Sunday, July 10, 2005

Day 2 Recap

Huge progress today, kids. A total of 6.5 hours from EAU to JMS and S85, and then to GGW.

Took off from Eau Claire in gorgeous weather and headed straight for Jamestown. Basically, an uneventful flight. Landed in Jamestown, only to find it completely deserted. The FBO only works on Saturday and Sunday on a call-out basis. It appears that I need to read the AOPA airport directory more closely for FBO hours. Fortunately, the FBO had self-serve, so we topped off with no problem.

We we getting ready to mosey on over to the Terminal to grab some space for a quick vending machine lunch when a bright yellow Stearman buzzed the field and landed. Out emerged Forrest L. Klies, who was delivering the Stearman to someone he had sold it to two years ago, but hadn't been able to pick it up yet. Forrest needed some help fueling, so we pitched it. See, you gotta climb on top of the upper wing to fill this bad boy.

But, you just gota admire those cylinders, baby!

We had a bit of trouble getting the pump to work the second time. Make a long story short, the fuel hose wasn't pumping enough to make that climb up to the top wing. But, after filling a 2.5 gallon container, there was plenty of pressure and the mission was accomplished.

We blasted off from JMS around 2:00 local time, headed for GGW at 8500 MSL. Almost immediately, we started see something other then CAVU. Just lots of puffy cumulus clouds. But, before long, it was a solid undercast and I switched us to an IFR flight plan and climbed to 10,000 MSL. Here's why:

We got to about 100 miles from GGW, when Salt Lake Center asked me if I had any on-board weather radar. Hmm, no, why? Then he started rattling off about nasty, nasty weather headed our way. OK, that's easy, we're landing right now, even though visibilites were great and the cloud deck was way above us. We were 12 miles south of Big Sky Airport in Culbertson, MT. I turned north and we were on the ground in a matter of minutes, for a toal leg time of 2.5 hours.

Culbertson's a postage stamp of a town, and the airport doesn't even sell fuel. We had a quick bite to eat at the local ice cream shop, Scoops.

It was a bit disconcerting to see that Big Brother is keeping an eye on us, even in a place like Culbertson (where neither of our cell phones, and our cellular modem, couldn't catch a signal):

Here's the ominous sky that interrupted our travel plans:

After an interminable 4 hours in Culbertson, the squall line passed through, just as we were about to settle in the night. Forget that, there's plenty of daylight, let's go! So off we went, direct for Glawsgow. Landed about an hour later, and that's where we are now, and I'm once again purloining someone's wireless network. It's late, so no Dairy Queen for the IFR Pilot tonight. Maybe for breakfast tomorrow... After all, we're "camping" (if that's what you call sleeping on the floor of the pilot lounge in a deserted terminal). Ya'll send some bail money to me now!

Tune in tomorrow for adventures in Canada, eh?

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