The last month has had me busy searching for a winter “home”. Owning an airplane has dramatically changed my “simple” life and I knew that staying in Carson City was not an option (it get’s cold and white there!). A big part of finding a winter home was finding a hangar for the plane. I eventually found one at Truth or Consequences, NM (also known as TorC and TCS (airport identifier)).
This is actually a pretty good area for me as there are several New Mexico State Parks in very close proximity, the winter weather is reasonably good, the local flying is very good, and I’m fairly close to my flying friends (about 100 miles). The state parks offer a nice camping experience for the winter that is not at all like being jammed into an RV park (which I do not care for – though I do admit that some are much better than others). The negative of the state parks is that you have to move every two weeks.
The most difficult question was then: “How does one get ones motorhome/Jeep AND airplane from Carson City, NV (CXP) to Truth or Consequences, NM?”
I initially thought it was a thirteen step process that looked something like:
- Leave camping gear in airplane at CXP.
- Drive motorhome/jeep to TorC.
- Drop Jeep at TorC.
- Drive motorhome to Los Lunas, NM (where friends are located).
- Arrange for a friend to feed/water the bus boys for several days.
- Bum a ride to the Albuquerque airport.
- Hop a flight to the Reno airport.
- Figure out transportation from Reno to Carson City, or start walking (its only 30-ish miles).
- Wait for weather window (and hope to not have to sleep on hangar floor too many nights).
- Fly RV-4 from CXP to TCS.
- Drive Jeep to Los Lunas.
- Hook up to motorhome.
- Drive motorhome/jeep to TorC.
However; I shared this with a friend – I’ll call him “Dave” to protect his real identity – and he suggested a much simpler solution:
- Dave flies to Reno for free.
- I pick up Dave at Reno and drive back to motorhome/airplane at Carson City.
- I teach Dave to drive Missy.
- Dave drives Missy/Jeep to TorC.
- I fly airplane to TorC.
- I drive Dave back home (Los Lunas).
A friend offering to re-position your motorhome might not seem like too big of a deal. However; Carson City, NV to Truth or Consequences, NM is over eleven-hundred miles!! Yes – a VERY long drive. So, this was a HUGE deal!
Of course, I could not refuse – at least not once I was convinced that Dave understood what he was offering. It was also quite obvious to me that the trees and weather were changing at Carson City and it looked to me like winter was on its way.
So, that’s what we did – mostly.
Dave arrived by large aluminum tube last Tuesday and started driving Wednesday morning while I took to the air. The revised plan was for us to meet at Los Lunas (E98).
My flight was excellent! However; the wind had picked up at Los Lunas and I decided that I really didn’t want to land my new airplane in the conditions that existed. So, I diverted to Blanding, UT where some other friends were spending the week in their motorhome. Again, changing their names to protect the innocent – I’ll call them “Mike” and “Jan”. They took pity on poor me, put me up for the night, and even fed me – TWICE!!
Dave had no issues either and made it to Kingman, AZ that first day.
The next morning conditions were good again so I finished the trip to E98. A total of about 5.5 hours of flying. I saw a low groundspeed of 150 kts (170 mph) and a high of 192 kts (220 mph) so I had nothing to complain about! Don’t tell Dave but I think I actually got the easy part of the whole deal.
Dave and Missy arrived the evening of that second day and all seemed to be in fine shape!
A couple days later, Dave and I both flew our airplanes to TorC. Of course, we stopped for breakfast and met some other friends on the way.
Once at TorC, I tucked mine in my new hangar, hopped into Dave’s airplane, and we flew back to E98. The next day I drove Missy to TorC.
Sounds terribly complicated doesn’t it!! 🙂 Just another day in the life…
My current digs.
Most people tell me that I need to get a wife that likes to drive the Missy. I’m not so sure – a friend is MUCH LESS expensive than a wife!! 🙂 At least in my experience…