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Stanford

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Stanford

Day 12 

Route

KWYS KWMC (Winnemucca, Nevada) KPAO (Palo Alto, CA)
660 nm, 48 gallons, 5 hours and a 3 hour delay for repairs.

Weather and Terrain 

The skies were dotted with scattered storms but few convective areas.  Our RV propeller doesn't hold up well in the rain because of its composite nature.  We used ADS-B weather to navigate through the storms without a problem. 

Beneath us the terrain changed from beautiful flowing rivers akin to Yellowstone to more arid terrain and sharp craggy mountains.  3 hours out was Winnemucca where we landed.  En route to Palo Alto was even better, if that's possible, with the vista of Lake Tahoe and then the cities of NorCal and the Bay Area airspace where I learned to fly.  

Why We Chose This Route 

Palo Alto is a beautiful place and having went to school at Stanford; it would be fun to visit.  Our friends Dahni-El and Molly were also in SFO.  Winnemucca is about midway between the route though not as well staffed as we hoped.

Smooth and Not So Smooth 

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The nose wheel went flat when we landed.  Nothing went wrong with the landing.  However, there was no mechanic in Winnemucca able to respond when we landed.  They did have a full mechanical tool set for building an RV that they graciously let us use.  With some consultation we decided to remove the nose wheel and do the repair ourselves.  We foraged for the right rachets to pull off the nose wheel skirt and remove the wheel.  Then we took the wheel to Les Schwab tires and waited an hour for the 13 dollar repair.  Cheapest airplane repair ever and probably Les Schwab's first airplane repair. We hustled back to WMC with our tire and installed it.  All said and done it took 3.5 hours and we were back in the air for Palo Alto!

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It happened to be emergency medicine grand rounds when we arrived in Palo Alto so we stopped in to see our friends and learn a little about Acute HIV.  Stanford campus was beautiful as usual.  

Eats and Sleeps 

Its easy to find great food in the Bay Area.  However, I didn't realize that room prices for a budget motel would be 300 per night. AirBnB is probably the way to go but we needed some serious showering after Yellowstone.   

Highlights 

  • Palo Alto weather is fantastic,  always
  • Dinner with our friends Dahni-El and Molly at Shizen vegan Sushi restaurant included both good friends and good food--I didn't know you could do that with Sushi! 
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Fallingwater: Connellsville, PA

Day 4

Route KAVL (Asheville,  NC) KVVS (Joseph Hardy, Connellsville, PA)
2.5 hours, 300 nm, 20 gallons

Weather
VFR with lots of cloud surfing at 7000 feet, making for beautiful green, rolling hills below.

Why we chose this stop
We decided not to go to Plymouth, as it would make the flight legs too long. This change in flight plan would give us more time to spend at our destination.  We searched www.funplacestofly.com for good airports between Asheville and Mackinac. Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater came up as an option, reached via a short drive from nearby Joseph Hardy Airport in Connellsville, PA. Also, Mamouth Caves sounded exotic and appealing in KY (there was a nearby Bowling Green Airport). As Anil had long been interested in seeing Fallingwater, it ultimately won out as our next stop. 

Info
KVVS is a fantastic airport, primarily because of the people who work and hang out there. Bud, the airport manager, walked right out to greet us when we landed and helped us arrange a car, gave us local travel advice, and shared quite a few stories with us.  I don't think I have ever had a better experience or a more helpful person at an airport. He even loaned us a car overnight so we could make it to Fallingwater & our AirB&B. There is an Enterprise rental car company in town, but it is tricky to arrange pick-up/drop-off.

Smooth/Not-so-smooth
AirB&B on the fly turned up many farm houses in which you could spend the night in the Connellsville area.
We quickly realized upon arrival in the area that transportation via Uber would not have worked so we're glad and extra thankful to the FBO for our ride.

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Eats and Sleeps
On the fly AirB&B was definitely the way to go in this area with a lot of available options that could be reached by a 30 min car ride. We ended up selecting a small farmhouse positioned within a 52-acre  organic farm nestled in the Laurel Mountains. The grounds offered lots of area for walking and exploring; we even stumbled upon a pond and some benches at an overlook from which we watched the sunset. After eating out the past few nights we decided to buy a few groceries at the local store Santarelli's and cook pasta with their homemade sauce for dinner and asparagus for breakfast (Anil's idea). There was also local honey, local syrup, and produce there.

Highlights

  • Meeting all the RV fliers at KVVS including Bud and Myron.
  • Experiencing Fallingwater. We gained a new level of appreciation for this architectural masterpiece. The way nature has been interwoven into this meticulously planned structure was remarkable, and we were both really glad to have seen it in person. 
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Transcontinental Voyage

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Transcontinental Voyage

Hello.  Thanks for reading our blog.  Having recently gotten married, we decided to fly across America in an experimental Van's RV-6A, with 50 pounds of luggage and 2 weeks of vacation.  We expect bad weather, a few delays, some unforeseen challenges, and a whole lot of adventure.  After an online search for possible ideas, we found many beautiful airports but few past examples of a circuitous US flight route.  I'm sure many people have done this but we wanted to share our particular adventure in case you are interested in something similar or if you are one of our family members who is slightly worried about us (wink wink Laura). 

Our planned route, to be traveled over the course of 16 days or less, is below. We'll leave Houston and travel east first. The flight plan is subject to change based on weather, time, new curiosities, and the like. That's part of what we love about flying.

Adventure is worthwhile in itself.
— Amelia Earhart

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