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Author Topic: My Nats Trip So Far  (Read 1706 times)

Offline Howard Rush

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My Nats Trip So Far
« on: July 15, 2018, 11:40:37 PM »
Unlike Windy Urtnowski, I do not welcome wild birds into my workshop. Nevertheless, one spent a few days there as I was preparing to leave for the Nats.  I eventually apprehended and evicted him the day I left. As I was giving my dog a last buffing, I smelled a familiar smell from my childhood-- my grandparents' chicken coop.  I have yet another chore awaiting my return.

Washington is full of geography, a consequence of which is that roads really don't go east from my new house.  We left the route up to the car's navigation system, which had us go to Portland and turn left.  I stopped at the Bonneville Dam visitor's center for urinary purposes.  I had to convince the guard that my airplane was not a drone and that I wouldn't fly it on the premises before she would let us in.

The trip east took 3 1/2 days and was not too eventful.  We stopped at a Bosnian restaurant in Twin Falls for lunch and ordered something authentic sounding.  It turned out to be a hamburger and some hot dogs without buns.  I got to Indianapolis too late to go on to Muncie for practice, but got to the field uncharacteristically early Sunday and flew some stunt.  I pretty much kept up the enjoyable routine of flying mornings and evenings with mush and naps between. 

As I expected, Chris Cox's Hellcat got 20 points in appearance judging and won a very nice Concours trophy. 

To my surprise I was invited to fly on Saturday. I went out to practice with the West Coast Varsity Friday evening and got some good coaching to keep me from flying too embarrassingly the next day.  Dave Fitzgerald at one point called my overhead eights "acceptable", which is the nicest thing anybody has ever said about my overhead eights.  I knew I was on the right track.  One interesting thing happening at this session was that David was coaching Paul.  That's the sort of thing that makes those guys hard to beat. 

The finals Saturday was fun.  My first flight was in perfect conditions, but my maneuvers had imperfections.  It was, however, the first time my wife thought I flew pretty well.  "Very substandard" is her usual critique.  As Chris was about to fly, the wind switched from south to north.  I suspected it was temporary, but he correctly decided it wasn't, and moved the judges to the other side of the circle.  I thought my second flight was pretty crummy.  Wind on my third flight blew just to the left of the sun, which gave a handy reference for maneuver height and intersections.  It was my best flight of the day. 

The finals had the feel of friends going out to fly some stunt.  Everybody (except maybe me) helped the others.  When Derek forgot his hand signal, Dave, who was launching Derek's plane, killed his engine so he could restart.  Dave prevailed with some really good flying.  He flew the airplane with which he won the world championship ten years ago this month.

Sam Londke, the Junior champ, is cool.  He beat George Cleveland in combat this week.  He hit the ground during the Walker Cup flyoff and seemed to really enjoy the experience.  He told me enthusiastically about the crash.  In other kid news, Liam Barry asked me for a quarter to make a phone call on the pay phone in the pavilion.  I don't know whom he called. 

After the ceremonies I performed my usual post-Nats duty of fixing things at my sister's house in Indianapolis.  A little Jive Combat Team home maintenance tip:  If you tighten the nuts holding down a toilet and hear a cracking sound, grab some towels, because all the water in the toilet will leak out onto the bathroom floor.   When I left her house Sunday, her internet and TV cable system had recovered the functionality it had when I started working on it Saturday.  I left her clothes washer disassembled to give the repairman a head start.

We are now in Coralville, Iowa, where we dined this evening at the cryogenic Steak & Shake.  Tomorrow we shall confront South Dakota, Land of Billboards. 





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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 12:15:27 AM »
Wonderful travelogue, Howard!  I enjoyed following your "progress."  I think this could be a new thing on Stunt Hanger.

Dave "West Coast" McSlow

Offline Gary Dowler

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2018, 02:21:43 AM »
Howard, great post.  I like reading the travel adventures.  If you are ever in Spokane with a plane in tow and some spare time, hit me up. If Im off work Ill take you to my little private field that I maintain and we can burn some fuel. I might even learn something useful.....LOL!

Gary
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Offline Paul Taylor

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2018, 10:47:44 AM »
Great travel log!

Good plumber tip!
But next time maybe add shims before tightening the bolts. 😊
Paul

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Offline Mark Scarborough

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2018, 01:01:34 PM »
Travel Safe Howard
For years the rat race had me going around in circles, Now I do it for fun!
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Offline Steve Helmick

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2018, 01:54:20 PM »
Six years ago, Howard said that Nebraska was the "Land of Billboards". I'm puzzled how South Dakota is now the champion in this field.

I like I-90. Going through Spokane is a lot less stressful than going through Boise and SLC and Denver. Howard's problem is getting from Stone Hedge to I-90. Traffic here sux.  H^^ Steve
In 1944 18-20 year old's stormed beaches, and parachuted behind enemy lines to almost certain death.

In 2015 18-20 year old's need safe zones so people don't hurt their feelings.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." General Mattis.

Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2018, 02:16:43 PM »
Well, my refrigerator is acting unreliably.  But I certainly will not ask Howard to come over and fix it!
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Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2018, 03:08:48 PM »
Six years ago, Howard said that Nebraska was the "Land of Billboards". I'm puzzled how South Dakota is now the champion in this field.

I like I-90. Going through Spokane is a lot less stressful than going through Boise and SLC and Denver. Howard's problem is getting from Stone Hedge to I-90. Traffic here sux.  H^^ Steve

You only go through all three of those if you try hard.  You can take 84 to 86, then 15, then take US30 through Montpelier.  It's a really nice drive (or was the last time I drove it, about 30 years ago).  It drops you onto 80 just west of Little America.  Then if you STAY on 80 you don't have to go through Denver.
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Offline Steve Helmick

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2018, 03:11:00 PM »
It's this ungodly heat, Floyd! Put a box fan blowing toward the refrigerator after making certain the back of same is clean of dust bunnies and Fruit Loops.

My wife got some Mango popsicles (YUM!) out at about 8pm last night. When I went to bed about midnight, there was a puddle of water on the floor. She left the freezer door open an inch or two. I cleaned it up and checked under the machine. No problem, if she'd just close the danged door! Informing the female beast is a tricky deal, but I survived.  LL~   Steve
In 1944 18-20 year old's stormed beaches, and parachuted behind enemy lines to almost certain death.

In 2015 18-20 year old's need safe zones so people don't hurt their feelings.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." General Mattis.

Offline Steve Helmick

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2018, 03:19:01 PM »
You only go through all three of those if you try hard.  You can take 84 to 86, then 15, then take US30 through Montpelier.  It's a really nice drive (or was the last time I drove it, about 30 years ago).  It drops you onto 80 just west of Little America.  Then if you STAY on 80 you don't have to go through Denver.

Yup, having a plan and maybe even a navigator is great. But that's one of three routes that Google Maps suggested. I tend to like State Highways more than a lot of the Interstates. Get off my lawn!  LL~ Steve
In 1944 18-20 year old's stormed beaches, and parachuted behind enemy lines to almost certain death.

In 2015 18-20 year old's need safe zones so people don't hurt their feelings.

"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." General Mattis.

Offline Derek Barry

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2018, 06:43:16 AM »
 I wish I knew who Liam called too. Whoever it was got an earful, I'm sure.

Derek

Offline Eric Viglione

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 11:03:11 AM »
Howard, you should have informed the ignoramus on the gate at the dam, that no self respecting terrorist is going to be putting around in a Prius. Not even dead. LL~ LL~ LL~ LL~ LL~ LL~ LL~

I dunno Ty, they might like that because with those Prius batteries, plus Howards Lipo's, it might add to the Impact crater...
 
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Offline Randy Powell

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2018, 12:46:58 PM »
Drive safely, Howard. Maybe we can fly next week. I almost have the classic plane fixed.
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Offline FLOYD CARTER

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2018, 05:52:53 PM »
Off topic,,, again.

My refrigerator is clean of dust.  The compressor motor sometimes doesn't start up.  I replaced the motor capacitor, but still doesn't fix. 

The motor is a capacitor-start,  split-phase.  There is a start relay module that, I think, operates on a fixed time. That is, the start winding is energized for a fixed time, then clicks out.  I've ordered a new relay.

Now.  back to topic.
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Offline Paul Walker

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 05:09:19 PM »
Are you finally where you can use a rest stop, wash your hands, walk outside and have them dry naturally before getting to your car?


And, did you stop at Wall Drug???

Offline Chris Cox

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2018, 08:36:46 PM »

And, did you stop at Wall Drug???

Ooh, Wall Drug!  I love that place!  Unfortunately, Paul was driving when we passed through heading west.  Not only did he not stop, but I swear he sped up.

Geesh...

Offline Bill Morell

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2018, 10:52:00 AM »
Miss your trips from when you and PTG were in full JCT mode.
Bill Morell

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Offline Fredvon4

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2018, 12:20:26 PM »
I really like Howard's CC trip posts

Many times they take be back to early child hood and some my own CC adventures

Brother and I were discussing this the other day...as Army brats we survived (and other sibs)  several Station Wagon trips from coast to coast

Then as a soldier I had to CC a lot to various new Army locations

Then family vacations...

We figure we have travel led most all the major interstates since 1960.....many times at the painful 55-MPH!....grrrrr
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Offline Howard Rush

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2018, 06:18:13 PM »
On the way west on I-680 in Iowa we came across a "scenic overlook". Marilou usually forbids stopping at such places unless there is a corresponding whiz opportunity, but I pointed out that we are now retired, so we should slow down and smell the roses.  This was not just any ground-level scenic overlook like we have in the West, but a tower one can climb to see the view (see below).  I summited the tower and beheld the view.  One could see a couple of miles of farmland. 

Onward to South Dakota, Land of Billboards.  No, Steve, Nebraska has never been in contention.  It would be OK with me to move all the SD billboards to Nebraska, as there isn't much view to trash there.  SoDak wasn't that bad, really.  The speed limit there is now 80, and the road is good.  No doubt Wall Drug maintains the road to pay for it being their advertising medium.  We overnighted in Wall, but refused to go to the drugstore.  We had a day to kill*, so we went to Badlands National Park.  Another tourist was telling his group that pioneers in covered wagons were stopped by the impenetrable badlands.  I contended that they would have sent Boy Scouts ahead to find a path so they wouldn't have halted the whole wagon train.  Better yet, I asked why they didn't just take the Interstate.  I answered my own question: because of the dadgum billboards.  He herded his party back into his RV.  We pressed on to Devil's Tower, which is pretty cool.  We didn't see the actual Devil, who, we were told, was somewhere in the details. 

We visited friends in Bozeman, now a dangerous place because people driving trucks there don't want the government to tell them to stop for red lights.  We got home in the wee hours to avoid Seattle traffic.  My flying circle, which professional lawn care people sprayed for weeds three times in the last two months, had become a lovely field of wildflowers. 

*We piddled for a day because the Cateye Cafe in Bozeman is closed Tuesday. 

The Jive Combat Team
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Offline Howard Rush

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2018, 06:29:16 PM »
My unmowed flying field:
The Jive Combat Team
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Offline Guy Markham

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2018, 07:08:55 PM »
Un mowed flying field solution---Goats  #^
You only have to floss the teeth you want to keep!

Offline GERALD WIMMER

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2018, 07:17:42 PM »
Un mowed flying field solution---Goats  #^

I thought the wild geese that had taken up residence on our field were very helpful cutting down the mowing but one of my sons did not like the mess they left and moved them on!

Offline Larry Renger

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2018, 09:20:59 PM »
Can you imagine running a piped to 60 into a goat? Rack of goat tonight! Maybe good, maybe no so!
Think S.M.A.L.L. y'all and, it's all good, CL, FF and RC!

DesignMan

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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2018, 12:28:24 AM »
Thank you Howard! I couldn't stop laughing over your description of the scenic "tower."

Reminded me of coming back to SoCal from Muncie via I-40 thru Panhandle, Texas. It was 96 degrees when I rolled in at 6:40 p.m. and the landscape was flatter than a table. Nothing there but a truck stop. I walked across the interstate to see if there was a sandwich bar in the truck stop--and was stunned by the view at the top of the overpass. You could see nothing, practically forever....

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2018, 08:42:40 AM »
That sounds like Lubbock TX the year the NATS was there.   On the overpass you could see forever.

Hey we got a little rain last week and I couldn't believe how the grass had grown when I mowed yesterday. D>K
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Offline Brett Buck

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2018, 08:44:51 AM »
Reminded me of coming back to SoCal from Muncie via I-40 thru Panhandle, Texas. It was 96 degrees when I rolled in at 6:40 p.m. and the landscape was flatter than a table. Nothing there but a truck stop. I walked across the interstate to see if there was a sandwich bar in the truck stop--and was stunned by the view at the top of the overpass. You could see nothing, practically forever....

   Absolutely the biggest flat spot in the USA, it's almost unnatural looking.

     Brett

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2018, 08:58:31 AM »
... It would be OK with me to move all the SD billboards to Nebraska, as there isn't much view to trash there ...

Ooooh.  Howard.  You're dissing my ancestors.  Or, at least the area where some of my ancestors grew up.

The next time you're on the road in that area, take I70 or I80 west from Indiana and cut up US 183 to I90.  The Nebraska sand hills are beautiful, in a mostly-empty, rolling, "let's hunt sage grouse" kind of way.  Unlike something that nose-in-the-air Northwesterners might think about Nebraska, they actually rate the name of "hills".  Wave when you go through Springview.
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Offline Preston Briggs

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Re: My Nats Trip So Far
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2018, 04:01:24 PM »
   Absolutely the biggest flat spot in the USA, it's almost unnatural looking.

And in the middle of all that flat is the Palo Duro Canyon, which must always surprise folks crossing the Panhandle.

Preston


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