After an enjoyable trip from Seattle to Long Beach, CA in the summer of 2010 to visit our son, daughter-in-law and grandson #1, it was time to visit our daughter in northern California, as she had recently moved from Boston.
Flight Day #1, Leg #1 – Renton, WA (KRNT) to Grants Pass, OR (3S8)
We loaded up our Warrior with our clothes and some gifts and wine for Theresa and took off from Renton into a hazy summer morning sky. From Renton we headed to Lake Tapps, Thun Field (KPLU), and flew a long leg direct to Scappoose, OR (KSPB), climbing to our 7,500 ft cruising altitude. We had good views of Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Mt Adams and Mt Hood, but had some haze from recent forest fires. We continued west of Portland direct to Salem (KSLE), then to Eugene (KEUG) and Roseburg (KRBG). We descended into the mountain valleys generally following I-5 south of Roseburg, and entered a left downwind for runway 31 at Grants Pass. We filled up at the self-service gas, and Ma and I ate lunch inside at local FBO's back lunch area, to escape the 90+ degree heat outside. 3.2 flight hours for the leg.
Flight Day #1, Leg #2 – Grants Pass, OR (3S8) to Concord, CA (KCCR)
Took off from runway 31 at Grants Pass, circled in a left climbing turn to gain altitude due to the high density altitude. Climbed en route to Medford (KMFR), then began cruising at 7500 ft, with lots of smoke at altitude due to forest fires on the California border. Continued past Ashland (S03) through the Siskiyou mountains into California, past Montague (1O5) and Weed (O46), with decent views of Mt. Shasta. We had much clearer skies south of Dunsmuir (1O6), with great views while cruising by the Castle Craggs, about 15 miles southeast of Shasta. We continued south overhead Shasta Lake, then overhead Benton Field (O85), Red Bluff (KRBL), Haigh (O37), Colusa County (O08), then generally direct to Concord with flight following from Travis Approach. Descended over the National Defense Reserve Fleet at anchor in Suisan Bay, and entered a right downwind for runway 31R, the only active runway at Concord. 3.2 hours for the flight. Parked for the weekend at Sterling Aviation, where Theresa met us for our weekend in the Bay area.
In Oakland, we enjoyed visiting Theresa, and enjoyed the drop in temperature from 93 degrees in Concord to 70 degrees just a few miles southwest over the hills in the East Bay area. Over the weekend, we enjoyed great seafood and wine for dinner at Lake Chalet, took a long walk/run around Lake Merritt, shopped (OK, the girls shopped) and dined in Petaluma, enjoyed a fun hike around Lake Chabot, and savored Theresa's excellent Chicken Wonton Tacos. It was a great weekend!
Flight Day #2, Leg #3 – Concord, CA to Grants Pass, OR
Loaded up the Warrior with goodies from Theresa for an early morning departure from the short runway 19L at Concord. Flew a downwind departure to the north, with flight following from Travis Approach into very smoky skies. Cruised to Colusa County, finally getting above the smoke layer at 8500 ft. Very low visibility laterally. We continued north past Haigh, Red Bluff, Benton Field, Dunsmuir, finally getting a view of Mt. Shasta as we approached Weed airport. Continued north past Montague and Ashland, and finally got better visibility over Medford. Descended for a straight-in approach and landing on runway 31 at Grants Pass. 3.0 hours for the leg.
Flight Day #2, Leg #4 – Grants Pass to Bremerton (KPWT)
Refueled and enjoyed lunch with Ma outside the airport FBO. Departed from runway 31, and made a 360º climbing left turn to gain altitude over the mountains en route to Roseburg. Had much improved visibility in Oregon, cruised at 8500 ft to overhead Eugene, Salem and Scappoose, with excellent flight following from Seattle Center. Cruised into Washington, and started our descent near Olympia to a downwind entry for runway 19 at Bremerton. Filled up at the self-service gas, and had an excellent halibut dinner at the Airport Cafe. 3.0 hours for the leg.
Flight Day #2, Leg #5 – Bremerton to Renton
Took off from runway 19, flew directly to SeaTac for a Mariner transition, then flew from downtown Kent directly to final for a straight-in to runway 34. Five great flights made for a very enjoyable 4-day weekend trip!