RV7 Flying Adventures

Flying Adventures for Adventurous Spirits …

My husband built an airplane, a Vans RV7, shown above. It’s a two-seat airplane that travels between 160-212 mph. It took him (only) six years to build in his spare time. What a project! It was filled with many frustrations, but also, in the end, an incredible sense of accomplishment. I am so proud of him. To this day, we often marvel about it. It’s kinda hard to believe he built it, and that it can take us anywhere we want to go.  He flew its maiden flight early in December, 2007. He flew it again on Christmas day. Then the weather got bad and he couldn’t fly it again until spring.  *** Two family crises prevented us from doing much flying between January 2015-March 2017, however they are now over and we hope to begin flying again soon. 
If you’re interested in reading about our adventures, look in the archives in the left sidebar.  There are also posts on Flight Terminology done for an A-Z blogging challenge that you might find enjoyable.

RV7 Flight to Twisp, Washington

It's 82 miles and a two-hour drive between Lake Chelan and Twisp, however it took only a few minutes in the airplane. I wish I had timed it, but it felt like five minutes or less, since you fly in a straight line!

Descending for a landing.

Like many airports, it had a courtesy car. Town was several miles from the airport. We decided not to walk, but mainly because it was super hot that day. The car did not have air conditioning, but it did limit our exposure to the sun.

The vehicle looked very much like an old Oldsmobile Delta 88 that we owned in the late 70's. We couldn't get the annoying "fasten your seat belt" chime to stop beeping at us, but I'm not complaining. It was transportation, and it was free.

We ate a great lunch at the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery. The food was fresh and the bread was homemade that morning.

After lunch, we walked around town for awhile and then took the car out on the North Cascades Highway for a few miles.

Back in town, we were th…

RV7 Flight up Lake Chelan, Washington

July 2016, we took one of what turned out to be only two flights that year, due to some family issues. But on July 1, we broke away for the day. We flew up Lake Chelan and then over to the little town of Twisp, located on the eastern base of the North Cascades, in Methow Valley. My next post will be on Twisp. 

Here, we're just beginning to fly up the lake, which is 55 miles long.

Picture above, you see a clearing. That is the Stahekin air strip. To land, we would've turned 180 degrees and approached it from the other direction. We didn't land there that day. Mike wants to land there first by himself before taking a passenger.

Picture above shows a zoomed view of the landing strip. We turned 180 degrees+ and then headed through a short mountain valley to the little town of Twisp.

RV7 Flight to Cottonwood, Idaho

August of 2016, we took a flight to Cottonwood, Idaho.

Cottonwood is located near Grangeville, in Northern Idaho. It's a tiny little town with a population of just under 1000 residents.

Our purpose was to visit St. Gertrude's Monastery. I'd heard about it from time-to-time over the years and was intrigued to see it. The picture above shows the runway at Cottonwood. St. Gertrudes is nestled in the hillside (you can see in the picture), about five miles away as the crow flies.

We pulled our fold-up minibikes out of the luggage compartment and away we went.

It was exclusively uphill. And hot. Pant! Pant! Mike didn't have any trouble with it, but I frequently had to get off my bike and walk. Chivalrous gentleman that Mike is, he also walked--and walked my bike for me.

Eventually, St. Gertrude's was just around the corner.

The grounds were lovely. We even got there in time for prayer. I went inside and experienced the noon liturgy with the residents while Mike visite…

RV7 Flight home from Arizona: Part 3

The flight home from Wickenburg couldn’t have been more perfect. How often in November is the weather great for nearly 1000 miles? It happened on our way down and again on our way home. 
Because daylight hours are short this time of year, and because we would lose an hour in the switch between MST and PST, we needed to leave Wickenburg as early as possible. So we got up at 5:30 am and were in the air by 7:30 am, just as the sun was coming up. Within an hour, we were flyling over the Grand Canyon. When you fly over the Grand Canyon in a private airplane, you are limited as to where you can legally fly, thus I suspect we didn’t see it where it is most glorious. Nonetheless the tiny corner that we saw of the enormous canyon was amazing. You might be wondering why we couldn’t fly over the more famous touristy area. We suspect the Powers that Be don’t want people flying over it willy-nilly, probably due to safety considerations but also aesthetics. If you’re on the ground, admiring the awe-ins…

RV7 Flight to Arizona: Part 2

Red rock country near St. George, Ut.
 St. George runway. It was getting close to sunset.  Our little plane beside the corporate jets. So cute!
 Refueled and ready to go again.

 The pictures above are of the Grand Canyon.
Just before the sun set, we touched down in Wickenburg and our friend was waiting for us. We tried to get the RV7 into his T-hangar but both airplanes didn’t fit. We moved the RV7 to an empty hangar and then our friend took us to his winter home. He and his wife are snowbirds who live near us for six months of the year, but prefer Wickenburg’s warmer winter temperatures. Who wouldn’t?
Finally, we’re on solid ground again and boy am I ever glad. Though we went out for dinner, I was too sick to eat much and didn’t regain my normal vitality until the following morning.
I’ve felt great since, and we’ve been having a wonderful time with our friends.