West 2017

We recently completed an awesome adventure out west, which included about 25 flight hours, over 4,000nm, and an immeasurable amount of fun and memories. We started the trip out with a fuel stop in West Georgia on a beautiful day.

We stopped in Austin, TX for a couple days to visit my good friend Lee. We did big things while in Texas, as it should be. Lucy went shopping for an ATV, played in the park and chased the birds, made friends with the neighbor girl, and had fun eating oranges and Hawaiian rolls thanks to Jeff. Lucy loves to eat and Jeff knows the way to her heart. 

Next it was on to Tucson, AZ to visit some family. Lucy was glad to see Grandpa and try to resume her nap that she had started on the last leg of the flight. 

Brandi and I had a brilliant plan to take a mini vacation and leave Lucy with Grandma while we had fun in beautiful California. The flight was very scenic and we saw some really interesting things. One thing that stood out was this very distinct line between CA and AZ right on the border near Blythe. 

We did a lot of amazing stuff in CA like attend two hockey games (Ducks vs Flames and Kings vs Flames), walk down Redondo Beach and Pier, visit Catalina Island, and more, but perhaps the best part of all was the surprise tour of SpaceX that I had plotted for Brandi. It was very difficult to get a tour as they are not available to the public. We were blown away by SpaceX. It was/is amazing and inspiring and overwhelming and wow. I am very thankful to our new friends Dmitry and Amy, who we shared a really great time with. Thanks guys, you rock!

It wasnt all fun and games though as we had to troubleshoot a malfunctioning electric pitch trim issue once we arrived in CA. We removed the pilot seat, empennage fairing, inspected wires and tested various conditions, and finally narrowed the issue down to the Autopilot head, which also had trim relays. Dynon support was amazing as they worked with us and over nighted a replacement module to our hotel! Thanks Dynon! Brandi and I both agreed it was actually pretty fun working on the plane together like that again since it has been years. Felt like old times in the garage during the build. 

We headed back to Tucson and enjoyed spending time with family and especially enjoyed watching Lucy and her cousin Levi playing together. We went to the desert museum, picnic in the white mountains, parks, dinner with family, and more. It was really nice spending a chunk of time with everyone even though it went by too fast. 

We flew up to Show Low, which has a very beautiful scenic flight over some canyons and visited Granny. Lucy LOVED playing with the cat, but I'm pretty sure the feeling was not mutual. We enjoyed time at the park, cooking, playing dice games, flying a kite, and generally just peaceful mountain atmosphere with great weather. 

When it was time to head home we decided to make the long trip in one day. With good weather and decent ~25kt average tail winds we set off home. 

We got home late that night safe and sound with another great trip thanks to our adventure machine! It was good to be home. I sure am glad we decided to build this airplane and perhaps most importantly, have the ability to use it for such joyful journeys that enrich our life. A bit sappy, I know, but its really great and I always want to remain thankful about it and not take it for granted.

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