So, I've made it to what started this whole trip in the first place. I'm in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the EAA Air Academy Lodge, for a three-day EAA Chapter Leaders' Academy.
My flight today went well, once the frost cleared from my airplane - 220 miles in 2.2 hours. It was 22 degrees in Mason City when I got up this morning, and when I got to the airport the Cessna was covered in frost. You don't want to fly with even a little frost on the wings or tail surfaces, but the sun was out and it was getting warmer. I turned the airplane so the sun could hit all the surfaces, and within half an hour or so all of the frost had turned to liquid and I could take off safely.
The Cedar River in Iowa.
This Iowa farmer clearly believes in wind breaks - and living on the Great Plains, he probably needs them.
Field patterns near Ridgeway, Iowa.
A church at the crossroads in Decorah, Iowa.
I made my westward crossing of the Mighty Mississippi this morning. At this point, it's pretty broad and filled with islands - Iowa is on the left, Wisconsin on the right.
The Wisconsin River in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Today's Rorschach Test Pond:
Skies were clear until just before Oshkosh, when a cloud layer appeared at about 2,800 feet.
Not long afterward, about ten miles out, I was cleared to land on Runway 9 at KOSH, Wittman Field, in Oshkosh.
I landed at around noon, and was met by an EAA staffer and two other folks who had just flown in. Cessna 493 was pushed into a hangar, where it will stay until I fly out on Friday (I hope - weather's not looking great).
The next hangar over is the Kermit Weeks Hangar where the EAA does maintenance on its aircraft. This is the Ford Trimotor I flew in when it visited Elmira about five years ago. Next to it on the left is an AirCam that EAA volunteers and staff are building.
This is the EAA Air Academy Lodge, where I'll be staying. There are about 40 other EAA folks here, from chapters all over the USA (and a few from a new chapter in Canada). As might be expected from that many aviators, we've been spending the evening sharing flying tales and comparing notes about our chapters.
We finished off the evening with a tour of the Sonex factory, led by John Monnet, the founder of the company and designer of the aircraft.