Sherry had a pair of tickets and let Janet and me use them to tour the Monterey Bay Aquarium on the way home. It was a great visit. We can't wait to do it again.

I think this is a Lemon Shark.

Our next stop will be Rosie and Victoria's house on Rosamond Airpark in Rosamond, CA. We departed San Jose and headed south. We wanted to have lunch on the beach at Oceanside, CA, but the airstrip there was fogged in. We stopped , instead, at San Luis Obispo airport for lunch, then on to Rosamond.

Fuel and Lunch stop at San Luis Obispo, CA.

Rosie and Victoria were great hosts. We stayed at their house and visited Irene and Dean and had a great dinner at a Japanese restaurant in Lancaster, CA. Bill and Sharon joined us for dinner, also. It was really great to see our friends again.

Dinner with great friends in Lancaster, CA.

Next morning, we departed for Sedona, AZ. Three hours later, we approached the Sedona "aircraft carrier" airport on top of the mesa overlooking the town of Sedona. We checked into the motel right next to the airport and rented a car. We spent 2 nights in the Sedona area. On day 2, we visited neighboring Jerome, AZ built on the side of a mountain. It was a mining town in the past, but is only a tourist stop now. We took a ride on the Verdy Canyon Railroad train.

Approaching Sedona, AZ.

After a great 8 days in the west, it was time to return home. Our plan was to over-fly the meteor crater east of Flagstaff, then fuel at St Johns in eastern AZ, fly past Albuquerque, fuel at Borger, TX and then 3 hrs to home. The weather had other plans for us. There was low overcast from Tucumcari, NM east. As we pasted Albuquerque, the clouds were opening up to the north. We picked Raton as a lunch and fuel stop. It was a great stop with homemade burgers and interesting conversation.

We were home in about 3 hours. Another adventure to see friends and family in the logbook. We can hardly wait for the next trip.