Monday, August 20, 2012

2 hour rule

This weekend we had planned a little family camping trip to Mendocino, a friend was having 100 odd people out for camping, mountain biking, and general fun romping through beautiful forests filled with 400 ft high coastal redwoods.  Easy flight, only 110 miles by air which is 45 minutes max.  I planned it out, figured out the fog patterns for KLLR which would put us an easy 20 minute drive from the site, coordinated a shuttle and we were good to go... the morning rolled around and I dutifully loaded the car with the stuff my darling wife had sourced for the trip... for our two night camping excursion I spent the next hour stuffing the car with enough stuff for a family of ten to survive an Alaskan winter.

We had the biggest of big suitcases stuffed with clothes, all manner of sleeping bags, thermarests, lanterns and stuffed animals, bags of food and booze, pillows and lord knows what else.  Once we had it loaded and set out for the airport I made the mistake of thinking... gee, my plane can easily fit it all, but did I really want to unload/load the stuff I had just loaded?  And then 45 mins later unload/load it yet again into the shuttle?  And then unload/load it from the shuttle to the campsite?  Maybe it would be easier to just have the car there...  it was then I uttered the words a pilot should never utter... "Maybe we should just drive".

The next 5 hours were spent in miserable bumper to bumper traffic, road construction delays, "are we there yet" inquiries, peepee stops and the worst... multiple child vomit launches induced by 2.5 hours of two lane, curvy roads that would make even the most stalwart acro pilot sick.  There I was, kicking myself the whole way wondering what kind of idiot signs up for this when he has a perfectly amazing magic carpet sitting in the hangar.  Now I have a dust covered and filthy puke smelling car and for my trouble I burned an equivalent amount of gas.  New family rule... if it's more than 2 hrs weather permitting, we FLY damnit!

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