Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 Oshkosh Flying Vacation

Flight Route

7/23       6B6 to MCD (Mackinac Island)
Mackinac Island has no automobiles so took a horse drawn carriage from the airport to a funky little B&B near the Grand Hotel ($7/person for ~3 mile dist).  Rented bikes to explore the island.  Mia did multiple circumnavigations.

Morning weigh-in (I don't do this every time!)

Early morning departure.  You can see the excitement in the eyes!

Mackinac Taxi Ride from the Airport

Even the Trash Truck is Horse Drawn

Home for the Night

Mia the Photographer

Enjoying Bike Paths on Mackinac

Rare Photo with Tatja (you can tell who takes most of them..)

The Grand Hotel living up to it's name

Leaving Mackinac Island Airport for Green Bay

7/24       MCD to GRB (Green Bay)
RNAV 24 approach in 1000’ ceilings (ATC dropped us off high, had us start RNAV 18 then last minute change from RNAV 24,  kept me busy).  Arrived at hotel to find out it was right across from Lambeau Field and the start of the Green Bay Packers training camp.  And I thought NE was crazy about the Patriots!  It was great to get caught up in the NFL history and excitement.

En-route to Green Bay
We stayed in Green Bay while attending Oshkosh.  Great experience and we only scratched the small fraction of what is offered.  Mia absolutely loved the experience absorbing everything, and Tatja and Remi were happy despite the brutal temps.  I went to several ABS seminars and enjoyed the ABS tent with cold drinks, fans and fellow Bonanza pilots.  ABS seems to be doing something right as their turnout was one of the highest and was very active.  Met several great folks.  Patrick McGowan who runs PK Floats in Lincoln, Maine got me excited about attending the seaplane fly-in in Greenville, ME later in the summer.  When we mentioned we were going to return via Maine he recommended the Pickled Wrinkle outside Winter Harbor.  This sealed the deal as we were trying to decide where in Maine we wanted to go…..

Sacred Ground for Packer Fans


North 40 at Oshkosh

Lunch at the Sea Plane Base

Oshkosh Eye Candy

Mia on the Flight Line

One of Mia's Photos

7/28     GRB to MVL (Stowe)
We were interested in Stowe, VT as it has glider activity for Mia and looked like a fun strip to get in and out of, nested in a valley between the Green Mountains and Worcester Range.  Also having lived in Stow MA for 15 years and continually needed the ‘No, Stow Massachusetts’ caveat, a visit to Stowe was long overdue’.  About 20 min from landing convective thunderstorms typical for the time of year started developing over the field.  The thunderstorms were tracked with ADS-B FIS-B data sent through our new Garmin GTX-345 transponder with blue tooth connectivity to my iPad.   I wish I had saved a screen shot showing the weather closing in.  Boston Center gave no warning that we were about to head right into anything…  It is just amazing how much information is available to GA pilots now.

Lake Huron is under those Clouds

The conditions forced a diversion to wait out the thunderstorms for a few hours. Lake Placid and Ticonderoga (4B6) were nearby.  Lake Placid, with nice airport near to the town would have been the obvious choice but I had never been to Ticonderoga….  Nice paved 4000’ runway right on Lake Champlain… perfect!  Well 3 planes on the ramp, 3 T-hangers 5 cars (permanently parked) and a porta-potty with NOTHING else.  Although desolate, it was in the middle of beautiful fields blooming with wildflowers.   Next time, I need to look more closely at services….  We eventually arrived in the Morrisville-Stowe airport.  Great little FBO.  Mia compared notes with folks operating a commercial glider tour company on gliders and tow planes.

Waiting for weather to past in Ticonderoga

We used the iPhone app ‘Hotels Tonight’ to get a deep discount (but still overpriced) at the StoweFlake Inn.  I love the flexibility that GA vacations require.  With hotel rewards points, smart phone apps such as AirB&B, Hotels Tonight and last minutes rental car reservations last minute planning is pretty easy and the often very rewarding.

Remi practicing knots in preparation for horse camp

Approach into Stowe


7/29       MVL to BHB (Bar Harbor)
Landed at what seemed a pretty quiet Bar Harbor Airport.  Only 5 or so jets and no problem entering the pattern.  We stayed clear of the town and drove up to the ‘other Acadia National Park’ near Winter Harbor where we only saw a few people.  Boy I just never get tired of Down East Maine!  Just beautiful and a place I am continually drawn to.  

We had a great lunch at the Pickled Wrinkle based on the recommendation of Patrick of PK Floats; seafood stew and one of the best crab rolls I’ve had (and I had I my fair share). For the evening we stayed in a B&B and fell asleep to a Jazz trio playing in the living room. 

Somes Sound in Acadia.  We've anchored in this very spot on Borealis 

The Pickled Wrinkle: Well worth the trip to Maine

7/30       BHB to 6B6 (Home)
Wonderful VFR flight down the Maine coast with Mia at the controls for most of the flight.  Tatja and Remi noted how much Mia’s flying had improved over the trip and on this last flight they could actually read while Mia was flying.  While talking to Portland approach I was hailed by another Bonanza a few miles ahead and same altitude and direction.  Turned out to be Joe and Eric (7AB) from the adjoining hanger heading back to 6B6.  Small community.  After fueling up we were back home in less than 40 minutes bringing to close a memorable flying vacation the whole family enjoyed!