Ed’s Farm

While the plane gets worked on by Ephraim, I am staying at my Dad’s. He lives on a “gentleman” farm that borders Canada. It is stunningly beautiful here. His back porch looks straight at Mount Baker and his front porch overlooks the Nooksak valley.

Moonrise at Ed’s Farm from the back porch

Living with Dad has been quite easy. He has his daily routine that gives him comfort, and, I would argue, joy. His day starts with a coffee session with a group of men at a gas station. He then, a couple of days per week, plays pool with a different group of guys. He attends to chores almost every day – mowing hay for a neighbor or mowing his own grass. He spends an hour a day reading, (a routine I admire and want to adopt), then he has dinner, watches some TV (mostly PBS) and then turns in early.

Work is part of who he is. Although he retired from building homes more than 35 years ago, he has had several “retirement” careers since. He owned a number of mini-storage properties for many years, and now he funds and builds homes in the local vicinity. For the home building he just writes checks. Seems like the perfect way to make some extra cash.

Dad let’s me store my stuff in his big “pole building” garage, and I have the upstairs of his house to myself. He cleared out a cabinet and a drawer in the kitchen for my stuff. It’s quite comfy.

I try to stay out of his way and also provide some company to him. He has lived alone a long time and when I first arrived he asked that I “not try to change” him. No problem. I am the guest, it’s his space and his life. I am grateful to him for allowing me to stay.

We ususally connect first thing in the morning before he goes to coffee. We talk about what happened yesterday and what is planned for tomorrow. I try to keep him posted on my comings and goings.

Mt Adams summit 1978

Living with my Dad is a gift. I have not lived with, or even near him, since I was 18 years old. He is now 85, I am now 60. I know I will treasure our time together for many years to come. Another special part of my journey.

Shaking it down!

Getting Charlie Mike back into the air has been amazing. We worked through the squaks in the local area, and then I took CM out for a ride. There were several stops on the journey, all helping me LOVE CM more than ever!

Taylor, Scott’s nephew and future owner of CM, sold his Cessna 150. He found a buyer in Camas, WA and asked me if I could pick him up and take him home to Bend, Ore. Perfect! I needed a reasonable flight to get more of the kinks worked out on CM.

Flying with Taylor

The Camas airport (1W1) was a surprising joy. It had a nice grass field next to the pavement, a great vibe and there were people everywhere! For a Wednesday, this was a happening place.

While I was waiting on Taylor to take his buyer for a flight, I met “Ian” who is building a Murphy Moose. I waxed poetic about my TK1 landing gear and told him that Tony is working on the fit for a Moose. I told him that using the standard kit landing gear would be a big mistake…….I guess I am an evangelist for my gear. 🙂

Heading East over the Columbia River

The sale went smooth and soon we were in Bend. It was too hot for Taylor to take a few laps around the field, so we decided to wait until the following morning to play. We were up in the air by 6:00am, and on our first landing this happened:

Sad tube

The FBO helped us get the plane off the runway, but wouldn’t help me fix the tire. I ended up finding a mechanic, and finally a tube. The tube had to be overnighted, so I had the day to play.

Lucky for me, I got to fly a Beaver! I met with Alex to do some Burningman work and he offered to take me up in his plane. Sweet! Before that, though, we released about 20 baby ducklings into the river (Deschutes) that runs by his house. So adorable!

We flew from Redmond, Oregon to Madras and did a couple of touch and go’s. What a blast to get to fly such a special plane!

Alex’s Beaver

Once my tire was fixed, I was off to meet James and Jason in Electric City. Scott and I started going there in about 2000. The airport is a host with the most! As if the taxi-in camping is not enough, there is an air-conditioned pilot’s lounge, with a bathroom, shower, referigerator, freezer, and all kinds of supplies that you might need to make camping more comfy. The airport supplies power, and a BBQ at the camp site. There is also a car you can use. We put it to good use venturing out to Steamboat Rock, Grand Coulee Dam and Dinner at a Mexican Restaurant.

Canoe, courtesy of the airport

Then, it was back to Sumas. We flew to Chelan and Wenatchee, then home over Hwy 2. The winds were a bit crazy in Lynden, so I landed back at Arlington and drove back to Dad’s. The following morning I jumped on my bike and rode from the Lynden Airport to Arlington Airport. Yikes, that’s a long way. The flight back was much shorter – thank goodness!

That was a super shake down! The plane purred like a kitten and other than the brakes needing to be bled again, no problems persist.

The shake down’s are over and soon I’ll be off flying around living out of the plane. I can’t wait!

Back in the air

Charlie Mike is through the test flights and has now had two flights squak free. The joy of flying CM again is undescribable. What a SWEET airplane!

Better than ever, this was a makeover indeed! The new landing gear, the new tailwheel and all of the small changes have added up to an airplane Scott would be proud to call his own. I know he is smiling.

Now, I am on a roll upgrading the instruments. Nothing too fancy, but I’m putting in a new radio, a few new engine insturments and also a new transponder. Why not? While adding one, might as well add what’s needed to upgrade and be done with it.

There are a few paint items to do (you can see tape on the side, marking a stripe), and I am having the prop balanced. That will be done today.

As soon as the new instruments go in, I will be calling CM home. One bike, One SUP, a few clothes and some camping gear, and we head south. The first stop is a little “fly out” to celebrate the return to the air. Pilots: James, Jason, and Ash will be joining me in a trip to Alvord Hot Springs in Oregon. Join us!

What a journey it has been! Over a year full of tears, trucks, and tearing my hair out, CM is finally flying. There were many days I doubted this day would come. I am ever so grateful to have found Ephraim and for him to put the final caring touches in place. My joy is as boudless as the sky.

“I always believe that the sky is the beginning of the limit.”

—MC Hammer