Friday, June 03, 2005

Route Planning

If it wasn't self-evident, this is the longest trip that I've ever planned. Picking the routing is no small task.

Originally, we were gonna join a guided flight with We would have met up with them somewhere in Canada, and flown as a group up the Alaska Highway and back. Other commitments interfered, and so we had to push the trip back to a point where our schedule doesn't mesh with theirs. So, now we're gonna go it alone.

Part of the challenge, even if we had stayed with the kind folks at FlyNorth, was just getting from our part of the country to Canada. With a 172, range is an issue. Even with our extended range tanks, the amount of gear that we have to carry would and will limit the amount of fuel. I'm going to work up a speadsheet this weekend to consider various configurations to see what's going to work best.

In any event, there's lots of places to see between here and the Canadian border. So, rather than fly a great circle route to Dawson Creek (this one, not this one), where the Alaska Highway begins, I'm thinking we'll head straight west and try to see some sights. In particular, I'm thinking we'll aim for South Dakota and try to see Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. Then, we can turn more northwesterly for Canada.

I'd also like to see if we could include Cedar Rapids in our itinerary. Why you ask? Well, here's why. If you follow any of the rec.aviation newsgroups, you'd know about the Alexis Park Inn and its proprietors, Jay and Mary Honek. Unfortunately, at this point, it looks like we need to get past Cedar Rapids on our outbound trip. Maybe we can get there on the way home. We shall see...

Y'all stay tuned for more on the topic of route planning!

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