Saturday morning the Pepper Spray Express took off for great rural Vicksburg, Michigan, the home of Jon and Mariann Barnard. We had a great time hooting and hollering at their awesome lakefront home, and the boys (Adam Yates, Tim Smith and Frank Haxel) got a good idea of what inland lake living is all about.
We flew in Tim's Piper Cherokee. The flight to Michigan was uneventful and we landed at Three Rivers Airport with no issues. Coming home yesterday morning, however, proved to be interesting.
|Zig zaging our way home ....|
"I won't go through orange or purple," Tim said. We assumed he meant really bad weather. We were good with it. He even made sure to know where some of the local airports were located in case it was too much to fly through.
We started heading south just after clearing Chicago and all we heard was Tim talking about "gaps" and "stair-stepping our way through" the storms. After getting permission to deviate from the original flight plan, Tim steered south until he saw a "small gap" near Decatur.
"It's gonna get a little bumpy, boys," he said.
This was our fourth trip with Tim and we've experienced "a little bumpy" before. Tim merely shrugged and sang along with the music on the radio like he didn't have a care in the world. I'm not sure what the other guys did but I closed my eyes and got ready for "the roller coaster," as Adam put it.
"Man. Can you feel that air pushing us up?" Tim said.
Yes, Tim. We can. Maybe it was my head hitting the roof of the plane three times in a row, or me looking for my stomach we'd left behind a few knots.
In the end it wasn't so bad. We had a few minutes of bumping around and then Tim said "Hey! We can see the ground!" and we assumed that was a good thing. It was.
Geesh. What a great time! We floated around the lake all day and played music all night. Some of us got to bed a little later than others. And we made it home in a quarter of the time it takes to drive. And didn't get stuck in traffic.
A little weather ain't gonna stop the Pepper Spray Express!