The rest of June, 2011
The second week of June was one of relaxation for us. We headed over to a fly-in in Vidalia, Louisiana. The Redneck Fly-In is a well-attended powered parachute and general aviation fly-in. I had flown there in the Starduster in 2010, but this year was a bit different. I had loaded up the karaoke system in the truck and didn’t want to make Rachael drive by herself again, so we caravanned with another friend and made the six hour drive down to the Louisiana/Mississippi border.
It was a GREAT fly-in - for many reasons. First, we were able to see a lot of our friends that we haven’t seen in a while (since we spent most of last year working on our airport). Second, we stayed at a nice hotel that sat on a bank on the east side of the Mississippi River. The river was still swollen to flood stage and, for a while, we were a bit worried that the levee’ would break and inundate the town of Vidalia, La. If the levee’ had broken, the Vidalia airport would have been under at least 18 feet of water. Thankfully, all of the earthen dykes held and we were treated to views of a VERY full Mississippi River.
Since the river was full, that meant that the tributaries were also at flood stage. That meant that the alligators that lived in the area would be a lot easier to spot because they would move out of the fast moving waters to the more calm backwaters. We saw a lot of alligators. This was the first time that Rachael had seen wild gator.
One of the *best* parts of the trip, however, came when Rachael went walking around the hangars one day. She came running up to me and excitedly asked me to come with her. We walked around the back of a hangar to find that the airport had recently replaced all of their lights - and all of the old lights were just sitting around in the back of the hangar!!!
Now, I’m very proud of our solar-powered runway lighting system, but it still leaves a little bit to be desired. Although I have no problems landing there at night and it’s absolutely no problems to depart after the sun has set, the runway is very difficult to find at night. I talked with Carl, the airport manager about the lights. He was happy to “sell” them to us for a small donation to the airport fund. We will go back later and pick them up. More things to build!!!
Here are a couple pics of the flooded Mississippi River around Vidalia, Louisiana along with a couple pics of indigenous life forms that habitate in the area.
The rest of June started a big spat of hot, dry weather. In fact, 100+ degree days became the norm. It was too hot to do much work out at the airport. There wasn’t any rain, so the grass isn’t growing much. In fact, the carpet of green that I had become quite proud of was quickly turning brown. There wasn’t much that we could do at this time except to watch it wither and die. We went out once or twice, but didn’t spend much of the rest of the month at T14. I used the time to get my business obligations met.