Is it August Already?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Beaver Dam, WI

Both of us were happily surprised at how much fun we had at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh last week. Despite being camped in an open field, without any hookups and closer to neighbors than we'd normally prefer, the overall experience surpassed our expectations. We got caught up with all the latest activity in the aviation world. We saw the best in areobatic flying. We saw WhiteKnight2 and the Airbus A-380. We got to know new friends, reconnected with old ones, and enjoyed time with family members that visited the show. Everyone was in good spirits, sharing an interest in aviation, and enjoying the creativity of people with a passion.

Because we were camped almost a mile from the flight line there was no lack of exercise last week. I'll bet we often walked 4 or 5 miles a day. And while the weather was not hot and humid, as it often is in early August in Wisconsin, being outside, on your feet in full sun can sap some energy too. The result was a couple tired bodies by mid-week when we slowed down a bit and found a new way to see things... by wandering around at a much slower pace. Hmmm, sounds like a microcosm of our lifestyle, doesn't it?

We struggled with the load of stuff we wanted or needed with us as we visited the show each day. Things we'd like to have with us included chairs, our big Canon SLR with the big telephoto lens, binoculars, hats, sunglasses, water bottles, and a diddie-bag for all the little things. On the other hand I hate being burdened like a pack mule, especially when it's for a full day. So we'd compromise, taking the big camera some days and not on others. We took chairs some days and sat on the grass on others. I never took the big binoculars. From watching others we learned about a folding chair/backpack called the "WearEver" chair. It's a nice sized comfortable chair that folds up flat, has shoulder straps like a backpack, and has a sizable covered pack built into the back of the chair. It looked like the perfect solution for those long days at the show. I think we'll have a couple of these before next year.

Our last full day at the show was Saturday. On Sunday, JT & Kaytlyn came down from Appleton, and Dar and Kaytlyn drove to the Milwaukee area for a baby shower. Justin and I wandered around the flight line for a few hours taking in the displays and the constant comings and goings of old and unusual flying machines. He hadn't been able to get down to the flight line before this and we really enjoyed the time together.

The campground was emptying quickly and by the time we walked back to camp about 2pm, the bus-house was nearly all by itself in the middle of the big field we were parked in. The bus-house had already been made ready for travel so in a few minutes we, too, were rolling. The drive to Beaver Dam is only about 50 miles. After stopping at a county campground for a bus-house fluid exchange we arrived at the farm and backed onto our pad by 4pm. We'll be here for a short week before heading to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area on Sunday.

Yesterday, Monday, I had to roll out of bed early and get over to Juneau, WI where I had an appointment with a mechanic/body shop to install the base plate on the new toad. This base plate is the hard fixture that the tow-bar connects to and makes towing the car possible. During the process of attaching this device much of the front end of the car must be disassembled. Between the base plate and some wiring that's necessary for the taillights to work properly when towing, it was a full day job. Except for a little clean-up wiring that I'll do myself today, the car is now officially toad2 and is ready for towing. I'm planning to do a test run with the bus-house later in the week to make sure all systems are "go".



Slightly Better than Most