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Photo Log from the Trip
(click on the photo for a higher quality image)
We covered a total of 383 miles at a lightening fast average of 44.9 mph for a total time of 8.5 hours in the air!
What little sleep we did get before departing was taken in the airport. Randy confessed to snoring so some how he ended
up in the comfort of the pilots lounge while I dozed off to the sweet smell of oil in the hanger..
We had these grand plans of departing 30 minutes before sunrise, but 'things' just kept cropping up!
Once in the air we flew straight to Tuba City. With a 5mph tail wind behind us, we made not too bad time.
I was glad to snap these shots of Randy and Dave so they can show their buddies at work .. "look we
really do go flying on the weekends!".
Approaching Tuba City, we came across this wonderful ridge. Looking on Google Earth, it runs for about
30 miles or so. In hindsight, we would have cut out of our way a little and followed the whole ridge
but then again in hindsight, I would have bought Google shares in back in '04 and sold them in November 07.
Somehow I always have 20/20 vision when using my 'hind sight'
We decided to do our bit for Tuba City airport and pull a few weeds from the runway.
Randy went one step further and used his toxic potent chemical spray,
making the place look like a Japanese Garden.
Konichi Wa Randy !!
Dave Simmons flew down from Page to Tuba City to meet us in his Challenger.
I've never personally met Dave before but exchanged a few emails with him.
We flew up to Page to meet him (actually we really went for the scenery, but don't tell Dave that!).
What a gracious man Dave is. We had full access to his hanger, his lovely wife sorted out a hotel
for us, and to top it off Dave lent us a spare car so we can get around town! Thanks Dave!
We were about to leave Tuba City and I flooded my engine. Dave pulled the plugs and we cleared out the
crank case and got the old Rotax turning over again. Reading this you would think it was a 2 minute affair,
but by now the generator (aka sun) was well above the horizon and we were going to get into Page just before lunch.
As we were at the tail end of summer, we were going to have a rock and roll ride in and boy did we have one!
Once we departed Tuba City, we flew up over Echo Cliffs. It was so amazing to fly these Cliffs because
I distinctly remember last year driving along the road below with John Cortsey and fantasizing (no not about John!)
about floating along the ridge. As I was filming this section of the flight, I was really excited to see how it came
out when we landed in Page. Of course, what can go wrong, will go wrong. Turned out that when I put the camera in my
bag at Tuba City, somehow I knocked off the video input cable!! Luckily Mr Dixon got a few nice shots.
At the time, I was really bummed out about this !
We finally made it to Page! It was quite an adventure landing as by now it was lunchtime (aka big time thermal activity!)
and all the
Grand Canyon and Lake Powell tour planes were out in full force! Added on to that was the fact that I
could not receive radio transmissions made for a fun and 'finally got there' landing.
We had these dreams about a smooth afternoon flight over Glen Canyon and quick landing at the bottom
of Marble Canyon, but alas the winds were really against us. Not to mention that, ANOTHER video cable
came loose (this was the connection at my hang junction) and all the footage from the wing tip cam
had static through - you can see this at the end of the video above. At least I got the classic shot
of Dave Dixon over the Dam! When we landed Dave was so happy to be back he kissed the ground!
(or maybe he lost a bet from Randy ... I did have to cut him out of the side of this shot .. ;-)
That evening we stayed at LuLu's Sleep Ezze Motel. What a little gem of a place!
We bought some corn and steaks and that evening the owners cooked up a big BBQ for everyone
(Dave and Randy were the only American's staying there so we met a plethora of worldly people)
I wish we got some video of us all, it was really unique.
Anyway, today we managed to get up at the crack of dawn (much to the dismay of Dave in the video!).
We flew the ridge all the way down to Tuba City. The air was smooth, the temperature just right,
a perfect flight! Randy and I managed to line ourselves up to take the photo with him silhouetted against
the rising sun (remember, I couldn't receive any radio transmissions!)
We had a quick stop in Tuba City, topped off the tanks and departed.
Luck would have it, that we would be battling an 8mph head wind.
I kept looking at my GPS and estimated arrival time and felt I may end up on a dirt road a few miles
short of Holbrook if this kept up. I leaned up the bar to keep my speed at 40 mph.
50 miles into our trip we pickup a 10mph tail wind and then it was smooth sailing back home!
Oh yeah, I left my flying boots back in Albuquerque (I was really bummed out at the time and a little stressed!).
Turned out that 2 pairs of thick wool socks and a garbage bag over each foot kept them nice and warm with
my sandals on.
The dogs finally made it back to the Kennel! You couldn't ask for a better bunch of friends to share
a trip like this with!
Damien states: Ross, thanks mate! Hey I would love to fly up from your place through Namibia. I love checking out that landscape from Google Earth...If your ever down this way, get in touch. November 11, 2008, 7:01 am
Ross states: Well done Damien! These videos get better and better! I am from Cape Town, South Africa, and to me your desert land you fly through is just amazing! Sure we have flat open land here to, and one hell of a lot of it
But the desert has a feeling of its own! I hope to fly with all of you some day! Ross November 7, 2008, 11:09 am
Damien states: Frode - thanks!
Stephen - so now I will not be lying when I tell people that I am a porn start November 1, 2008, 2:07 pm
Stephen Thomson states: My daughter spotted me watching your videos again and said this stuff was probably more dangerous to me than porn...They just don't understand, do they.....? Great, Damien...great! October 31, 2008, 7:34 am
Frode states: Beautiful! Your'e an expert on editing, the best. Thanx October 16, 2008, 3:43 am
Damien states: mack2fly - cheers! glad the video helps fill the time in before flying.
mikehuckle - Thanks for the run down on your favorite bits. Helps me when putting the next video together. I have a feeling it will not be long before Spencer is flying me.
Alex Rudd - thanks. October 12, 2008, 9:27 pm
Alex Rudd states: Well done great one October 11, 2008, 2:51 pm
mikehuckle states: Thanks for sharing another terrific video. My favorite bit was from 2.49 to 4.12 while the Italian guy is singing, and culminating with a nice shot of the runway on approach.
Other niceties were the camera aimed at Damien, and his been able to talk to us from the pilot's seat, and when you said "let me get a shot of Randy",
the display of the resultant photograph was cool! Missed seeing Spencer, but I guess he was not there.
Mike October 10, 2008, 6:48 pm
mack2fly NL, states: Hey Guys,
Another great video.........keep em' comin'. Watch them while waitin' to fly!!!!! October 9, 2008, 7:01 pm
Damien states: Andy - cheers, and my apologies about the coming winter up there!
Brett - good luck with the solo, soon enough you will be tearing up the Perth skyline!
Mark Poliak - I got lucky on the Dixon fly by the sunset shot. He didn't even know I was filming. Just pulled into Holbrook and saw the beautiful sunset, lined up the camera and next think you know Dave flew by! Absolutely great!
It was a bit chilly in Holbrook in the morning, but warmed up soon enough. Wouldn't want to fly with open feet. No Hare Krishna movie part, but maybe on my next flight I can recite the Maha Mantra to put me into that higher state.
Dougie - Thanks buddy! We will have to catch up again soon!
P.S. Good to see all those leaving comments got past basic arithmetic October 7, 2008, 9:03 am
Dougie states: Big smiles on this one great job October 7, 2008, 12:38 am
Mark Poliak states: Damian,
As always, another great job! You are getting awesome at the sunrise and sunset shots. But what about D2 at the Dam! Dam, what a shot! But the best is your summer "boots"...glad to see it is warm enough not to have the old rubber Klondike boots in the trike or are you trying out for a Hare Krishna movie part?! Seriously, nice job and glad you had fun. And thanks for sharing! October 6, 2008, 11:18 pm
From Another Perth Ozzy Boy states: Damien, how inspirational that you demonstrate how much fun you can have with some friends and a trike. Me...23 hours up and looking forward to going solo. It can't happen soon enough - Brett October 6, 2008, 9:50 pm
Andy in UK states: Nice one cobber :-) October 6, 2008, 5:01 pm
Damien states: Frank - thanks. We had so many nice photos, it seemed a shame not to share them. I will give you a call, we are planning on heading to Gallup in a few weeks.
Ron - I thought of you a few times, so you were there buddy!!! (actually now that I think about it, I was really thinking about Ronda, that lovely lady from .. anyway, that is another story ;-)
BIM - thanks ! October 6, 2008, 3:09 pm
BIM states: absolutely beautiful !!!
what an inspiration !
thank you for sharing. October 6, 2008, 12:11 pm
Ron states: Awesome! Very good. Damien you make me wish I was there man! October 6, 2008, 10:18 am
Frank states: That was a great trip Damien. Your videos are always so good. I like the photo log format too. Good job. When is the next XC trip planned? I would like to meet you dog flyers somewhere. October 6, 2008, 10:09 am
Damien states: Stephen T - My sincere apologies for ruining your week. Hopefully in the future I will get to ruin more of them
Robin Hood - as always - thanks.
Yanis - cheers mate. I forwarded your email on to Randy.
martyn pontypool GB - If I remember correctly, it is only getting worse across there with the coming months!
Herb - Cheers! October 6, 2008, 8:09 am
Herb states: Another great video. Thanks for sharing. October 6, 2008, 7:43 am
martyn pontypool GB states: Well done Damien, just the tonic for our wet dark windy nights. October 6, 2008, 5:41 am
Desert Hawk states: Hi Damien, I wish I was there with you guys maybe next time, I am Yanis Randy's Friend from Yuma, Thanks for sharing your adventures with me.
Hawk October 6, 2008, 3:59 am
Robin Hood states: Yet another absolutely breath-taning video. Well done!! October 6, 2008, 3:21 am
Stephen T. states: Your videos just keep getting better with each one finished. Thanks, Damien, now I'm ruined for another week... October 6, 2008, 2:49 am
Damien states: Dave Simmons - thanks for the hospitality. Randy and Dave, who cares what your ex-girlfriends say about you, you guys are the best October 5, 2008, 10:07 am