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Your sense of adventure will lead you on a great vacation.

This is a scanned image of a fortune cookie message that I got about a month before our 2006 trip to Oshkosh and DC. Our sense of adventure has led us on many great vacations.

Some of the places we have flown. Blue lines have links to the story for the trip. The green lines are trips that we haven't yet written the story about.

Quick links to the first part of each of the trip journals (starting with the most recent):

Oshkosh and Beyond · posted Aug 05, 2006

Angel Flight to Driggs · posted Jun 22, 2006

Angel Flight to Portland · posted May 13, 2006

San Antonio · posted Dec 28, 2005

San Francisco Airshow · posted Oct 30, 2005

Sunriver, Oregon · posted Aug 10, 2005

Glacier National Park · posted Jul 20, 2005

Calgary and Denver · posted Jul 22, 2004

Las Vegas · posted May 12, 2004

Boise to Boston · posted Aug 02, 2003

Western US Loop · posted Jul 08, 2001

Traveling by Air

I’m not talking about being squeezed into seat 31B between two oversize adults, showing up at the airport 2 hours early, peanuts for lunch, and all the other associated hassles. The traveling I’m talking about involves seeing the Earth from a new perspective. High enough to appreciate the terrain and low enough to enjoy the view in a fun, reliable airplane. If we see something interesting on the ground, we can just fly over and take a look at it. The flight departs when we are ready, and the length of any layovers is up to us (and Mother Nature). If the weather isn’t good, we can elect to cancel the flight with no non-refundable tickets to worry about. Yes it is a challenge, but meeting the challenge is part of what makes flying rewarding.

Below are excerpts from our trip journals, and of course there are links to the full journals at the end of each excerpt. We still enjoy reading our trip journals and remembering the ups and downs of each trip, and we hope you enjoy them as well. The trips are listed starting with the most recent.

As you can see from the map of all our flying trips here we have done a lot more airplane trips than we’ve written about. Now that we’ve got the hang of posting our adventures on the web, we’re going to try to write up more of them in the future.

Oshkosh and Beyond

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 05, 2006

Entire route from S67 to Oshkosh, DC and New York

For several years Nancy and I have talked about making the pilgrimage to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture. We decided that 2006 would be the year we’d actually make the trip. Since we’re going that far east, we decided to head all the way to the east coast and visit Washington, DC and New York City. I’ve been to both cities before (although it has been almost 20 years since I’ve been to DC) but Nancy has never been to either one.

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Angel Flight to Driggs

posted in Trip Journals · Jun 22, 2006

Our special passengers on their way to Driggs, ID

Driggs, Idaho is nestled against the Grand Tetons right on the border with Wyoming. Our Angel Flight mission was to transport two 10-year-old girls to Camp Magical Moments — a camp just for kids with cancer.
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When I tried to increase the RPMs the engine ran extremely rough. It didn’t take long to hear the engine running rough, and Phil’s expression told me that we definitely had an issue on our hands. I don’t think we’ve ever canceled a Mooney flight because of a mechanical problem and I really didn’t want today to be our first.

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Angel Flight to Portland

posted in Trip Journals · May 13, 2006

Angel Flight logo

Nancy and I just joined an organization called Angel Flight which provides free air transportation in private aircraft for people needing medical treatment or other humanitarian needs. Our first Angel Flight mission was to take a little girl with leukemia from Baker City, Oregon to get follow-up care in Portland, Oregon.

We arranged to pick up Ali and Chloe at 9:00am in Baker City. We got a chance to use the Angel Flight call sign for the first time during this short flight. It was a little strange saying “Angel Flight 1UT” instead of “Mooney 1UT” but we both got used to it pretty quickly.

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San Antonio

posted in Trip Journals · Dec 28, 2005

Remove before flight picture

In hindsight canceling this flight should have been a no-brainer. Although the weather was beautiful and the airplane was in perfect mechanical condition to make the trip, cancelling was still the right thing to do. On the day of the planned flight it took both of us a lot longer than it should have to come to that conclusion, which is what prompted us to write up the events of Christmas morning 2005.

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San Francisco Airshow

posted in Trip Journals · Oct 30, 2005

The airshow for the 2005 Navy San Francisco Fleet Week included two major events: The Red Bull Air Races and a performance by the Navy Blue Angels. I had heard about the Red Bull Air Races before, and was excited to see them in person. The race in San Francisco would be the finals of the 2005 Red Bull Air Race season, and only the second time the race was conducted in the United States. Of course the world-famous Blue Angels always put on a great show and it was really something to see all the airshow activity happening on the beautiful San Francisco Bay with the landmarks of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the background.

This trip would also be our first chance to try out our new Garmin GPSMAP 396 which has the ability to display weather information in the cockpit.

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Sunriver, Oregon

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 10, 2005

Aviation author Greg Brown calls his personal airplane a “Magic Carpet”, and that’s certainly an apt description for the range of places you can go in just a few short hours. We decided to make the trip at 10 AM on Sunday, and had to do some odds and ends around the house and eat some lunch before we left. By 3 PM that afternoon our wheels were touching down at the Sunriver airport.

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Glacier National Park

posted in Trip Journals · Jul 20, 2005

Beautiful blue sky on the way to Glacier

Sitting next to my best friend at 11,000 feet on a sunny day with blue skies, cool temperatures, smooth air, and beautiful views of mountains dotted with lakes is a great way to start my birthday. The 15-knot tailwind was a nice bonus too.

We’re on our way to Glacier National Park near Kalispell, Montana to celebrate Phil’s birthday and get some relief from the 100-degree temperatures in Boise.

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Calgary and Denver

posted in Trip Journals · Jul 22, 2004

Small version of image Calgary Denver loop

For our big trip for 2004 we wanted to go back to Calgary and visit Banff National Park again (we previously flew ourselves to Calgary in 1999). Phil also wanted to attend the Mooney Mountain Flying course in Denver. Flying from Boise to Calgary to Denver and back seemed just right for this year’s big trip.

Last time we flew to Calgary, we went VFR and it was a piece of cake. This time we decided to go IFR just for a change of pace, and because we consistently found it is easier to fly in unfamiliar busy airspace while IFR. That turned out to be a good plan since we had to fly an ILS approach to land in Calgary due to clouds blanketing the area.

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Las Vegas

posted in Trip Journals · May 12, 2004

Small version of view from hotel room

We took a quick 3-day trip to Las Vegas to attend a surprise 40th birthday party for a friend of ours. The birthday boy and most of the guests live in Boise, so everyone except us flew commercially. We thought about getting in line and letting Southwest do the flying for us … yeah right! For a trip this short our door-to-door time is about the same, perhaps a bit less, than flying with the airlines. It’s certainly more enjoyable and rewarding for us to fly ourselves. We had a great time in Las Vegas with our friends, but half the fun of this trip was the flying itself!

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You won’t want to miss the part about getting a private airshow from an F-15 military jet.

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Boise to Boston

posted in Trip Journals · Aug 02, 2003

Small version of whole route from Boise to Boston

If you look at the map of all our trips, we’ve done lots of traveling out west. In the summer of 2003 we made a big trip east—all the way to Boston from Boise. Earlier in 2003 we visited the Pacific Coast at Newport, OR so we flew to both coasts in the same year.

How do you plan a 4,200 nautical mile trip in a small plane? It’s not too bad, just plan several 500 NM trips.

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Western US Loop

posted in Trip Journals · Jul 08, 2001

Thumbnail version of entire route

Our honeymoon trip that launched our habit of keeping these trip journals. We Flew from Boise, Idaho to California, to central Arizona and back home. A truly memorable way to celebrate our marriage.

Our first stop was Eureka, CA (O33), and this was the only stop we pre-planned. We knew we wanted to spend about a week flying around and exploring. Our mood and the weather would dictate where we actually went. While staying in Eureka, we took time to explore the nearby Redwood Forests.

The next stop was Monterey, CA (MRY) on the central California coast. From there we flew to Sedona, AZ (SEZ) where we spent a few days exploring the area before returning home to Boise (BOI).

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