So we’re in a place called Dalhart, Texas. I thought we were in Kansas, until we arrived at our $45 motel where the Indian receptionist put me right quick, quick. This feels to me like the real America – not the rather artificial experiences I’ve had on the Yosemite rock faces and at Oshkosh. We arrived in Dalhart to a welcome from the guys who own Bailey Aviation Services. They supply the standard service at US airfields – hangarage for your plane, a free courtesy car, advice and so on. So now Bailey’s has got our plane in their hangar, sitting amongst their awesome “Airtractor” crop-sprayers, and we’ve got one of their cars, with no question of seeing a driving license, producing identity, a telephone contact number or suchlike. It simply a case of “take it and go”. And even then not until we’d quaffed a number of their beers on the tarmac.
Right now we’re in a kind of a diner eating supper and there really are a bunch of quite strange people in here – but it’d be rude to start taking photos and so on, and we’re also pretty exhausted, so we’ll refrain.
Tomorrow we fly over the high mountains north of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, then on to Los Angeles. We’ve had a look at the airspace around LA on the computer while waiting for our food and it looks like mama’s favourite spaghetti, with a whole lot of smarties thrown in, being the airports. In fact, we’re so intimidated that we’ve asked Matt to come meet us just outside of LA in his Christen Eagle. That way one of us also gets the opportunity to do some aerobatics over LA on the way in!
It’s as hot as hell here – when we landed to refuel at the Syracuse Hamilton County Municipal Airport it was 43 degrees on our Voyager. And it was a long day – up to Oshkosh we had 95 hours of flying with 94 hours of tailwinds – today we had a 10 to 30 knot headwind the whole way. With the heat we struggled to climb out after filling up, and to make matters worse we were racing storms into Dalhouse. Then the engine gave a bit of a hiccup on the climb-out, which has us a bit ‘skrikked’. Ah, well we made it!
Its nearly midnight now and we’re up at 05h30 tomorrow to make LA, so it’s time to sign off. Thanks to everyone for the messages, especially all my birthday messages. Only 10 minutes to go here. Never thought I’d have a birthday in Dalhart, Texas!
AdiosJ and M