I Will Have Internet, Tomorrow

I made it ashore today and checked out the library. I did not take my computer but I will tomorrow. I did get a library card and checked out a movie to watch this evening after dinner. Tomorrow I plan to head in with my computer and also with a signal booster I have for the boat. I tried to get it up and running but I need updated drivers. So if I can get that working tomorrow I might actually be able to pick up some internet from the boat. Stay tuned.

The best new is that Joaquin is now forecast to pass offshore and well away from where I am. Still expecting five more days of lousy weather. Wind and rain, but nothing I can’t survive. I now have a source of movies to watch and of course there are always boat projects.

Finally, the Burning Man Posts?

Well, not exactly. My plan after Burning Man was to head to the east coast where I have a project I am working on. A sailboat. Yes, a vehicle that travels very low and very slow. I moved aboard a few days ago and the plan was to head out into the Chesapeake Bay to enjoy the last warm days of Fall and get in some crabbing and fishing and lots of solitude. Also, I was planning to work on the blog.

Plans changed quickly. The first day I anchored way up in a creek off of the Little Choptank River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The forecast was for light southerly winds becoming northerly with the passage of a cold front the next day. That evening as I was laying at anchor and enjoying my crab dinner I listened to the NOAA weather radio and now the winds were supposed to be from the south and then southwest at 15 knots with gusts to 25. Luckily I was in an anchorage that was very protected from southerly winds but that night we had gusty winds, rain and thunder storms nonstop.

The next morning, which was yesterday, things were fairly calm but the crab bucket I left on deck overnight contained almost two inches of rain. The weather was now calling for horrible weather with strong northeast winds and rain for the next several days. Until perhaps  hurricane Joaquin makes an appearance. Time to get moving, looks like now or nerved and the anchorage I was in was way too remote and exposed. I decided to head for Solomons Maryland on the western shore of the bay in Southern Maryland. It turned out to be a pretty nice day early on but I had to motor the entire way as the winds were still from the southeast. Right off my bow. I made it in about noon yesterday. I anchored off a marina, launched my dinghy and headed ashore. After talking to some locals I headed further up Back Creek to a well protected area to wait out the weather.

That was yesterday. Last night it was windy and rained all night. Today it has poured down rain all day. I am warm and snug in my cabin doing some writing. At least that is going as planned. I am writing to a file and hope to cut an paste this to my blog when I can get internet by going ashore. At the marina they told me that there is a dinghy dock near where I am now anchored and it is just a block from the library. So, hopefully I will be able to upload this along with some pictures tomorrow. Too much rain today. I will have to go out and bail my dinghy soon. I am not looking forward to it. Cold windy and rainy up there. Warm snug and secure down here. I have plenty of food, water and fuel. I could stay stay onboard for couple of weeks easily. There are plenty of boat projects to keep my busy.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to Burning Man. Eventually.

I took these two pictures on Wednesday when I was heading from the Little Choptank River to Solomons Marlyand. These are crabbers and what is telling is that they have pulled up all of their traps so they won’t lose them with the bad weather on the bay.SC_20150930_crabbing_boat_1SC_20150930_crabbing_boat_2 You can see them stacked up in just about every available space. Usually they just pull them up, empty the crabs out (hopefully), rebait them and throw them back in. But, not today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A month or so ago I installed a new VHF marine radio that has the ability to receive the position reports transmitted by AIS transponders that are required to be installed on large ships. I coupled it to the GPS that came with the boat and here are some pictures of the first time it gave me a collision alert. The magenta line is my planned course across the bay to Solomons. As you can see I have diverted to the left of course and the large red triangle is the ship “Alexandra”. The AIS receiver picked it up before I could see it and I diverted to the east of my planned course to avoid it. The GPS is still warning me a a possible collision. See the little sunken ship? SC_20150930_gps_ais_colision_alert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what the Alexandra looked like just after the above picture was taken. Don’t want to collide with that.

SC_20150930_Alexandra_passing_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, here is the track forecast for Joaquin he evening I anchored at Solomons. I am right where the black “S” symbol is located over the Chesapeake Bay at the end of the five day forecast track.AL112015_5W_012_0

Enroute to Burning Man 2015, Actual Day 2

Things did not work out as I had hoped. The winds were much stronger than I expected and I was not able to make it through the Sacramento pass in the Snake Range in eastern Nevada. As I approached the pass I was pretty sure I would not make it through but decided to edge up to it carefully just to see and to learn. My ground speed was only 60 knots and about 10 miles out it was still very smooth. Then it got a little rough and then about 5 miles out It got very rough very quickly. I was approaching at about a 45 degree angle so I made a 90 degree turn to the right and got out of it pretty quickly. A few minutes later when I reversed my course completely my ground speed was 120 knots. So, about 30 knots of wind through through the pass.  I edged up to 14,000 feet just before trying to make it through but that was not enough with the 13,000 foot peaks on either side of the pass.

Plan B, I retreated to Milford Utah for fuel. On the way there I carefully flew over an almost 10,000 foot mountain at an altitude of 12,500 feet. A fairly nice ride so I decided to see if I could find a route with lower terrain. This is what the route from Richfield to the Sacramento Pass and then to Milford looked like:

Day 2, Leg 1

In Milford I fueled up and took a look at the charts. Decided that I could make it to Ely by a more southern route that has lower terrain. That is what I did and it worked out fine:

Day 2, Leg 2

So I fueled up in Ely and plotted a course for Lovelock, Utah. This leg was fairly straight forward, avoid a few high peaks and some restricted airspace. I could have easily made it to Black Rock City but I wanted to have as close to full tanks as possible when I landed.

Day 2, Leg 3

The final leg was from Lovelock to 88NV and took about 40 minutes. I made it to Burning Man about 3:00 PM after 17.5  hours of flying at 8 stops including 88NV.  Let the fun begin!

 

Enroute to Burning Man 2015, Day 2

It is very early Sunday morning and the gates open today. I made it to Richfield Utah pretty much as planned. Took off at 6:00 AM and got in a half hour of night flying before the sky started to lighten up. Took on fuel in Slaton Texas, fuel and food in Snata Fe New Mexico, fuel in Cortez Colorado and then landed in Richfield at about 6:00. With the time change it took 13 hours with over 10 hours of actual flying. The weather was good, a little rain, bumps during the mid-day and a tailwind most of the way. At 12,500 feet the temperature was 53 degrees.

Had to tighten the flap handle after I landed as they were not staying deployed properly. Have to do that about once a year. Last time was Richfield Utah last year on the way to the burn. Used a courtesy car to get some dinner, joined some pilots for their Saturday hangar party and slept in the lounge. Plan to get out of here as the sun rises.

Here is the plan for today:

Day 2 Route

Will only stop at either Ely or Eureka for fuel. Then Derby to fill the tanks before Black Rock City so I will have plenty of fuel for rides.

Burning Man 2015?

This is starting to look like a “Flying to Burning Man” blog as I have posted nothing since last years burn. I really haven’t flown Niner-Zero much since then. I did make a couple of trips up to Denton to visit my daughter. Always a great time saver; an hour and a half of flying instead of over four hours on the road. Four if I’m lucky. Usually closer to five. Other than some local flying that has been about it in the past year.

This years trip to Burning Man looked doubtful when I was not able to obtain a ticket in the general sale or through the ticket exchange program. Then a friend at the airport (Thanks Sal!!!) came up with a ticket through some people he knows in England who did get tickets but are unable to attend. They had two and another pilot, Jacob, is getting the other one. There were some confusing procedures and missed emails but I got an email from Sal yesterday and he has my ticket and has left it under my name at the airport gate.

Today is Friday and I am still in Texas. The gate opens on Sunday and I was planning to to leave on Wednesday. A family matter kept me on the east coast until Wednesday and I have been scrambling to get Niner-Zero ready to go. Originally I planned to be here a week before departure and have plenty of time to get the plane and myself ready to go. But that was not how it turned out.

Yesterday I realized, thanks to a flying buddy of mine, that as of September first I would not be able to fly legally. All pilots need a review every two years and my last one was in August of 2013. He is the instructor that gave me my last review and he agreed to meet me out at the airport last night and we got that done. Thanks Marc! I don’t know how I missed that, must have a lot on my mine. His review is due in October and I’ll take care of his then.

I used Niner-Zero for my flight review and some new issues cropped up that need to be worked on. So, I will shortly be heading out to the airport to spend another day working on her. Hence the question mark in the title of this post. The ticket is in my name, I have paid for fuel to be delivered so I can gift rides and I have also paid for the galley so I will have food to eat. I hope to get everything taken care of and make it to my third burn but we will see. Too late to drive and I don’t have a vehicle pass that will allow a car through the gate so I have no choice but to work through some issues, pack and go.

If I get out of here, I have decided to try to make it in one long day and then a short day. Arriving at 88NV, the Black Rock City airport, on the afternoon of the second day. This is my rough plan for the first day:

First Day Route

That puts me in Richfield Utah on the first night. I have stayed there before and they have a place I can sleep and a couple of courtesy cars. Hopefully I will only need a car to get something to eat and not to run around looking for items to make field repairs. That was the case last year.

I’ll try to post my second day route soon but now I have to get to the airport and get to work!

Burning Man 2014: The Airport Camp

BRC_20140829_N90HS_Sunrise_01The airport camp is an amazing place. Volunteers come together every year to build, maintain and operate what is, for one week, the busiest airport in Nevada. Or is it the second busiest? I’m not sure but it is amazing anyway. I usually get up pretty early and head from my airplane to the camp. I sleep outside the fence with my airplane.

BRC_20140827_Burn_BarrelThe camp is actually inside the fence. It is usually pretty chilly so if someone has not done so already I start a fire in our burn barrel. Soon it will be surrounded by locals and people from the city looking for a plane ride or waiting for a charter flight. See, not your typical airport waiting area. Believe me, nothing is like your typical airport. We have a great galley and great food and I am sorry to say that I did not get any pictures of that operation. We all pay into the meal plan and volunteer to make sure it happens. The food was excellent and plentiful.

BRC_20140830_Arprt_Camp_02

Here are some of our volunteers, Ross and Anna and someone whose name I can’t remember, with seats on their trailer to watch something. Not sure what it is. Maybe they are just enjoying the evening.

 

 

BRC_20140830_Arprt_Party_01On Saturday night we set up our bar in the Star Port lounge and served any and all who came by or were just hanging out at the airport. In case you don’t recognize him, the gentleman on the left, Blaze, is our airport mayor. The three lovely bartenders are from London and this is their first burn.

 

BRC_20140830_Arprt_Bartenders_01Although my picture supply is fairly sparse for some reason I seem to have several of the bar crew. They did a great job, both at the bar and from what I heard as Customs Inspectors at the airport arrival area. Sorry to say that they were not on duty when I arrived. Maybe next year.

 

BRC_20140830_Hank_Sydney_Arprt_Party_01So, here I am, hanging out with Sidney at the Saturday cocktail party. I was leaving the next day and I had not been to the hot springs in a couple of days so I was pretty grungy. But, you just deal with it. It’s not like your the only person with a little dirt under their finger nails. Sydney, like many others just kind of stumbled into the airport camp not really knowing anything about it but was amazed with what we have out on the edge next to the trash fence. If you come to Burning Man try to make it out. If you want a ride try to get out early in the day some morning early in the week.

 

BRC_20140830_Arprt_Sunset_01Out away from the city the views are unobstructed and amazing and I’ll leave you with this sunset picture.

 

 

Burning Man 2014: Gifting Rides

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

Burning Man operates with a “Gift Economy”. Other than ice and a few beverages for sale at Center Camp nothing is allowed to be sold at the event. All of the bars, restaurants, discos, music, steam baths and everything else is gifted from burner to burner. Including the plane rides that I give. I have been told time and time again that their plane ride over the playa was the highpoint of their burn. Multi year burners have told me it was the most amazing thing they have done at any of their burns. So I try to get out every morning and gift rides as many rides as I can before the desert gets too hot and bumpy and before the typical afternoon winds kick in. A morning flight over the playa is amazing and once we get to altitude I let my passenger open their door so there is nothing between them and the city.

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

Sareh did a really good job of documenting her flight. They all blend together a bit and now, a few weeks later, I can’t remember which day I gave which flight but I know Sareh’s was the first one in the morning because . . . she has a picture of me pushing Niner-Zero out of my parking/camping spot so I don’t kick up a lot of dust and blow it on the other airplanes and tents in my row. I still have long sleeves on, another sign of early morning on the desert. The temperature is usually in the mid ’50s at sun rise.

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

After helping my passenger into the right seat, strapping them in and training them on opening and closing the door I do one last walk around inspection. Last year I quickly realized that I wasn’t making it clear to my passenger that the door would be opened in flight and that is the reason for the briefing. The first couple of flights when I told them to open the door they responded, “Now! While we are in the AIR!”. So now I make that perfectly clear. When the door opens their view is amazing and I often hear the most amazing comments through my headset as it opens. So now, I make it perfectly clear that we WILL open the door in the AIR and close it before landing. Although sometimes we just leave it open for landing if things don’t look too dusty.

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

After departure we climb to the south before turning back to the city and entering the pattern at 5,500 feet. We fly clockwise just outside the trash fence around the event with the city is on the passenger’s side so I have never gotten the exact same view that they get. We circle about halfway around the city and exit at the northern most point.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

That region is referred to as the “Far Playa” or the “Deep Playa”.  Far from the “residential” areas. There is not much out there but every morning there is always something going  that I am sure runs all night. Lots of people gathered around a stage. You can see it here at the bottom of the picture just left of the lift strut. The mountain just visible in the upper left is my destination after leaving the scenic pattern. I fly behind it while descending to the altitude we use for our landing traffic pattern.

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

That altitude also puts me below the peak  of “Razorback”.  So we will soon cross the railroad tracks on the left and fly low behind the mountain and come out from behind it on the right. When we are behind the mountain the city is not visible at all and it seems like we are in different world. Then we  cross back over the tracks and enter the landing pattern for Black Rock City Airport. The entire ride takes about 20 minutes in the air.

BRC_20140825_Soldiers_Meadow_Arpt_KimSome days, in the afternoon, I gift a ride to Soldiers Meadows Airport. A small gravel strip about 20 minutes north of Black Rock City. What is the attraction? Hot Springs! Clean warm water, and lots of it!  The airport and hot springs are in a higher and less sparse area. There are actually things growing there. I took Kim, one of our airport volunteers with me one day. After landing we pushed Niner-Zero off to the side of the runway and then walked to the nearby ranch and got a ride to the hot springs. They own the springs and charge $10.00 a person to use them and that includes the ride and you can even use the flush toilets at the ranch.After several days using porta-potties this IS a big deal.

BRC_20140829_N90HS_at_Soldiers_Meadow_01The springs are the size of a large swimming pool and about 4-5 feet deep and  are surrounded by grasses. The water is bathwater warm. After soaking until it becomes uncomfortable you can climb out onto the deck and into dry air which is refreshingly cool. After laying out on the deck you will be dry in about 5 minutes. Then repeat the process . There are no man made sounds out there, just the wind in the grass and gurgling water. It is amazing and also works wonders on removing playa dust.

So, this is my gift to the other burners. I often think that I enjoy it more than they do! I’ll just post some more pictures of smiling faces.

Photo by Sareh

Photo by Sareh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Susan

Photo by Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BRC_20140830_Marie_After_Flight

Burning Man 2014: When the Rains Came

After a beautiful day on Sunday we got word that bad weather was expected to arrive in the early morning hours Monday. Rain, wind, lightning and hail. When we heard this at dinner time it did not seem possible but I went out and put some tape on Niner-Zero at points where I know the rain would leak in and checked that all was secure.

Around dusk I headed into the city and low and behold there were TWO community bikes in the bike rack at the airport. Last year I did not see a single one available anywhere for the entire event. So I biked into the city and then spent the next hour and a half riding around the open playa checking out the art. I knew that as soon as I parked it someone else would take it so I decided to cover a lot of ground while I had the chance.

Photo by Dean

Photo by Dean

Later I parked the bike at Center Camp which can be seen in the center of the inner circle in this picture. It was dark, of course, and as I was walking around I heard a familiar voice behind me calling my name. I turned around and there was Ash and her boyfriend Mitch. We had met out on the playa last year but as I turned around I did a double take. There were two of her! Ok, but only one of him. Yeah, for real. This year she brought her identical twin sister Allison with her. This was Allison’s first burn.

BRC_20140828_Sharkys_BarSo, how did I meet meet Ash and Mitch LAST year? I was hanging out in the bar named “Sharkies”. It is both a bar and an art car so it cruises around the open playa while the patrons sit around the bar on the inside enjoying the open bar and good company. At one point the bar tender handed a drink to me to pass back to the guy steering the tail. Apparently only the driver in the front can’t drink and drive. Anyway, I turned around, passed the drink to Ash and then she passed it to Mitch and he gave it to the “tail driver”. We all introduced ourselves and went on  to  have a great evening together on the playa.  At some point we got out and Ash and I played a round of “Tether Fire”. Just like the “Tether Ball” of your youth except the ball is on fire. Lots of fire. It was a lot of fun but if you ever do play, you have to remember to duck when you are not in a position to hit the ball. Don’t ask me how I know this.

So we went on to have another amazing evening on the playa together. No tether fire this year although we did go to the bowling ally and check out a lot of incredible art. The moral of the story? You don’t have to go to Burning Man with anyone else. As soon as you arrive you have almost 70,000 new friends. That is one of the best things about Burning Man. I headed back about midnight. Yeah, I had to walk. I wanted to be fresh and rested to give rides the next morning.

But, it was not to be. About 4:00 AM I was woken up by a light rain and tried to go back to sleep but after a while I realized that was not going to happen so I got up and headed into the camp. By then the initial rain was over but as the sky lightened we could see more off to the west and south drifting our way. The worst of it arrived around 6:00 or so and by 7:00 they closed the airport and the main gate. Then it got really bad. Rain, lightning and hail. Everything that was forecasted except for the wind. Thankfully.

BRC_20140825_Wet_Roof_02So we all congregated under our shade structure/dining room. Good thing the shade structure was also water proof. But, as the morning wore on it became necessary to push the expanding puddles of water on the roof to the edges to avoid having the entire thing tear or collapse. As it turned out we had no problems with it and it served us well as a shade structure for the remainder of the week.

BRC_20140825_Muddy_ShoeSo, what happens when you walk on a rain soaked playa? You magically become taller. Amazing! Heavier too. It really makes a mess and it also leaves craters on the playa and eventually it breaks off and then with the next step you just pick up a new batch. This is why they closed the gate, the airport and allowed no driving on the playa while it was wet. The cars that were inline and on the playa had to stay put until the gate reopened. Those on the pave roads were turned around and had to head back. To where was a big question for many but I understand there were a lot of great parties in parking lots all over that part of Nevada.

BRC_20140825_Jake_and_RainIt rained on and off for a few hours and the entire playa became pretty sloppy. Standing water everywhere. Here you can se some more rain moving in from the south west and we got quite a bit of lightning also.

 

 

BRC_20140825_Murph_Testing_the_Playa

By early afternoon the rain stopped, the sun came out and we sent Murph out to test the playa for us. He seems to be picking up a little less mud but things were still a mess and would be until everything dried out more. As we were eating an incredible dinner (thanks Uncle Plex) we noticed that a line of headlights was moving along the “road” from the gate to the city. The gate had opened after being closed for about 12 hours.

 

 

 

BRC_20140825_Flight_Line_Drying_01The “flight line” and runways were starting to dry also and a we all became a little spoiled as there was no dust at all. Not to worry though, it would return in a day or two. By evening we were all wondering when the airport would reopen. There were pilots waiting it out at several nearby airports. Some had not gotten the word and had flown over during the day but then had to depart without landing. There were hundreds of charter flight passengers stuck in Reno. We were hoping we could start flying by late morning on Tuesday but would have to wait and see.

BRC_20140825_Bar_Open_01But, we were able to open the airport bar! So, for those of us who had made it in before the rain,  the festivities went on as planned. On this evening we had Taz, Drunkin’ Pilot and Dee Zaster tending bar. How can you not have a good time with this crew mixing drinks? In case you are wondering, the bar crew does NOT drink alcoholic beverages while working. Here they are seen taking a short break.

Day Four: Winnemucca Nevada to Black Rock City

Photo By Dean

Photo By Dean

Finally, the posts on Burning Man. I have been getting a lot of requests from friends and family but ultimately some pilots who have been following my blog suggested that they might finally get the low down on Burning Man by visiting me in person. NOT NECESSARY! Stay home, PLEASE, this is what you have been waiting for.

First I would like to thank Sareh, Dean and Susan for sending me some photos from our rides out over the playa together. Without them all I would have are the pictures I took on the ground. As it turned out I did not take many of these either as I decided the more time I spent documenting the less time I would spend experiencing. So, thanks guys! Between the four of us I think I have enough pictures to put a few posts together.

I got a good night’s sleep in Winnemucca and headed out to the airport after a quick breakfast. The Black Rock City airport opened at 6:00 but the gate to the festival would not open until 10:00. Everything was in order and I packed my gear back into Niner-Zero and departed just before 9:00 in the morning. It was a beautiful morning and the flight was amazing and only about 40 minutes in length. I pretty much followed the railroad tracks from Winnemucca to Black Rock City. I was able to cut some corners over some low mountains and that saved a few minutes and my arrival was uneventful.

Photo by Dean

Photo by Dean

Although taken a few days later this is a nice view of our airport although it does not show the two (yes two) runways we had this year. The airport is located at point five of the Black Rock City pentagon. Our camp is just inside the city at point five. The airplanes are parked outside the fence. Some of us just arrive in our planes and head into the city for the week, others have an RV or structure in the airport camp while some of us, me for example, camp in tents with our airplanes. The airplanes in the very bottom left corner are in “transient parking” and were gifting rides to burners when this was taken. The location is easy in and easy out. Near the end of the landing runway and also the beginning of the take off runway. The two runways was an huge improvement over last year. No more waiting for two or three airplanes to land before departing or having to go around on landing because the airplane that just took off created too much dust, making the runway difficult to see.

BRC_20140824_Hank_Driving_StakesAfter I landed I parked close to the runway and an interceptor loaned me a sledge hammer so I could drive my Fly Ties into the playa and secure my airplane. Then he drove me to the gate in his golf cart and I entered Burning Man just after the gate opened at 10:00 AM. I was even able to give a couple of rides on the first day there. Since I had full tanks leaving Winnemucca and had not burned much fuel in the short time it took me to fly to Black Rock City I had to limit myself to passengers weighing in at about 130 pounds or less. So it turned out I gave rides to two lovely young ladies and I was left contemplating keeping the tanks fairly full for the remainder of the festival. Solely as a safety measure, of course.

Last year I arrived on Monday and did not take any scenic flights until Tuesday and by then the city was pretty much filled in. Much like it looks in the first picture of this post which was taken mid-week this year. But when I went for those first two scenic flights this year the gate had just opened and the city looked pretty sparse. I wish I had a picture so if either of you two see my blog and have pictures, get in touch!

Day Three: Richfield Utah to Winnemucca Nevada

The weather cleared sufficiently to depart by about noon and I was in the air just before 1:00. I had to follow the interstate  to get through the mountains west of town as the peaks were still in the clouds. I climbed up to 8,500 feet and once once the other side turned north west toward another mountain pass about 60 miles away.

IMG_1452The valleys between the mountain ranges were often dry lake beds. Desolate but with plenty of places to land. The next couple of moutain ranges were progressively higher so after I cleared the clouds I climbed up to 10,500 feet.

IMG_1451I liked to  give myself at least a couple of thousand feet above the higher peaks on each side of the passes so don’t get the idea that I was flying low between the peaks. I had a slight head wind and as I  aproached the mountain ranges I encountered a bumpy downdraft that I was not able to outclimb and as I passed the peaks I got the same treatment in reverse and would suddenly be climbing at 1000 feet per minute. Roughly to the same altitude I started at. My EFIS computed the winds to be about 15 knots crossing the ranges at about a 45 degree angle to the ridge line.

IMG_1450For the third large range, they call this the “basin and range” region, I climbed to 12,500 feet. This time I was wearing my sweatshirt and had the heat on and it was sunny but the outside air temperature was 41 degrees so I was a little chilly. At this point I realized that  even though I could make it all the way to Winnemucca that a fuel stop was in order. What if for some reason I could not land there? So I made a minor diversion to Ely Nevada and bought fuel. When  I paid I realized that I had flown into another time zone and gained an hour. I should arrive in Winnemucca arund 5:00 and not 6:00 which was important as the FBO closes at 6:00 and I was thinking of borrowing a courtesy car and actually driving into town and getting a room and taking my first shower since I left Texas. Also my last for a week.

IMG_1449The flight to Winnemucca was less than 2 hours and the mountains were much lower. I fueled up and covered the airplane for the night and met one other pilot flying a trike to Burning Man. Tom flies pretty much in the open air wearing very heavy clothing. He had to climb to 13,000 feet on his flight from Colorado.

The woman running the operation at the airport, Natasha, was going crazy about the time I arrived as it was the end of a busy day and she had way to many things to take care of and too many people needing atention. But she told me a car would be back before closing and feel free to take it into town for the night. Definitely a hotel night.

IMG_1447After checking in it was suggested that I eat at the Martin Hotel. Great suggestion. I was able to sit at a large table with several other parties. The couple next to me, Kate and Paul, were heading to Burning Man for the first time and for their honeymoon! Except  for the entree all of the food was served family style and in unlimited portions. These “sides” included wine, bread, soup, salad, beans, chicken stew, corn and mashed potatoes. By the way, the beans go on top of the salad. Try it some time, reallly good.

So we had a great time and they had a lot of questions. But, they had 150 more miles before they got to their hotel. I just then realized that although Winnemucca is really close to Black Rock City from the air it is not very close by land. The entrance to the festival is on the other side of the playa. They also will have a long wait in line.

Well, it is now 6:30 Sunday morning and time to head back to the airport and take off for 88NV. This may be my last post until after the event.