Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Virginia Airplane Exchange

On this particular Saturday Jeff and I, with his ASK-14 in tow, drove to Staunton VA delivering it to its new home ahead of Jeff's September move.

Rather than opening up the house for one night Jeff accepted an offer from his friend and neighbor Michael Godfrey for an overnight stay at his home.

Michael's home

It was an enjoyable stay. Michael is a very interesting person with a vast amount of knowledge about the area and its history. Michael is a naturalist, writer and has also produced a nature video called "Audubon Videoguide to 247 Birds of North America". I currently have it at the top of my queue on Netflix...

Michael has started a blog called "Birding On The Farm". Michael is an excellent writer and I look forward to following his work. It can be found at: Birding on the Farm

For dinner we were to have short ribs cooked over a wood fire. Michael had picked up some barbecue sauce for this at the store but decided there were too many ingredients with unhealthy sounding names. So, Jeff pulled out his smartphone and after a short search we had a recipe for homemade sauce. Even though nothing was measured and we didn't have all the ingredients which forced us to substitute or leave out a few items, it was great!

Jeff reading recipe with phone in one hand, ingredients in the other

Michael cutting avocado for salad

The view from Michael's looking northwest towards Buffalo Gap

This was Grandma Moses' home which she and husband Thomas bought in the late 1800's. It is located just across and down the road. Michael owns this house and is in the process of rehabilitating it.

This is one of the the oldest mills in the area. It survived destruction by Union forces during the Civil War by going unnoticed, hidden in a valley.

Jeff's home and land from a neighbors' hill

By mid afternoon we had arrived at Shenandoah Regional Airport where Jeff's Lambada lives. We packed up and headed north towards NY.

Shenandoah Regional Airport

The Massanutten, visible from Rt 81 runs parallel to the highway from Strasburg to Harrisonburg and is about 50 miles in length.

For most of the length of the Massanutten we ran the ridge with trees blurred by our 90 kt airspeed.

There is a very active soaring club at Front Royal. Strong thermals for most of the year and 46 miles of ridge and wave when the wind blows. When we arrived it was late in the afternoon and we could hear gliders entering the pattern for landing, with the exception of one lone 1-26 still working lift.

From Harrisburg until Williamsport we followed the Susquehanna. I've always been interested in this river. I've flown several time over the west branch as it winds its way across souther NY and northern PA. Some day, I would like to paddle the North Branch from Cooperstown all the way into the Chesapeake and the Atlantic.

From Williamsport we flew out over a sparsely populated area of forest and hills that give few options for landing out. This has always looked like "No-man's land" to me and I generally fly quite high when crossing in my glide-like-a-brick Cessna. In a short time we passed east of Elmira and then all too soon we were over CNY and descending towards Skaneateles.

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