Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Day 4

We had a great night of needed rest in Lancaster TX after the first 3 days of little sleep and lots of good, hard flying. The weather was too low to depart early so we spent the morning looking at routes over the Rockies.

There was a dry line of building thunderstorms to the West that looked pretty dicey, so as soon as the weather lifted at Lancaster, we departed. Our plan for today’s leg was to land and stay over at a small airport as far West as we could make it before the storms made it impossible to fly any longer.

We first overflew Possum Kingdom, F35, an awesome looking little field on the PK lake. It was pretty populated and the storms weren’t too close yet, so we decided to press onwards to Haskell, 15F—but that didn’t feel right either. So we headed to our third choice, Arledge, F56 in Stamford TX. They say third times a charm, and I can confirm.

When we landed, there were about 8 airplanes and pilots on the ramp in a row, about to do a fly by for the senior citizens in town that had been isolated in quarantine. Before departing they assured us we could stay in their pilot hangar lounge for the night and hangar our plane to ride out the storms. We couldn’t be more grateful for their extreme kindness and hospitality.

We watched happily as they roared off the runway in order. After some fun low passes on their return, they landed, shut down, we all introduced ourselves, and talked a bit about our cross country adventure. We got some incredible route advice for crossing the mountains and getting through to California, and they took us on an awesome tour of Stamford TX where the Texas Cowboy Reunion rodeo takes place. The night was complete with hilarious stories, abandoned places, tales of bobcats, rattlesnakes, cowboys, pranks, wild river pigs, tailgate burritos, and just great Texas things. Super stoked to have met this awesome group of people out here, especially with how serendipitous it was. They just all happened to be at the airport at the same time we were landing to do the flyover—what are the odds? At night on the airport, we watched the thunderstorms roll in and light up the giant sky, before turning in and getting a great nights sleep in the pilot lounge.

All in all, a perfect Texas day.

Flight Path

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