After another long stretch of rain (except for a few weekdays which don't do me any good), we had a relatively clear, dry Saturday. There was another system coming in, and that made for some interesting views as we headed south.
Our usual mission is to seek the ubiquitous $100 hamburger, which is more like $125 these days. Ideally we look for a place that has a restaurant on or within walking distance of an airport that is, preferably, at least 100 miles away. Why 100 miles, you ask? Good question, allow me to explain. 100 miles allows for at least 30-40 minutes in cruise allowing oil temperature to stabilize and stay there long enough to evaporate any moisture trapped inside the engine and to allow the battery ample time to recharge. Closer is doable, but not as desirable.
With the restrictions put on Washington (and other) residents due to the Covids, there are few places available. At the moment only take out and outdoor dining are allowed. At this time of year, sitting outside to eat is just plain uncomfortable. We even thought about going out to Forks, one of the few places we know of meeting the above criteria that is open for take out. There is a porch on a cabin that we have been told we can sit on to eat, but with a temperature in the low forties and a bit of a wind, plus the sun obscured by high clouds, that just wasn't a practical option.
As such, we still wanted to fly, but lunch was out of the question. The airport was a little busy so I took off on 29 to avoid having to wait for 34 to clear. I told the other traffic that I would stay below the down wind traffic for 34. Once clear of the 34 pattern I could head on course and climb. We took off and headed west planning to go out the Strait to Tatoosh. As we got going though, the weather looked somewhat better to the south so we went that way instead.
We ended up going out to Hoquiam and then south to Astoria then back. From Hoquiam though, it got bumpier the further south we went. Carl was about 10 miles in front of me and he turned back while still several miles from Astoria. I turned at the same time which put in front of him again.
We came back by way of Elma and the whole river valley there that typically floods is once again flooded.
As we got further north Carl formed up on my right wing for a little formation practice. I got the camera out and thought I would get some good shots, but glare from the canopy pretty well wiped out each shot. They are OK looking, but definitely not the quality I was hoping for.
The whole trip took just over 2 hours.
Photos can be seen here.
Video can be seen here.