Up in the air

Good morning New Mexico! Me, Charlie Mike, James Bush and Brown & Tan Pacer all landed safe and sound at Ohkay Owingeh.

Mount Baker

What an adventure-flight it was. I left from Lynden, WA – just a short hop from the Canadian Border, on the 4th of July. First stop: Boeing Field, where I met up with James to start the journey.

We flew only early in the morning to beat the heat, and then tried to experience the local culture each place we stopped. Lucky for us, every airport we visited had a loaner car, enabling us to get around easily.

Our first day ended in Baker City, Oregon. After landing, we headed straight to the rodeo we had flown over on our way in. We arrived just in time to catch one bull ride.

Baker City Rodeo

My favorite thing from Baker City were the three owls perched in the tree near our campsite.

Three owls chatting

When we left Baker City, we were trying to find a backcountry airport we could stop at and stay the night. Murphy Hot Springs seemed like a great idea. The place has a colorful history and the fact that I am flying a Murphy sealed the deal. Upon landing we met a local who informed us that the Hot Springs has been purchased by a Californian who has closed everything to the locals (visitors too). We got back in our planes, and took off, sad that we didn’t get to spend a night there.

My Murphy at Murphy Hot Springs airport

“We woke up at dawn, and headed to Wendover Utah. It sits at the edge of the Utah/Nevada border and is mostly a Casino town. We found the Four attractions”: the huge cowboy, Bonnelville Salt Flats, Danger Cave and the WWII historic airport! Wendover hosts an enormous Army base, used during WWII for pilot training. Famously, the Enola Gay was stationed here. The airport employee who gave us a tour swore that several of the buildings are haunted. He had many stories to support his beief. Some buildings are being restored by local enthusiasts A worthy effort. The place was amazing. I hope they can breathe life back into the buildings that remain.


Next, and last, stop on our route was Nucla, Colorado. This airport had a lovely pilots lounge! Bathrooms, a shower, a nice kitchen and a loaner SUV. Wow. What a relief to finally get to go swimming….and biking. We drove into the hills and found some BLM land that was welcoming. The river was warm, the dirt roads were bikable and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Cooling off in the San Miguel

Flying around the West is a treat that few get to experience. The scenery is breathtaking, the facilities are impressive and the experience is unparalleled. I feel grateful and lucky to have the opportunity for a trip like this one.

Utah or Colorado

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