WA9FWT wrote:littlebeaver wrote:I have not heard of this vacation yet...What... Flordia...Hummmm...oh I know .. I'm willing to bet he is taking the children to Disney Land...I could be wrong but just guessing...In any case I sure hope he enjoys the heat that Florida provides...His family will love it there..
It didn't sound that way with Family.Just a fast ride into Fla. I think he left Thursday..... Martin
Yup, I headed out Thursday at 6 am, after only about 6 1/2 hours sleep - I was up later than I expected putting my bike back together (rear wheel bearings replaced) and getting it all packed!
The weather was lovely, not hot, sunny, with a couple very brief showers, but not enough to bother with rain gear. Riding through the mountains in West Virginia and Virginia is one of my favorite things to do.
I rode nonstop from suburban Cleveland to Kissimmee, Florida. I had a couple 30 to 45 minute delays for road construction, and a half hour stop each for lunch and dinner. Maybe 10 minutes every 150-180 miles or so to gas up. Other than that, I rode straight through.
At 12:15 am, only 7 miles from my destination...I got stopped in my second large construction-traffic-jam. How frustrating! I finally got to the hotel at 12:45 am, after almost 19 hours riding, 1056 miles.
Up at 7:30 am the next day to head out to the airport. My two brothers and I had purchased an hour's flight time for my dad in a P-51 Mustang. His lifelong dream was to fly one of these planes - he's been a pilot all his life, but never thought he would get the opportunity to fly one. So we made it happen, with help from the folks at Stallion 51.
We had a one-hour briefing that my brother (also a pilot, flies 737's for a living) and I got to sit in on. That was fascinating, and we got a real good feel for the physics and performance of the airplane.
After that, my dad got loaded up and strapped into the airplane.
They took off, and at about 500 feet AGL, the guy turned the controls over to my dad. My dad spent the entire hour doing every aerobatic maneuver he (and the instructor) could think of. Rolls. Four-point rolls. Barrel rolls. Loops. Cuban eights. Cloverleaves. On and on and on. My dad has never had the opportunity to fly aerobatics in an airplane that could handle it without ripping the wings off, so he really took advantage of it.
The instructor had my dad do an overhead approach, and then let him land it as well. My dad was absolutely beyond thrilled!
Afterward, we headed back to the hotel and spent the rest of the day by the pool.
My plan was to leave reasonably early on Saturday morning, head up through Macon Georgia, where I did my flight training, to visit some people, then head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I would go across the Parkway until I got tired, then find a place to sleep for the night. Sunday I would start out again, until noon at which time I would bail off the Blue Ridge and head up towards home.
This is not what happened. As I was getting ready on Saturday, I checked the weather - and saw nothing but thunderstorms, pretty much everywhere in between Florida and Ohio. I decided to give my Blue Ridge plan a pass, go sit by the pool for the day, and leave REALLY early on Sunday to try to beat the heat (and thunderstorms, which are produced when the heat starts up).
I went to bed at 9 pm Saturday night, and got up at 3 am. I was on the road by 4 am. I was in the middle of a thunderstorm by 4:30 am, with all my rain gear on. I would keep my rain gear on for the remainder of the ride.
I rode in and out of rain through the entire trip, including 5 solid hours of rain as I traversed the Virginia and West Virginia mountain ranges. That was NOT fun riding. At all.
I got home Sunday night around 11 pm, tired and in need of a shower. My waterproof boots turned out to be, well, not waterproof. Time for some new boots.
Overall, despite the dismal ride home, it was a great trip, and my bike ran perfectly the whole way. 2100 miles over two days of riding, time for an oil change!
I've got a ton of video from the P-51 flight, and I'm working on putting it together into a produced piece for my dad. When I've got it done, I'll put it up on Youtube and link it in so you can see it.