Tuesday, May 11, 2020

Day 2

The night of sleeping in the cockpit of the Skyhawk was a first for us both. I wouldn’t call it glamorous (or warm, roomy, or comfortable) but it surely was something to check off the list. Slightly disappointing to miss actually camping on the field–there were great campsites adjacent to the runway on the nearby lake–but avoiding the freezing temps, gusting winds, and steady rains made it the right call and quite a story for the first night out.
The field slowly went VFR as we stretched and drank some welcomed hot black coffee, so we hopped in and headed onwards to the SW, landing at I23, Fayette County in OH. We charged gear at the FBO, and did some flight planning, then grabbed the old airport van to make a supply run at a local market for some water and sustenance. It is strange to venture into the world in new places–this trip is allowing us to stay mostly socially isolated, but when we do need to venture into populated areas, the changes rendered by the COVID-19 pandemic are made even more glaringly obvious as newcomers. We’re being aware, careful, and conscious of it all.
After our quick supply run, we headed back, fueled, and departed for KBFR in Indiana, a 2 hour leg. This was a great stop, one of those perfectly preserved aviation havens, with an awesome collection of old photos, sectionals, and flight training on VHS tapes. Ken, FBO manager, told us the field, Grissom, was named for one of three astronauts who had come from the area. We got to chatting with him and he made some phone calls and got the name of an airport in Tennessee with camping on the field, Reelfoot Lake. Perfect distance away, and we could make it before nightfall if we hustled, so we fueled up fast and booked it out of there. Not too much time for photos today, as we were prioritizing speed over shooting, but we made great time to grab our evening fuel at KUCY, and on the short hop to Reelfoot circled over a swampy lake, grabbing shots. Never have I wanted floats on the Skyhawk more, it would have been the perfect place for a splash and go.
The approach to Reelfoot was gorgeous, you come in right over the water when landing runway 01. We were the ONLY aircraft on the entire field, and the only people camping except one lone RV on the opposite end. We shut down and unloaded gear to the campsite, pitched the tent, lit a fire, and chilled for a bit. Service was shoddy, and the next day had some wild weather coming through. We went back and forth on our ability to get out in the morning, and had basically decided it wouldn’t be possible, until the forecasts all updated, and we saw a small window of time we could make it out before the storms hit and we were socked in. So we set our alarms for 5am and called it a night. Day 2, wrapped!

Flight Path

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