We had a great night in Lander even if the beer does have a tendency to go to your head a bit when you are at 6000'.
We were awake again at 06:00 and did the standard prep for the flight. The only change being that we filed the plan from our room since AT&T doesn't have any coverage in Lander so our cell phones didn't work.
We gassed up the mighty Buick crew car and returned to preflight the plane. I needed to get rid of some rubbish and make a pit stop so I went into the tiny terminal. The door had a sign saying to renter the Tarmac the code was 3522. As I entered I tried the handle.. It was free so I didn't take too much notice. Oops. So obviously when I went to leave I was stuck. Hmm.. Er 6722.. No.. Er.. Bugger. Forgot! So I frantically waved out to Derwood in the hope he would look over. Fortunately it didn't take long before he did so he came and rescued me. What a dufus!
07:30 and we were rolling down Lander's runway 03. Another high altitude takeoff so I just gently let it lift itself off and climb very slowly while it gathered energy. The density altitude was 7000'. Interesting stuff.
Anyhow, in moments we were heading West again and making a slow climb to 10500. Another issue we are noticing are highish Cylinder Head Temperatures here. I like to climb it very slowly with an indicated airspeed of about 120knots. It keeps the temps down and you make reasonable forward progress while having a good visibility over the snout. It seems to work out well. The climb rate isn't high like,that but we don't need it either.
The flight up the valley toward Dubois was very pretty with some terrific colours in the rocks and soils.
We slowly climbed the little machine up to 10500', the highest it's ever been. The granite was stretching skyward so ten five was about as low as we could get over the rock. The top or the saddles we flew over were quite remarkable in that while it was high, it looked like fairly flat land with trees, grass and streams.
No sooner than we got to 10500' and we were on our way back down again in order to join the circuit at 7600' without being at warp factor 10. The controller at Jackson seems perplexed that the foreign registered aircraft was so small. I guess he's used to a lot of executive jet traffic.
After touch down we were guided into a park with all the big money. Obviously Jackson Hole is popular with the rich. We can always imagine I guess.
The FBO staff were great but since we aren't really used to the idea, and I still don't really understand it, so we did most of the 'putting the aircraft to bed' ourselves. The staff just chatted and gave us a lift to the FBO building.
We signed up with the FBO and walked up to the terminal to get our car.
The bartender from the night before had given us a great tip for a breakfast spot so we headed that way. What a neat spot. A great view of the Tetons while eating pancakes. Nice!
We went for a bit of a drive after that to find our hotel, even though it was too early to check in then when for a look at Jackson town.
What a cool little town.mit is very much Cowboy country with wooden sidewalks and all the old style buildings. The more modern buildings are more of an alpine style of log and stone. It's a really cool little town. It's a shame they let cars through it really as I think it would be awesome if they closed it out for vehicles. The amount of traffic through there is very high and it's kind of a shame. Still, it's fun.
The scenery is certainly very beautiful. What I say next is not meant in any way to detract from this but is more of a description for NZ bound readers. The feel is a lot like the Southern Alps of New Zealand. One of the Peaks of the Tetons could easily be Mt Aspiring. While they are obviously taller, the basin elevation is higher also so it appears similar in height to Mt Aspiring.
One river running through the valley could easily be the Kawarau River. The area is a lot bigger and has a more wide open feel to it. It is also a lot hotter than anywhere in the southern Alps would achieve.
I think we are both getting a bit punch drunk with all the sights and scenery that we have seen. It it a great primer for future holidays but I think we won't truly understand it all until we've had a chance to reflect in coming months.
I just heard from Alfred's daughter Sara, so we will catch up with her and her family tonight for a couple of drinks.
Tomorrow we are off to Provo for a night. I'm not really sure what to expect. It was plucked out of nowhere as just being kind of in the right place for where we need to go. Fingers crossed.