Early up! Quick breakfast in our hotel room and off we go!
We return our rental car and find a ride from the international airport to First Flight Corp at Brown Field Municipal, where in the burning sun, our Skylane is patiently waiting for us.
After a thorough inspection of the aircraft, sticking a EAC-m sticker in the briefing room (we will be stickering our way across the country at every stop we make, putting EAC-m, which is the aeroclub that we are all member from, on the USA-flight map) and a goodbye to the First Flight Corp Crew who had been very helpful to us in the past days (actually, I shouldn’t forget how helpful they already were in the past months in preparing the aircraft for our trip and organizing our checkouts and reviews), we set off for our very first leg of the trip. We are all so excited!
Weather is good and should stay good till Sedona. We take off and head for the coast with Maurice being the pilot with Simon next to him, being the navigator for this trip. From there we head east for Sedona. The landscapes are so very amazing! It is desert and rocks everywhere we look! So much different from the lush, Dutch, green, flat fields that we are used to! It is difficult to put it into words, but pictures will explain it all, I guess.
Most of the trip the weather is kind to us, but the last half hour of our trip becomes a bit bumpy due to convective weather. More and more clouds start to surround us. It won’t be a problem at all for reaching Sedona, but what will this mean for our trip to Bryce Canyon? One of the restrictions we found is that we need to have passed Dragon Corridor before 6pm. So these clouds might become a problem for today. But let us first set foot on Sedona ground. After a nearly 3 hours trip we find Sedona, an airstrip right on a hilltop, the strip stretching basically the full length of the hilltop. The hilltop with its airstrip is an amazing view as we approach it, just as is the view of the surroundings watching it from the hilltop. Again pictures will tell the story.
Our plan for now is to grab a quick late lunch and get back in the air for our second leg to Bryce Canyon. While we wait for our lunch we check the weather. We start by looking outside, the skies in the north don’t look too inviting for a flight. Then we check the available weather information which we use for our flight preparation. Heavy weather at the place of departure, thunderstorms at our destination and also some in between. We won’t be able to pass Dragon Corridor before 6pm with this forecast. We decide that we check the forecast again after lunch, to see if weather improves. By the time lunch came to an end a quick look outside shows how dark it has become in the vicinity. No way we can possibly get out in the air with this weather. No way we will be out in the air in time to make it though Dragon Corridor before 6pm. A change of plans is needed. In no time we book a hotelroom and organize a rental car and we set off into town. First drops of rain start to come down while we fetch our luggage from the aircraft and by the time we drive to our hotel it became a serious downpoor. Still somehow we feel blessed with this weather, since we would never have stayed in this wonderful place for the night, which we now think would have been a shame. We fill the evening driving around through town, finding great views of the surroundings and the boys wanted to play a bit with the drone, which in this area, with its beautiful views is great fun. Again pictures add to the story. We have been enjoying every minute.
The trip to Bryce Canyon is on the program for tomorrow. Let’s hope for good weather.