Tuesday June 13, 2006
What happens in Vegas (New Mexico)
A totally enjoyable flight. If only all of them were this nice. Wheels up at Santa Fe at 6 am, landed at Las Vegas, NM (LVS) 2 hours and 13 minutes later, knocking another 60 miles off the trip. The wind was still calm upon landing, and we discussed refueling and pushing on to Springer, only 65 miles north, but then found out that Spring is closed. Going all the way to Raton would have put me there at almost noon, and odds are the thermals and wind would've kicked up by then. So tomorrow I plan on flying nonstop from Las Vegas to Raton (RTN), about 110 miles.
The air was smooth the whole flight, and the scenery is changing from brown with various other shades of brown, to green! Trees and other growing things are covering the hill sides. Although we're still at an altitude of almost 7,000 msl, the mountains are now to our west. We're headed north now, through the Raton Pass, the last high pass of the trip, and soon we'll be turning east. Although I'm sure I'll enjoy occasionally flying through mountains and valleys for a day or two on future trips, I'm quite sure I'll not want to fly through them again for a whole month. The flat topography to the east looks quite inviting.
Las Vegas Municipal is a very nice facility, especially given the remoteness of its location, and the small size of the town. Las Vegas does have two essentials: A Super Walmart and a Dairy Queen. Seriously, the airport personnel have been welcoming, and the local newspaper is sending out a reporter later in the day.
Michael has been endeavoring to video during some flights, and is doing an admirable job. It's nice to have a wingman, especially when out over hostile looking country.
Another big push tomorrow, and soon we'll be in Colorado.