Monday, July 6, 2009

Looking back

The last week was a full one, trying to pick up the strands of "normal" life again after the race. It has also given me some time and distance to reflect back on the adventure and commit the lessons to memory for some future time, when I may want to attempt this again.

It will never again be my first air race, though. There's only one of those, and for so many reasons I'm happy this was the race for it. To meet women like Bee, a former WASP (look it up if you don't know what that is, and honor these ladies for what they did!!!) and to have seen parts of the country I'd never visited before, and to have flown, explored, learned and become a tiny part of a historic event... Special indeed!

In the end, we raised nearly $22,000, flew 32.9 hours, had an immeasurable amount of fun, and created a great memory to gaze back upon. And, as I like to point out, we were the fastest and highest placing taildragger in the race! ;-)

Thanks go to my family, my friends, my co-pilot, and to all of you for being the wind beneath my wings. Until we meet again!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

We won...


However, we are entirely ok with that. We flew well, didn't run out of fuel, finished, and most of all, we had fun. It was a pleasure and an honor to fly with so many talented women, and the experience was a rich one for us.

Thanks to all of you who have lived the adventure with us, for your encouragement, support, and kind words. We'll be flying home tomorrow, thinking about how to resume our daily lives after this exhilarating ride.

And to Wings of Hope: thanks for the work you do, we are humbled and thrilled to be a small part of your efforts!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Veni, vidi...

...and I waited.

We're in Atlantic, Iowa, past the finish line! And now we wait. We've had briefings, parties, and scoring discussions, but now we are waiting for the results to be processed and announced tomorrow.

The race was challenging for our little Loki, which is very susceptible to the headwinds we encountered on nearly every leg. But he pushed on valiantly, squeaking us by a giant thunderstorm into Racine, and sipping fuel as we throttled back for the final megaleg, one that was so long that the other racers doubted we'd make it. But the calculations held, and we made it in with some fuel to spare.

Unbelievably, Kara and I are both jonesin' to get back in the plane. What a ride it's been!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wow! I go away for a couple of days, and there are news stories, contributions to Wings of Hope, and all sorts of stuff! :-) Check it out on the website.

We're in Russellville, AR -sopping wet from the heat but undaunted. Kara is worth her weight and more in gold, keeping us on track and helping to keep Loki tuned up. I'm focusing on finding the airports, which is sometimes harder than it might seem: this one was hiding behind a ridge, and the plane coming in behind us had electrical problems, making their approach extra exciting.

My copilot tells me we're ready to go, so we're off to Grenada!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two legs down...

...and seven to go! Today was HOT, and felt slow, but we made it to Sweetwater, TX! Early departure tomorrow, so I'll just leave it at that.

Stay tuned for more!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Difficult day

Some days it seems like anything that can go wrong, will. Like today. A bunch of hard work of the last week was undone by the laws of physics and Murphy. However, with just some more work, it should all be taken care of. For example, we learned that contact paper sticks to white, but less to blue, and least to red. The result? A shredded race number and lost sponsor stickers. Live and learn.

I can't wait to be airborne, with the paperwork, the worry and the loose ends left behind on the earth below. Flying has always been liberating, and now it is the culmination of such enormous effort that I am impatient to get going.

Thanks to so many of you who have given me a push along when I most needed it, I'll see you on the other side!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Air Race Classic here I come!

Kara posting: I got my tail wheel endorsement last week and today I flew in the back seat for the first time, where a good co-pilot belongs. There's nothing like flying by feeling! Loki and I are going out again tomorrow and then I should be ready to go. The race being exactly one week away and with Loki washed and waxed, the count down is really on.