Day 16

Route
KSAF KEDC KEFD
660 nm, 4.5 hours, 44 gallons 

Final Flight Path and Route:  KEFD KSAV KAVL KVVS KMCD 83D KTVC KSTP KCOD 44.81667N/109.4109W 44.8448N/109.61594W 45.03058N/109.86752W 44.99908N/110.03268W 44.71023N/110.5063W KWYS KWMC KTVL KPAO KSZP KAVX KSMO KFLG KSAF KEDC KEFD

Final Flight Path and Route: 
KEFD KSAV KAVL KVVS KMCD 83D KTVC KSTP KCOD 44.81667N/109.4109W 44.8448N/109.61594W 45.03058N/109.86752W 44.99908N/110.03268W 44.71023N/110.5063W KWYS KWMC KTVL KPAO KSZP KAVX KSMO KFLG KSAF KEDC KEFD

After mechanical problems, weather delays, unexpected twists and turns, we safely arrived back at our hangar and ended up following this route across the country.  Our desire in posting our flight was to share with our families and post a possible itinerary for anyone else interested in a similar trip.  When we went searching for past examples, we found someone's experience on a southern route, but not as many as we expected.  We used 2 weeks, 3 buffer days for delays, an RV-6A capable of 150 knots/hr @ 8.5 gph, and about 3 to 6 hours per day of flight time.   If you're interested in a similar route, you can read from the bottom up to get a few ideas.

Our initial plan before any real-time modifications en route

Our initial plan before any real-time modifications en route

Considerations for flight planning

  • AOPA has an awesome website for evaluating possible destinations and a map based interface that makes it easy @ https://www.aopa.org/go-fly/destinations/travel-and-destinations-map
  • Blogs on fly-in destinations are great idea generators like this or this
  • Definitely build in buffer days in case of bad weather, mechanical delays, an awesome place that deserves more time, or fatigue.  We could have stayed at Yellowstone for over a week, probably a summer. 
  • It helped to have a tent and sleeping bag. 
  • AirBnB and Uber helped tremendously but it helped to reserve a car at Yellowstone and update them with our delays. We had a few advanced reservations that we chose for very particular reasons, but it would have been very difficult to make advanced reservations everywhere. Plus, having reservations everywhere would have constrained the trip to that exact plan rather than allowing some flexibility that is both inevitably needed and welcomed, as it adds to the adventure of it all.
Goodnight Houston

Goodnight Houston

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