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2007 Rough River Fly-In Trip - Day 3

Date: September 29, 2007

I got up a bit earlier on Saturday - maybe around 7:30 AM.  I wasn't hungry so I didn't have breakfast. I spent some time counting the aircraft on the field, and came up with a total of 59 canards.  Later in the day, a few more arrived, and I'd guess that the total canard population was about 65 - 68.  I think that the RR organizers used the S&F/OSH estimation methodology, and came up with a number closer to 75 later that evening. I am now suspicious of the previous year's quantity estimates :-).

Although there was supposed to be a signup for airplane rides (both for pilots and passengers), that didn't happen, so we had the standard free for all later in the day with folks just hitting up pilots for rides. No big deal - it's worked before, and it worked this time, too, as long as folks weren't too shy about asking. Nick Ugolini had worked hard to get a tent set up out by the flightline and get equipment for presentations, as well as get presenters. This was supposed to start sometime around 9 AM, and although a couple of the presenters were missing, Nick gave a presentation on electrical wiring techniques that was very well attended and received.

After Nick used only 45 minutes of his alloted 20 minutes for this presentation, I gave a presentation on my propeller loss over Joshua Tree National Park last December (keeping it to about 20 minutes, with Nick giving me a hard time about using too much time :-) ), and then a presentation on the Belleville Washer solution to propeller bolt torque needs that I've been testing for the past 8 months (also kept to about 20 minutes). I think folks felt that these were interesting, entertaining, and useful.

After that I spent some time out at the plane talking to other flyers, builders, and prospective builders, and letting folks sit in the plane, both front and back. The airport had filled up - there were a LOT of folks milling around, looking at airplanes, and talking to the pilots. I also called my son (damn these cellphones) who had left a message for me to call him back.  He had apparently watched some TV show about the aliens that were purportedly found near Roswell, NM back in 1947, and needed a voice of rationality bring him back to the real world, where the sane folks live.

Many pilots were giving rides - I hesitate to name names, since I'm sure I'll piss someone off by missing them, but I know that Rich Hughes, Bill Seibold, Steve Wright, Chris Esselstyn, Ken Laundrie, Mark Beduhn, Colby Farmer, Curt Boyll, James Redmon and others were giving rides in VE's, LE's, Berkuts, the Stagger-EZ, and COZY's. Probably 30 - 40 or more builders, prospective builders, significant other's and/or friends got rides during the day - the weather was beautiful, with over 30-50 mile visibility and only a little turbulence.

After lunch, I started giving rides, and gave rides to the following folks (I suck at names, so please forgive me if I don't remember who you were, if you're reading this):

1) Kathryn Bowers, wife of Trip Bowers, a long-time COZY builder
2) Steve Harmon, new COZY builders and LE flyer from long ago
3) ??? Alexander - new COZY builder John Alexander's wife (name?) - John is a VERY lucky man (not that the husbands of the OTHER wive's I flew aren't! :-) )
4) ??? friend and assistant to Aiman ??? - new COZY builder
5) Jane/June??? (crap, why do I suck at names) - varieze driver who's name I also can't remember's wife, who wanted to know what it's like in the front seat of a canard, and who's husband will now probably have to build a COZY, since she liked it a lot :-).

In each case except the last, pilot or not, I let the right-seater take the stick and fly around. I also demo'd stalls, etc. to each.

VE wife (name - Arrrgggghhh, I am embarrassed) was not interested in flying the plane - she just wanted a ride, and was intent on studying the map and the instrument panel, as well as watching the scenery go by.  I wasn't sure that she was doing OK, but when I asked how she was, she said "this is GREAT"! We headed over to Grayson County airport (M20) to fill up the gas tanks for the return home flight the next day.  Grayson County. is up hill - NOTICEABLY uphill, and I landed on 02 to make sure that I was going uphill to land.  We took off downhill on 20.  We got back to RR around 4:30 PM, and I put the plane away in anticipation of the CSA meeting that was supposed to start at 5 PM.

At the CSA meeting, Dave Russell (fly-in organizer, with Sam Chambers, who couldn't make it this year) talked about the history of the RR fly-in and about some of the changes that were occurring, with the somewhat more organized tent and presentations this year.  I was not aware that in the dim dark past, there had been more organized activities, which had then gone the way of the mastodon, only to be resurrected by genetic engineering this year by Nick Ugolini.  There were "door prizes" of various sorts donated by many folks.  After the meeting, most folks headed over to the lodge to stand in line for an hour or so waiting to get into the restaurant for dinner.

Jason Heath, Dennis and I decided to head down the road to "SuperStar Pizza", which bills itself as the "World's Best Pizza".  We'll get back to that in a moment.  Just after warning me about the "Hot Brown" the previous evening, I asked Chrissi about the pizza place down the road, and she just took off her shoe and asked me if I wanted to take a bite of the sole (or upper - it mattered not which).  Since the three of us didn't want to wait in line forever at the lodge for dinner, we decided to ignore her warning (which, of course, makes me wonder whether I'd have paid any attention to the "Hot Brown" warning if I had had it prescriptively anyway) and try the pizza.

Now, notwithstanding the intrinsic unmitigated gall of a pizza place in the backwoods of Kentucky calling itself the "World's Best Pizza" (not just "County's Best Pizza", or "State's Best Pizza", or even "pretty dang good pizza for folks that wouldn't know good pizza if it bit them in the butt twice and yelled 'I'm great pizza' ") THEY DON'T EVEN MAKE THE PIZZA.  It's frozen pizza that they warm up in an oven (at least not a microwave - do they have microwaves in KY?).  If you get a frozen pizza at the supermarket, would you call it the "World's Best Pizza", even in an alcohol and/or narcotic fueled haze?  I thought not.  Even if you were the "World's Hungriest Human (tm)", I guarantee that you would not have the chutzpah to call frozen pizza the "World's Best Pizza", and on a full size billboard by the side of the main road, no less.  As you may be able to discern, this prima-facie absurd marketing ploy bothered me no end.

At any rate, subsuming my principles to my hunger, I ordered a small pepperoni, BUT THEY HAD RUN OUT OF SMALL PIZZAs.  This is 7 PM on a Saturday night, mind you.  They gave me a medium pizza for the price of a small, but Jason, who ordered exactly the same thing about 37 seconds after me, was charged for a medium.  While we were standing at the counter ordering, there was a private party in the south half of the dining room with alternating 14 year old girls singing country/western karaoke - a possibility that was as foreign to me as would be my own alien abduction (for which I was starting to yearn). My mind was spinning.  Anyway, we eventually got out pizza's, which were better than Chrissi had made them out to be (they didn't taste EXACTLY like corrugated cardboard, although there was a familial resemblance) and sat outside in the waning sun having a nice discussion about civilization and/or the lack thereof in various parts of this country (the USA, for those foreigners reading this).

Jason then dropped us off at the airport and he headed off back home, his flyin over.  I took my computer over to the lodge to check email and the weather for the return trip home the next day.  I also checked in on the Yankee game - they managed to hold on and win a meaningless game against Baltimore as a tuneup for the playoffs.  The weather looked decent, as long as we stayed far enough south of the tail of a front moving to the east, but we were predicted to hit strong headwinds pretty much the whole way home.  I yakked with a bunch of folks passing through the lobby, loaned my mouse to Don Jones so he could edit his pictures on his MAC computer, and then headed back to the tent to get some sleep.

To Be Continued....

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