May 16, 2004

Amana, IA

This report is a bit overdue, but I figured that I would throw something quick up... For our anniversary, Beth and I have decided that we should try to fly somewhere new every year. Last year we had planned a camping trip out in Ohio, with a day or two at Cedar Point. Well that turned out to be a bust because I got sick the night before we were going to leave. Dinner and a movie it was.

Well this year, we decided that we would try to keep it to a shorter trip, with the hopes that we could always do it either saturday or sunday in the event one of us wasn't feeling well. Our trip was to be a quick (few hour) lunch jaunt, with some shopping in Amana, IA.

Wake up saturday morning, and it is beautiful flying weather--how often does that really happen on weekends? Beth and I head down to Naperville, preflight 3SP, gas 'er all the way full, and head west.

Amana, IA is almost a straight shot west from Naper. Most students out of Naper do their first cross country to Sterling-Whiteside airport because it is straight west on US 30. Well, we flew over Sterling on the way...

Beth settled into her normal pattern of sleep after about 15m in the air. I was nice enough to wake her up when we crossed the Mississippi river, after which she promptly fell back asleep. So much for her enjoying the scenery. Upon getting closer to Amana, I pick up flight folowing from Cedar Rapids. More because I know that Amana is a little grass strip and will be hard to find until I'm almost on top of it. The controllers there were more than helpful in pointing out a busy private field about 3nm south of Amana, etc. They sounded like they were happy to have someone in their airspace...

I find the field, and put 3SP down in the grass. Grass is one of those things that really doesn't scare me much. We have both an asphalt and grass strip at Naper, and our club likes to use the grass as much as practible because it's easier on the airframe. I make a nice landing and am slowed down by midfield where the overgrown tiedowns are.

I hunt around, not seeing a thing, park it, shut it down, get out, and notice that I am wierdly straddling a tiedown. I put the towbar on and try to push it, but the grass is a little thick. Hop back in, and drive around in a big circle to line up for the tiedown and we're good to go. The place seems deserted, but I can see the twon about a block up the road.

We go, have a bite to eat at a wonderful germanic restaraunt. Most everything in Amana is served family style. You order your meal, and it comes with bowls of cottage cheese, salad, bean salad, pickled ham, cole slaw, sauerkraut (2 kinds), bread, and dessert (ice cream or pie)--I'm forgetting some stuff, but you get the idea. Needless to say, we were quite full and needed to walk around. One of the neat things about this place is that there are little shops all over. We walked into a furniture store that had beautiful Amish made clocks, and other pieces. We visited the woolen mills, and a few little odds and ends stores.

We decided that it was time to get the plane back, and rescue the pup back at home. We walked back to the plane, and noticed a Great Lakes bipe parked there. The owner and his friend were walking right behind us so I stopped to talk to him. It turns out he was from that little private strip a few miles away, up visiting his friend for lunch.

We watched him leave, and then left after him for our uneventful, yet slightly bumpy flight back home. Got to the river and there was a cloud cover, so we had to descend underneath it. Had I realized that it was severe clear again at Aurora, I would have stayed on top, but better to be safe, albeit bouncy, for this VFR pilot.

Got back on the ground at Naper and tucked our chariot into bed. She treated us well today.

3 HRS, 2 ldgs

Posted by molson at 12:07 AM GMT | Comments (0)