Grass strip tour in May

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Diana, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    As some of you know, I’m planning a leisurely flight meandering around part of the country landing on grass/dirt strips. There are several reasons for this trip. One of the reasons is to explore the kind of airfield and the associated people who are like-minded. Basic fliers who enjoy and fly classic and tailwheel airplanes. Another reason is to actually SEE the country, low and slow, with just my wet compass, my Garmin 296, and of course, my iPod.

    Another reason for this trip is to actually visit with, and stay with friends and family along the way. Several folks across the country from the various forums have offered to let me fly into their private strips. I am thinking about writing an article about this trip, including photos of people and their airstrips. This country is covered with grass strips, some public and a whole lot of private strips. Most of us who own them and fly out of them are relatively quiet about it. It’s a side of general aviation that a lot of people don’t see or realize is there to enjoy.

    Some of you may think I’m crazy to do this. I asked my friend Stephen if he thinks I’m crazy, and he doesn’t think I’m crazy (well, about this anyway!). :D Although the fact that it will be tornado season in May might make it seem like the wrong time to be camping under a wing if I can’t find a way into town. :hairraise:

    A few of the public grass strips I’m hoping to stop at are Lee Bottom Flying Field in Indiana (641), Van Sant in PA (9N1), Moontown near Huntsville, AL (3M5), Platte Valley near Denver (18V), St. Francis, KS (SYF) to name a few. I don’t plan to land on the grass at an airport unless it’s designated as being a runway just to keep things less complicated.

    Here is a very rudimentary map with yet many gaps to fill in for fuel stops and yet to be discovered interesting grass strips. I would like to spend more time in Pennsylvania, the Carolinas and Georgia. A stop in lower Michigan might be a possibility, too. The plan is to avoid cities like the plague. If you all have any more fun and interesting grass strips that you would like to suggest, please let me know. Some of you have already made some great suggestions in other threads. I am going to stay east of the Rockies because I have to be home in time for Gaston’s in June, so I can’t budget for the time to make it all the way across the country this time. So far, it looks like the trip is over 5,000 miles, so that should take a bit of time as it is. If the weather is stinky, who knows, I might not make it out of Missouri! :eek: This is one trip where I don’t have to be anywhere within any certain time frame, an unusual concept nowadays. It will be an interesting exercise in being flexible. And hopefully, it will be fun and exciting…that’s the plan anyway. :)
     

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  2. ladyaviator

    ladyaviator Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Diana

    I`am so jealous, but so glad your are going on this wonderful adventure. Please let me know when you will be at Lee Bottom, I only live 45 min. away. I`ll take you out for dinner, I still owe you big time for letting me camp under your wing at Oshkosh. :yes:

    Linda
     
  3. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Diana:

    The map is too small for me to read the fields you are hitting in South Texas, but you will certainly be near our place in Fredericksburg, so I would dearly love it if you would keep us all posted about when you are doing it, so we can visit and play.

    I do so envy you this sort of thing. It's like poetry with wings.
     
  4. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

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  5. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Linda I didn't know that you were so close to there! I would love dinner and visiting with you! Thank you for the offer! :yes:
     
  6. Bob Bement

    Bob Bement Pattern Altitude

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    That part about staying east of the Rockies makes me a little sad. I had all of these things planned for Diana to do while she was in Vale visiting the Bements.

    :blueplane: :wineglass: :drink: :no: :dunno:
     
  7. Kaye

    Kaye Line Up and Wait

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    I see you're trying to avoid No. Virginia.:( Gee, I can't figure out why.:p

    But, if ya keep me posted, I'll definitely catch up with you somewhere!:yes:
     
  8. Merf

    Merf Pre-Flight

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    Diana --

    From your map you'll be just north of Beaumont, TX. Beautiful little strip just north of here (Silsbee) in Wildewood, Tx. Fairly long, not real wide...tall pines on each side (shields the wind). It ain't on AOPA's flight planner....I can give you contacts if your interested. Bring golf clubs or bathing suit...they have a nice golf course and swimming hole.

    Merf
     
  9. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    I just looked it up and the route is very close to T82...I'll keep you posted :yes:

    What a nice way to describe it Spike. :)
     
  10. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    I LOVE that book! His description of his flight into St. Francis, KS is what inspired me to fly there on the way to Denver last year. Plus, it sure is nice to be able to walk two blocks into town for food and a motel if needed. :yes:
     
  11. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Well, darnit. How 'bout next year Bob? :)
     
  12. gibbons

    gibbons En-Route

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    Diana,

    What a cool trip. You'll have a great time!!! I assume you'll be taking your laptop to keep up all updated :yes:
     
  13. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Sounds good Kaye! I have yet to figure out how to get through VA without getting into busy airspace while trying to find grass strips with fuel. I sure am open to suggestions as to routing in that area. :yes:
     
  14. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Thanks Merf! I didn't have BMT on my list yet, and just added it to my map as a fuel stop. I might get in touch with you about Wildewood...sounds like a unique place!
     
  15. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    :) I'm excited, but a little bit nervous/scared about it, too. I showed Tom my map and he just started laughing. It's a good thing he wasn't drinking coffee at the time, or it would have been all over my keyboard. :D It's fun to surprise Tom. :yes:

    I hope to. :) The problem might be finding electricity or a way to get on-line. :D
     
  16. Bob Bement

    Bob Bement Pattern Altitude

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    Diana ----- Is the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, in Rhinebeck NY on your list of places to see. Your route seems to be going right by it. They have a bunch of the oldest flying aircraft of any place around. They fly them on the weekend all summer long. I think you would enjoy this place they also have a museum. Just a suggestion. Someone mentioned Stephen Coonts Book The Cannibal Queen he stopped by Rhinebeck on his trip around the USA in his Stearman.
    In Pennsylvania there is a grass strip at Bethel, Pa. Bethel-Grimes ( 8N1 ). I don't think they have fuel but they have a Golden age Air Museum on the field. And some great old airplanes and cars. It is on your route and they may have fuel. Bob
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
  17. Missa

    Missa En-Route

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    Diana!

    In PA a very nice grass strip is Jersey Shore (P96) (No services). The nice part about it is that it is the grass strip in between two long time names in avation. Just west down the valley is Lockhaven, birthplace and home of the Piper Cub and just east down the valley is Williamsport, home of Lycoming engines, Little leauge baseball and Me! Lockhaven also has a turf runway and fuel. Williamsport has fuel, but no turf runway. A nice flight in the area is the "grand canyon of PA" Just ask Bard she flew it last year.

    If you decided to make this a stop, I'll keep you from camping under the wing for a night and offer you up my spare bedroom. There has been improvement since Barb's visit, the spare room now has a futon instead of just the couch. I still have no kitchen and the house is under construction but it's better then tornados! I'll pick up from either airport but Jersey Shore is closer and I may be able to see if Eric has some room in the hanger he's building his RV in.

    Missa
     
  18. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Looks like a blast! If, by any chance, you end up stopping in Chattanooga, drop me a line and lunch/dinner/crash space is on me.
     
  19. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Check out Cushing Field (0C8) in northern IL (Newark). In fact, they just had an entire article about it in EAA's Sport Pilot magazine. A lot of ultra-lights, light sport aircraft, and trikes, but all are welcome.
     
  20. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    Wow, Diana. I am JEALOUS!! That trip is the epitome of why a lot of us started flying in the first place!

    It's not a 'special' grass strip, but Boone, Iowa (BNW) has a crossing grass runway. ;)

    Good luck, have fun, and we all expect a full presentation at Gastons! :D
     
  21. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Diana,

    We've gotta get you up in Wisconsin. :yes: I have two suggestions.

    1) Three Lakes. Not too big of a deal if you can't make this one... It's up near Rhinelander so a wee bit out of route, but it's got the nicest grass runway I've ever seen (nice enough that a King Air and an Aerostar were there when I was), and stuff to do: If you land 21, you'll be crossing the shore of one of the three lakes on short final, and right there is a restaurant (the Sunset Grill) and next door is a boat rental place if you want to do something besides fly. ;) There is camping on the field.

    2) Central County airport in Iola, WI (68C). You MUST MUST MUST go see this one! :yes: The spirit of your trip fits the spirit of this field like a glove. Three grass runways, and a big ol' red hangar that says "Built for the love of flying" on it.

    Every Friday at noon, rain or shine, dozens of those folks who love flying descend upon this hangar and have a big lunch. I think I've described it a bit elsewhere, do a search for "68C" and I think you'll find it.

    The other thing is, if you go in for the Friday lunch, you will see some of the most beautiful airplanes there. Fairchilds, Ercoupes, Stearmans, Wacos... It's like an airplane museum where everything flies. :) :) :) Your Citablueberria will be right at home among her brethren, Decathlons, Maules, Cubs, 170's, RV's... This place is an aviator's heaven. :yes:

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    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
  22. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Diana if your gonna go to VanSant 9N1 and you don't plan it so that you are here on May 19th for the wings Fly B Q I will be mighty upset as VanSant is only 22nm NNE of Wings!:yes: :yes:
     
  23. Missa

    Missa En-Route

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    Oh, and if your going to visit MI, There are plenty of lovely grass strips... just go over to the CONUS challenge site and look up anything landed at by Barb OneShort. My Favorite MI grass strip is Maple Grove (65G) in SE MI. I learned how to do a wheel landing there.

    Missa
     
  24. RotaryWingBob

    RotaryWingBob En-Route Gone West

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    Van Sant is a neat airport! If you get hungry near there, stop in at Sky Manor (N40) which is 5 minutes or so to the northeast. It has really, really good burgers. Even the french fries are home made and not frozen...
     
  25. Bob Bement

    Bob Bement Pattern Altitude

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    OK I'll look forward for it. Bob :yes:
     
  26. One Short

    One Short Line Up and Wait

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    Diana,

    If you can get to Michigan, my airport is about half way up the state(Gladwin, GDW) The crosswind strip is grass and alot of people land just on the north side of our 27 strip on the grass, it is rolled. I use it all most of the time, easier on the tires. And we have fuel and I can put you up for the night although I don't cook any where near as good as you.

    Watervaliet (40C) is a nice grass strip in south west MI. The people I meet there where pretty friendly and camping is allowed. I don't know how easy it is to get into town.

    If you want some nice scenery head up through Wisconsin and stop at Prickett-Grooms(6Y9) Ed's Airport in the UP of MI. Only thing is, it might still be snowing up there in May.

    If you are going out by Massachusetts, consider stoping at Katama(1B2) on Martha's Vineyard. It is a grass strip on the island and you can taxi almost right up to the beach, you just have to walk across the road. There is a landing fee there of $10.00, I think. But you can stick your feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

    And in Maine, is Wheels and Wings(Harley's, Jerry's) airport-Merrymeeting(08B)

    Barb
     
  27. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    An alternate would be to meet Kaye, Agatha and I at JGG (Willismsburg) or if you want to fly a little further, First Flight (where it all began) or Ocracoke.
     
  28. Steve

    Steve En-Route

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    My contact at MS82 no longer lives there, but it would have been a good stopover.

    http://www.airnav.com/airport/MS82

    If you happen to go a little east of Mobile, just call ahead to the owner of 8FL6. Some real flying aviation history lives there.
     
  29. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Mike, I'm not sure about which airports I'm using yet, but I'll post an updated and larger map shortly. You all have provided so many more airports today :yes: that it will take be awhile before I can research them all. I haven't decided which direction to go yet, but am leaning towards heading east first.

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful suggestions and also for your generous offers of help, and, to some of you a special thanks for offering rides and/or your homes. You guys are great!!!!! :)
     
  30. Bob Bement

    Bob Bement Pattern Altitude

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    Next year If you happen to come out west. I know a great grass strip that you would love. You can ask Barb about this one as it was a must do on her great western visit. It is called Big Creek Idaho Lodge ( bigcreekidaho.com ) I can't wait for your visit. This is a picture of my daughter Beckie and her proud father at Big Creek. Bob
     

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  31. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Barb, thank you for the offer! I just added Michigan to my route. I've never been to Michigan, and would love to see some of the state and visit you. Marty Mayes mentioned a grass strip at Brooklyn, MI...it's 6G8. Might be a good fuel stop on the way up.
     
  32. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Steve, that looks like a good one! I see they have fuel. I'll call them to see about landing there.
     
  33. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Missa, that is a very generous offer! I may take you up on that. :)


    Hey, anything beats tornadoes! :D

    That would be great! I'll be in touch as the time gets closer. Thanks. :)
     
  34. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    I just added that one to the list. Thanks!
     
  35. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Mark, it would be fun to get together with you guys! :yes: I'm having a hard time finding grass strips with fuel in your part of the country. In Virginia there are only two airports with grass runways with fuel. That seems odd. :dunno:

    I'm still working on finding grass strips in the Carolinas. My brother lives near Goose Creek (Charlotte), and I'll probably stop to visit him (even if it's paved). :)
     
  36. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    Let's see if we can work that out then.


    78NC, which is about 15 minutes from our house has fuel. It is a flying club, but arrangements can be made to get fuel there. http://www.airnav.com/airport/78NC I know several of the members there and it would be no problem. They have both auto fuel and 100LL.

    Let me know what we can do to help.
     
  37. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Wow, that looks like a perfect place to land! And right on my route! That would be great if they wouldn't mind if I land there(fuel would be an added bonus). That way we might get a chance to visit. :)

    Thanks Mark, I appreciate that. :)

    On the red board someone mentioned a grass strip at a BBQ place. It's called Stanton's BBQ. Have you heard of it or been there? Richard and Mike were kind enough to post some links about it:

    http://local.google.com/local?ie=UT...94,-79.6687&spn=0.005987,0.008647&t=h&iwloc=A

    http://www.gamecockcentral.com/cgi-bin/fanfare/bbq/profile.pl?id=206

    It might be fun to go there.
     
  38. NC Pilot

    NC Pilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    We have been to Stantons several times with the 172, but not with the RG. Hopefully it is still open - last time we were there the owner was not doing well. Good BBQ and the strip is easy to get into and out of.
     
  39. One Short

    One Short Line Up and Wait

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    Brooklyn is a nice strip but it is only about 1-2 miles from the Michigan Speedway so watch for TFR's on Nascar race days.

    Barb
     
  40. Diana

    Diana Final Approach

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    Oh, that's something I didn't know! :eek: Thanks for the head's up Barb. :yes:

    I'm attaching the latest mess of a map. I still don't have the East Coast figured out yet. I wish I had time to check out all the good suggestions about Wisconsin, but I had to draw the line somewhere. Although, I added Michigan. :D Now the trip is up to 7,000 miles. Ooops.
     

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