Tough flying today! We started the day in Medford, Oregon with an eye toward making Portland around a little after lunch. Fat chance of that, as it turned out.
We flew for an hour and made our way along Interstate 5 because that’s the safest way for us to make it through the mountains down here. We got an hour into our flight and it was pretty clear we weren’t going any further for a while. We landed at a place called Roseburg because the clouds and low mist were blocking us from going any further.
It was really humid and cool. I’m glad I had full carb heat on because my engine stumbled with ice as we descended to get beneath the clouds.
We were delayed by 3 hours, or so, at Roseburg. But it wasn’t a total waste of time. We met a father and son who were flying their 1945 Piper L-4 from San Anantonio, Texas to Vancouver Pearson Airport, the same destination as us today. They have a Continental A-75 in the plane and cruise at about 65 mph. They left when we went in for lunch with the airport courtesy car, but we saw them on the ramp as we passed a place called Creswell, just south of Eugene.
We left Roseburg with about 8 miles visibility in haze, which improved to maybe 10 miles at some points in the afternoon. But we were fighting a 20 to 30 mph headwind! It was really frustrating to know we still had nearly 170 miles to fly against that wind. And it was bumpy, too, from the day-time heating and the wind coming over the mountains.
We had hoped the wind would die off the closer we got to Portland, but no such fortune befell us. We had to land again at a place called Albany for fuel and then had another hour and a half to go.
About 23 miles out of Portland, we called Portland Approach and they vectored us right over the city and nearly the downtown core to right over top of Portland International to put us onto a long final for Pearson’s runway 26. It was pretty cool seeing 737s landing and taking off beneath us we sailed overhead at 2500’.
The landing at Pearson was a really tough bumpy one, especially since the last little bit is an approach right over the Fred Meyer store parking lot on a hot afternoon. We finally hit the runway at 4 pm.
All in all, it wasn’t a really pleasant day of flying. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better, especially since we only have 180 miles to fly to Snohomish Harvie Field. We’re going to stay 2 nights and tour around Seattle. Geoff wants to see the air museum there, but I may just drop him off and do some other sight-seeing because I’ve seen the museum a few times already.
Here are some photos. One of me in the cockpit today; a shot of Geoff as we’re leaving the mountains just south of Eugene; a look at the first wisps of the low clouds that held us up so long in Roseburg; the last ever L-4 at Roseburg; a shot of downtown Portland and the Willamette River (we drove over the arch bridge in the shot on our way back from dinner in downtown later in the evening); and finally, a look at the view over top of KPDX. Note the 737 just entering runway 28L for departure.
More updates tomorrow, boys.