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Two Week Flying Vacation - Day 5

Date: July 25th, 2012

Guessing what time we awoke on Wednesday, July 25th will be left as an exercise for the reader. We packed up and drove to the airport, all of three miles out of town. We took off around 8 AM, heading almost due east to Pipestone, MN. I chose Pipestone as a stop for four reasons.  First, it's almost exactly 1/2 way between Custer and OSH. Secondly, it seemed to have restaurants in town. Thirdly, they have a free crew car/loaner at the airport and last but not at all least, there's Pipestone National Monument there for a sidetrip.

The plan this day had originally been to stop in Pipestone, wait out the airshow at OSH and then fly into OSH and set up camp. Deanie wanted to minimize the number of nights in the tent, so I made arrangements to stay over in Baraboo, WI for the night and since I don't like circuses, there was nothing attracting us to Baraboo early in the day.

At any rate, other than a bit of moderate turbulence and light rain when crossing a front in eastern SD, there was nothing memorable about the flight from Custer to Pipestone (KPQN).  Flat, flat, more flat, and increasing green. We cruised at 9500 or 7500 ft (descending as the ground did) and got to Pipestone around 11:30 AM (time change). Fueled up for the flight to Baraboo, took the crew car and went to eat at Lange's Cafe. The food was OK and the service was friendly but poor - it reminded me a lot of Tehachapi.

After lunch (urp), we headed over to the Pipestone National Monument to learn about Native American prayer pipe quarrying and manufacturing. Apparently, the great majority of prayer pipes are fabricated from red pipestone (a soft rock) quarried here (and here alone).  All the quarrying was (and still is) done by hand - no machinery is used. When you see the effort that people are willing to put into obtaining a special material to be used for spiritual purposes, it makes one think about what's truly important. There's an interesting museum with a short movie about the site - worth stopping at, for sure, and a place I would never have run across or gone to had I not been looking for somewhere 1/2 way between Custer and Oshkosh.

After the museum we headed back to the airport, returned the car and took off for the beautiful and well appointed Baraboo, WI airport (KDLL). Flat, more flat and increasing green once more. Hey - lakes! After landing at Baraboo and tying down, I called the cab company to get a ride to the Best Western.

Me: "Hello - we're at the airport and need a ride into town"
Them: "Airport? - which airport?"
Me "The Baraboo-Wisconsin Dells airport"
Them: "Where is that?"
Me <inside my head> "Are you f*&%king kidding me?  Have you ever been here before?  You work at a damn taxi company"> <from my mouth> "about 3 miles north of town"
Them: "Oh.... Let me see if the driver knows where it is...  OK - he'll be there when he can"
Me "What does "when he can" mean - 10 minutes?  30 minutes?  4 hours? Can you give me a clue?"
Them: "I don't know - he's got some rides before you".
Me <from my mouth> "Sigh - great, thanks". <inside my head> "I will crawl through this f*&%king phone line and strangle you with your own hepatic portal vein after I strip it from your abdomen"

So the guy running the FBO (Bill Murphy - Baraboo-Dells Flight Center, Inc. - yes, that's a plug) heard this conversation with the nice lady who had obviously just fallen off the turnip truck and offered to drive us to the hotel in town. We thanked him effusively and I called the nice lady back and told her not to worry her pretty little head about us - someone who actually knew where they were was going to help us.

Bill dropped us off at the hotel and then offered to pick us up in the morning on his way to work at 7:30 AM.  Holy crap - this guy needs a Nobel Prize. We relaxed at the hotel (very nice, by the way - if you need a place to stay in Baraboo, the Best Western is spacious, in great shape, and cheap. We walked across the street to a restaurant, had some dinner, watched some baseball (thanks, and free Wi-Fi) and went to bed. Apparently there were T-storms through the night with very large hail, but it missed the airport and the airplane was undamaged.

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