First Trip to Paso Robles

We had flown to Bakersfield a few times to see my family, but never to Paso Robles to see my wife's family (who live in Atascadero). So one bright early Saturday we took off to Paso in the same plane we had just flown to Bakersfield a few weekends before.

If you read these stories (and why wouldn't you?), you know that I was not thrilled with that plane. The rudder was off and so was the compass, plus it only has a two place intercom, so I tried to get it switched to a different one. No luck, nothing was open for the entire weekend. But, supposedly the rudder had been adjusted. No word on the compass, but I could get around that with VORs and nav aids. So ok, we can make do.

The rudder actually had been fixed, which was nice. The compass was still iffy, but I knew it this time and could deal with it. We had a pretty uneventful flight down, except I kept getting blown west of my plotted course. But made up for it, and we took a fairly stragiht line to the airport in Paso.

It's a non-towered airport, but a large one. I came in behind two other guys, and did a pretty nice landing, and fueled up and parked. There's supposed to be a tie-down fee, but I asked a worker in the terminal (I think he was a bartender) where I was supposed to pay for it, and he said I didn't have to. Ok, you're supposed to be able to trust bartenders, so I was cool.

We had a good time with Pam's parents, then the next day came back to the airport to leave. I went out to pre-flight the plane, and there was a note stuck on it that there is a $3 parking fee, and I was to go to building whatever to pay it. And if I didn't pay, they'd track me down and it'd be $5! So much for trusting bartenders. :-) I walked over to the building to pay, and they said I was fine, don't worry about it. Maybe you can trust bartenders... I'll know when I get a bill in the mail for $5 for running out on the fee. :-)

Anyway, the trip back. We took off, and my son Chase took some pictures of the runway. They'll be interesting to see, since he's too short to see over the front of the plane, he just held the camera up. [Actually they came out pretty good. Three of the dash and a few good ones of the airport. They're on the airports page.] We headed out back the way we'd come, more or less - no wind today, so I wasn't being blown around. It was hot, though, and I wasn't gaining altitude fast enough to make me happy about flying over the mountains. There was a low spot in the mountains to the east, so I hung a right and went that way. When we got through, I turned back northish to intersect the original route, and we flew pretty much straight home from there.

It added maybe 15 minutes to the trip, but I think that beats hitting a mountain. We would have probably been fine going on over the top, but "probably" isn't good enough when my life, not to mention my wife and son's, are on the line. So next time I fly out of there, I'll probably plan on flying through that gap.

So then we get back to Ranch Murieta, and my parking place is gone! They have a new 150 (well, it's not new, it's older than dirt, but new to the club) and it was parked in my spot. So I parked where I could, and the tiedowns weren't all there. Whatever. :-) We got the plane parked and the stuff all put up, so it's all good.

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