The first day of the trip is under our belt. It was a hell of a day of flying, for sure.
We decided to cross the Divide via the Crowsnest Pass route to Cranbrook. We scraped through between the clouds and some convenient saddles between mountain peaks. Luckily, the clouds were building, but not dropping. Very exciting mountain flying, but not dangerous. We got to chat with Darren Scarlett a bit, too, because he was up flying high west of Calgary.
We each had crappy landings at Cranbrook. We had trouble with the pumps at Creston, but we got that sorted out and then hopped he 3.5 miles to the border strip at Porthill where we entered the US. Really easy crossing, and the border people were excellent.
The flight down the Creston Valley, over Sandpoint, and into Coeur d’ Alane was terrific, even though we had a pretty strong headwind at altitude. Lots and lots of flooding in that valley, same with the Kooteney valley near Cranbrook.
The scenery we’ve seen today has been indescribable. From the Cowboy Trail to the high mountain peaks, to the fertile valleys, it’s been simply spectacular. I really think it’ll be hard to match anywhere else on the trip. Got lots of good video and I’m really looking forward to putting the video together.
Tomorrow, we’ll do two hops; from here to Richland, Washington, then on to Bend, Oregon. We flew nearly 5 hours today with the longest leg being Kirkby‘s to Cranbrook about 2:20. Hopefully, tomorrow won’t be as long. We’re both knackered.
We met guys in Cranbrook who’ve heard of the CRUFC and are pretty interested in the trip. At Creston we met some guys from Lethbridge, too; namely Ron Janzen and his partner. They bought Troy’s RV-7 and both know Darren Scarlett. It was nice to see them again. They’ll be coming up to Kirkby’s breakfast next weekend.
This is a truly terrific adventure, already. Both Geoff and I have been this way before, but tomorrow we’ll be venturing into places we’ve not been yet. Luckily, they won’t be so humid as some of the places in BC were today.
Gotta get ready for tomorrow. I’ll try and do a daily post to keep you up to date.