Trip to the Mountains … almost.

Hunter’s dad has a house in Lenoir, about 123nm west of Sanford. We decided to take the whole day and pay a visit in 89333. The weather was fantastic; nice and cool for good performance and visibility nearly forever. The trip was fairly long (1.5 hours each way) and mostly uneventful, but there were plenty of checkpoints and things to see along the way to keep us busy navigating and sight seeing.

We landed at Foothills airport (MRN) and met his dad and lady friend of his. We talked about the glider activity going on and other fancy looking aircraft on the field. Then we hopped into a car whose back seat was bigger than the inside of our airplane; finally, some leg and lateral room! We drove up to Lenoir and stopped for lunch at Wendy’s. It was the first time we left the airport during one of or flights together, and only the second time I’d left the airport. The first time was on my first solo cross country where I met my dad at the Winston-Salem airport and we went to have lunch at… Wendy’s.

There is a small grass strip very near Hunter’s dad’s house that we considered flying into, but it’s a tricky strip with high trees, testy neighbors, mountains and power lines in the vicinity. The owner’s of the strip (a small flying club) required us to be checked out to fly in or out of it, and offered to have us do that some time, but it wasn’t going to happen this trip. Instead, after lunch, we drove to the strip to take a look. It did look pretty tricky.

We left before dark, but would be arriving well after, so I took the second leg again. The trip back was mostly the same, but smoother in the night air and we cruised at 5,500 feet, instead of the 4,500 on the trip there. For some reason, getting that high starts to make Hunter nervous, but it’s harder to tell you’re that high at night, so once it got dark it wasn’t a factor.

Another night landing and 1.6 hours of PIC for me and I was ready for a good nap.