A lot of preparation went into a trip that I want to make when Saskia, Michael and Jasper are in the Netherlands. I’ve bought all the survival gear that one might need while flying over rugged terrain. A lot of thought needs to go into that because it is easy to take so much with you that there wouldn’t be enough room for luggage and yourself ! So I think I have a reasonably good compromise right now. However, as I write this (back from the trip), I’ll trim a few things from the survival gear, things that I don’t think I need. The most important thing missing is a real pain killer, one that you’d use when your in serious pain.

There will be a sort of a 180 flying at Lake Sullivan. Lake Sullivan lies in the utmost north east corner of Washington. It’s a beautiful strip at the end of a lake. There is basically nothing there, only a small convenience store. The plan is to go with an intermediate stop to Lake Sullivan. By looking at the map, Felt, a small grass strip in the middle of Oregon seems to be the right location. It takes me a little more than three hours to reach Felt. Felt lies between small mountains next to a river. A lot of people are fishing in the river, I can see them when I over fly them.
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The maintainer of the field runs out when I land at Felt, always a scary moment, did I do something wrong or are they happy to see me ? They’re really happy to see me. They point me to a nice parking place for 94C with a outdoor restroom 100 feet behind it. The weather is great, the air is clean. I pitch the tent and lay on my sleeping bag in front of the tent. That night it is pretty cold.

After a good nights sleep I wonder what I want to do, stay another day or move on. Since the weather is good, and I like where I am, I decide to stay. The people on the field are very nice people. I ask them if they know a good place for fuel, the tanks are getting empty. They point me to a location north of Felt, where they are re-opening a small airport and the FBO there has a fuel special. $2 per gallon which is cheap for 100LL. They also invite me for dinner that night, and I accept. I fly up to Cottage Grove for fuel and wander into the city, they have a local Safeway. Ceilings are at 2500ft so I go IFR (I follow roads) At night I meet with Barbara and John. John has built a Van’s rv6 and we go flying in it. It uses a stick instead of a yoke. After a little time I get used to it. It’s a nice fast and economic airplane. It burns 4-6 gallons/hr, compared to 10gallons/hr for my airplane. I can haul a lot more though.
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They have also invited another couple for dinner. They’re interesting people, have been flying all their life. They are also 2nd (or 3rd) generation locals so they share some stories about what it was like in Oregon way back when. Fun stories about (really) small airplanes that he has flown to Alaska as well as stories about bears are recanted.

The next day it’s departure time, up north. The weather doesn’t look good, the weather forecast is good enough so I go. Looking at the clouds, I can tell it needs to get better, winds are high, ceilings are low. After Eugene I decide to look for a place where I can land and get a new forecast, the weather is not good and getting worse. I’d be willing to wait out the whether if it gets better that day or the next.

The forecast is bad. For me to reach my destination I have to fly from one valley between to mountains to another valley, and the forecast is high winds (40-60 knots), turbulence and rain. The long term forecast is not any good either. Decision time again. After a short but good lunch, I decide to head back to California. It would be better to go south, the weather is better, and I don’t feel like being rained out for days on end.

-Roger