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Two Week Flying Vacation - Day 2

Date: July 22nd, 2012

We woke around 6:30 AM in Sedona and drove up the hill to the airport. We returned the car, preflighted the plane, and were off the ground around 7:15 AM. We used about 3500 ft. of the 5K ft. runway to lift off (4800 ft. elevation, 200 lb. below MGW, 7000 ft. DA) heading west, since if you take off to the east you're pointing directly at hills about 2K ft. above the airport elevation that are only a couple of miles away. Clearing the runway, the ground drops away about 500 ft. to the town level, and we turned northeast over the canyon walls and climbed up to 9500 ft. We passed Mormon Lake and passed over Meteor Crater as we headed to Winslow and I-40 heading east again. Meteor Crater is one big damn hole - one day I'll have to make it there on the ground, rather than just flying over it.

After passing Holbrook, we flew over the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert to the north. Even after eight or ten flights over the area, I can't get over how beautiful it is to fly over the western part of the country. Then past Gallup, Grants, NM and past Mt. Taylor on the way to Albuquerque. We turned northeast near Double Eagle airport, to the west of Albuquerque and followed I-25 north to Santa Fe. The single controller handling both ground and air traffic at KSAF was completely overwhelmed by the three planes in the air and the two on the ground that were looking to take off, so we circled out of the Class D airspace for about 5 minutes until he regained his composure and allowed us to follow a C-172 in for a landing in 5 mile trail (can't get too close, you know).

We fueled up the plane for the next day's flight, added a quart of oil, got our rental car and headed in to town. This was not to be a car tour of the countryside day - it was to be a town/museum day. Santa Fe has an "old town" historical area. It's pretty touristy, but also has some interesting old stuff as well as museums. We parked the car, had a picnic in the park next to the courthouse, and then started walking around. Deanie's been wanting to go to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum for about 6 years now, but we got waylaid by the NM Museum of Art on the walk over. Turns out to be a GREAT, interesting place, with lots of local art. Then the O'Keefe Museum, which was also very interesting. We checked into the motel, relaxed a bit, and then went out for dinner. Some more wandering through town and then we hit the sack.

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