After graduating college and getting married last summer Katie and Jason, my daughter and her husband moved to San Antonio last fall. They are now teaching in elementary schools in the San Antonio Northside School district. While they are both in the same school district, they are at different schools which led to both of them being recognized as “Northside Elementary First Year Educator of the Year” for their respective school. They were to be recognized along with all the other recipients last Thursday at a district reception. It so happens that the following week was Spring break week so what’s a proud Dad to do…. Load up the 7A and head to San Antonio.
On long XC’s, I prefer to have the longest leg the first leg. I’ve made the trip from KMUT to KSAT a couple times and had originally planned a fuel stop at Paris, TX for a couple reasons. Nice facilities and more importantly, an opportunity to met fellow RV10 builder Dr Fred. Unfortunately, head winds of 25-35 knots pushed Paris just a little past my comfort zone with fuel reserves so maybe Paris next trip. Linda and I launched from Muscatine, IA (KMUT) at around 9:30 with a fuel stop planned for Poteau, OK (KRKR). We stayed low until we crossed the razorback ridges in Arkansas then climbed a bit to get out of the bumps. Landed at KRKR for fuel behind a National Guard helicopter. KRKR is a nice fuel stop. Self service fuel (even though they pumped it for me), friendly folks, recently paved runway and extremely important for the co-pilot… clean restrooms. Highly recommend KRKR.
We launched for KSAT after a brief bit of leg stretching. Climbed out of the valley at Poteau, picked up our IFR clearance and we were on top of a solid layer. I’ve flown to San Antonio 3-4 times in the last 6 months and I tend to just go on into KSAT if it is IFR or late at night. Otherwise, I’ll try Bourne Stage field. This trip was to KSAT for IFR and it’s more convenient for Katie to pick us up after school …. (can’t be late for the recognition reception ?). Shortly after leaving KRKR, DFW approach routes us to the Clear Lake VOR ( always happens, don’t know why I don’t go ahead and file it that way. One of these days I’m going to stop at Clear Lake and see what’s there ) then we begin the Waco, Gray, Austin and finally SAT handoffs. We were given the Marcs 8 approach procedure leaving Gray. Makes you appreciate the 430… load the approach, help the Digitrak anticipate the next turns and just follow along. We did get extended on west (actually out past Bourne Stage) due to commercial traffic but finally get turned in to ILS 12R at KSAT. Really wasn’t what I’d consider an instrument approach, just some broken stuff that were under fairly quickly, get transitioned over to 12L and grease in the landing. We’re taxing across 12R and a SW Jet is waiting on us and I’m thinking… bet those pilots wish they were us today.
Plan was to visit for 4 days and return on Tuesday. Visited the Alamo again and of course went down to the Riverwalk for dinner one night. Drove over to Austin in support of Linda and Katie’s favorite past time (shopping… this time at IKEA) then detoured out to Driftwood, TX in support of my favorite pastime … Saltlick BBQ. Good stuff, nuff said.
Monday night the flight back looked iffy but doable with a 50 knot tail wind forecast. Love to see the 200 knot ground speed. Tuesday morning was a different story, strong line of rain in the DFW, Eastern OK, Western MO just wouldn’t push on through. Darn, have to spend another day with Katie and Jason . I always block out the following day on my calendar at work just so I don’t feel the pressure to get home for this exact reason.
Wednesday morning, San Antonio and most of Texas awoke to bright sunshine. We launched from KSAT VFR with a fuel stop planned for KEQA, El Doroda, KS as it was clear there and I’ve never been to El Doroda so why not visit somewhere new. Guess which way the wind was blowing… yep.. totally switched around to now having 35-50 knot headwind. Oh well, the great thing about the RV is that you’re still doing a better ground speed with the headwind than with most of the rentable fleet. Started out at 3500 ft to stay out of the wind but climbed to 5500 for better ride around Waco. Also, decided that KEQA was not reachable with comfortable fuel so changed destination to KRKR for fuel stop. Actually saw some of the DFW skyline this leg as we received VFR clearance into Class Bravo at 5500. Landed at KRKR for a quick fuel stop.
We launched from KRKR for KMUT on the last leg home. Climbed up to 9500 as the winds were less direct according to the 396 up high. Landed at KMUT around 5:30ish for a total of about 12.5 hours of RVing. Headwinds both ways… no problem…just turn up the tunes a little louder
Chris and Rachel, our son and daughter-in-law met us at the airport. After a hug, we visited a few minutes and they launched from KMUT to KCSG (Columbus, GA) where Zach, Rachel’s brother was graduating from Airborne training.
Guess which way the wind was blowing… yep.. my headwind was their tail wind… KMUT-KCSG … 600+ miles ….3 hours 15 minutes…
Gotta love the RV…. ?
Not sure why the thumbnail pictures are cutting off the top. If you click on the picture they do display correctly. Sorry, not the best pictures….