Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Six Seasons of Ohio: The Last Gasp of Summer

While there are four commonly accepted seasons to the year, I contend that there can be more than that, or less, depending on the location. Los Angeles: one, or so I hear. Ohio: six.

The Six Seasons of Ohio are Winter, Fake Spring (also known as "Ha! Just kidding!"), Spring, Summer, Last Gasp, Fall, and Winter.

We're in the dead of Last Gasp now. One week of gorgeous weather before it all starts down the inexorable path to winter. Winter: the home of February, the worst month of my life.

The thing about Last Gasp is you really have to get as much out of it as you can. I started on Myday when what was supposed to be a simple flight for breakfast became anything but.

I had been pestering a co-worker to take a ride with me - we will refer to her as Annie Girl - for awhile, and we were finally able to get a day scheduled. I decided it would be a good time to try a place that I've been wanting to go to. The attraction of the Plaza Inn is that it has its own grass runway. So does Urbana, of course, but I was in the mood for something new. I checked in with The Jackson Two to see if they would like to join in, and it soon became a group of four.

Annie Girl met me at the airport gate bright and early on what had to be one of the prettiest days of the year. Things had cleared up in her afternoon schedule, so we would have the entire day to use if we so desired.

I desired. I wanted to get up to Put-in-Bay as Last Gasp is the very best time to go. The crowds are down, but the stores and restaurants are still open. That was just fine with Annie Girl, so it looked like everything was falling into line.  Right up until I started the preflight and noticed the glaring lack of a fuel cap.  I thought that to be somewhat odd, and definitely out of the ordinary. Where could it have gone.....

I must have left it sitting on the wing when I filled up at Circleville (KCYO) last week.

Suddenly, the Best Myday Ever looked like it was about to take a turn for the worse. Luckily it was still early enough to alert The Two that I wouldn't be able to join them, unlesssssss.......

Yep, they had a spare fuel cap and would be happy (I'm assuming that part) to drop it off.

Getting the replacement cap fitted didn't go as well as you imagine a simple task should go, but it didn't matter. No harm, no foul, and brunch is just as good as breakfast.

Off to Mt. Victory we went, with The Two leading the way. It's a short flight of only 40 nm or so, but it was as enjoyable as could be. Smooth and clear air made it very simple to fly just off of the left wing of the leader.

As we got close to the airport, we dropped back and let Lead reconnoiter the runway. Hmmm, there's a guy mowing the runway, and he's completely oblivious to the two airplanes circling the airport. What to do....

A low pass with airshow smoke (Kyle was right - there is a productive use for a smoke system!) did the trick and we were soon parked by the restaurant.

I'm so selfie!

I've had corned beef hash on my mind lately, and although I am usually disappointed in the canned stuff they serve at restaurants, I always hope that they will get it right.

I was again disappointed.

This is what it's supposed to look like:

After breakfast brunch, we headed north to the islands.

The Two trailed behind us far enough to leave Annie Girl and I room for what could have been fairly erratic and unpredictable flying, but she turned out to be a very steady stick.

 I think from now on, whenever someone asks me why you would go to all the trouble of building an airplane, I'm just going to show them this picture - it's the RV Grin!

The Put-in-Bay airport office is now guarded by a vicious Doberman that is the fear of all transient pilots, except one:

The weather was still simply fantastic, so while The Jackson Two puttered off in a rented golf cart, Annie Girl and I made the hike around the perimeter of the island. This is a well documented walk on this blog, but in case you have missed it before, here are some reminders:

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