Watching Steve Fossett’s record breaking flight, I started thinking about last year’s aborted trip to Oshkosh. Last year would have been amazing, with appearances by the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, Spaceship One, and more. I couldn’t get anybody to go with me, so I was planning to fly the Lance and camp. I only have a tiny one-man tent, but with the Lance, if things got bad I could sleep in the back there is so much room. But I had to cancel because Vicki and I bought this fantastic house and we needed to clear up 15 years of crud from the old place and prepare the new place. I have no regrets about the house, just about missing Oshkosh.
I was looking forward to camping because the previous time I’d gone with a bunch of guys from the flying club, and while it was fun, I felt let I was being pulled away from the grounds just at the best part of the daily airshows because they wanted to avoid the traffic and get something to eat. By camping, I wouldn’t have to leave the airfield at all. Of course, there is the slight problem that I don’t have much camping gear any more, and so I’d have to buy a camp stove and cooler and food and stuff like that. But that’s minor.
So then I read in Mark’s blog that he was thinking of driving out to Oshkosh. Hey, I thought, here’s a chance to do some flying with Mark, camp at Oshkosh, and have some fun.
I’ve booked the Dakota for the trip. Sure, the Lance is available, but as of this spring, the Dakota is going to have a new engine, new prop, new Garmin 530 GPS, a fairly new Stormscope, and a paint job barely two years old. It’s really the show piece of the club, and I’d be proud to fly a “Rochester Flying Club” banner from it while tied down in Oshkosh camping. Of course, taking the Lance is still an option, and maybe the extra room would come in handy, but with the ancient radios and old engine and all that, it just wouldn’t wow them (and Mark) like the Dakota will. And even the Dakota will seem roomy next to the Cessna 150s he’s used to flying.