Wednesday, July 27

Getalong Little Dogie

This mission is Air Power in Cheyenne held at the Air National Guard Base there. Crew consisted of Zane Lemon, Tom Taff, Jeff Selby, Lewis Drake, Gene Christian and Dave Buffington. Cabin Service provided by Deanna Lemon, Marti Taff and Sheryl Christian.
Much preparation went into this trip as there was a 30 hour inspection that had to be done and several minor maintenance items to attend to. Zane, along with American mechanics Carl Weber and Greg Petty, had been working on these things in the days leading up to the trip. On Monday, Zane, Dave, Lewis, Gene and Jeff worked long hours in the 100+ degree heat to tighten up bolts on the engines in an effort to reduce the loss of oil. Then they had to replace the engine cowlings. As always, these things take longer than anticipated and it was past supper time when the task was completed.
Everyone assembled at the plane at 6:15 and we launched at 7:30. Temps in the cabin were warmish, but not uncomfortable. We refueled at Hobart, OK where it was cooler, overcast and breezy. The land we passed over was sad, dry and barren. Most all of the stream beds were dry. The land was yellow or brown. Drought was evident.
Several people had brought food and upon leaving Hobart, we fell on it with reckless abandon. Great sandwiches, fruit, snacks and especially those cookies. It was only 10:30, but our breakfasts had been in the wee hours. The cabin temperature cooled down and it seemed to be naptime (except for those flying, of course). In no time at all we landed in Cheyenne where the weather was pleasant.
There we were met by scads of male and female soldiers in dashing flight suits at our beck and call. Some of the show participants were practicing their air moves. The one that astonished us was a plane that had smoke trails on each wing, leaving a double trail in the sky. These trails then broke up an formed smoke rings which he would come back and fly through. I saw him go through a stack of four of them.
We cleaned and spiffed the plane inside and out, then made off to the Holiday Inn. Larry Jamison has joined the group, having flown in with a friend who was participating in the air show. Dinner was at the Bunkhouse Bar and Grill, a real authentic rustic eatery about 17 miles outside of town, where some had eaten on previous trips here. Food was good and there was a band. Clientele were real Wyoming ranching type folks complete with hats and boots. The vistas across the rolling countryside were lovely. The sky here is very, very big with no trees to break up the view and the colors were subtle and wonderful with blues, lavenders and purples in the sky. After dinner, most of us retired early, but a group led by Buff went out to prowl the streets of Cheyenne.

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