Monday 16 July, 2012

Day 33 – Oshkosh


I could have pushed on to Milwaukee, but I spend the night in Appleton so I can see the EAA museum the next morning. It’s home the the Oshkosh Fly In, the annual air show to end all air shows. For one week (next week incidentally) the small field is the busiest airport on the [...]


I could have pushed on to Milwaukee, but I spend the night in Appleton so I can see the EAA museum the next morning. It’s home the the Oshkosh Fly In, the annual air show to end all air shows. For one week (next week incidentally) the small field is the busiest airport on the planet and home to some of the rarest and most interesting aircraft. However, I am here to see the museum, definitely worthy of a visit just by itself.

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Outside they have a recreation of a 1930s airport, complete with a biplane that you can go for a ride in. How could I pass this up?

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The flight was amazing. We did some simple maneuvers and I was getting pretty used to having my stomach shift around in my torso. Until the pilot did a stall, which involves bringing the engine to an idle (to my ears it sounded like it was sputtering and almost off) then bringing the nose up as the plane’s airspeed slows. For a moment we hang motionless in air, then gravity takes hold and we drop nose first at the ground for what feels like a hundred feet. The increase in airspeed allows the wings to grab air and hold us aloft. The pilot brings the throttle up and we are cruising again. It is apparently a very routine maneuver, but to my body, it felt like death was imminent. Perhaps I would feel differently if I were flying, not just a passenger. I have similar feelings about motorcycles. I love to ride, but hate being a passenger.
This is a sign that could only exist in Wisconsin -

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The landscape of central Wisconsin has a certain agriculturally utopian feel. Everywhere you see quaint little farms with a barn and a silo or two. It’s a stark contrast to the massive, impersonal factory farms of the Dakotas I passed through last week. I would have some pictures to show, but I left my phone on my tailback and drove away. I did backtrack to find it. Now I’m waiting for the Milwaukee apple store to get a replacement in.

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7 Comments

  • Scott Nelson says:

    That sounds kind of like how my old (paper!) Franklin planner died years ago, and how I lost my Palm Pro (WM) at 80 mph on 101 northbound. Bummer! Good luck with your replacement.

  • Jack VanHesteren says:

    How sad that you lost your camerphone, Scott. It took great photos. Like ScottN, I hope your replacement one does as well. Super photos of the air museum, and great description of your flight. Reminds me so much of my first flight. My 16-year old pilot and pal seemed intent on seeing if he could get me to “poop my pants”, when he demonstrated how he could do “roll-overs”, “loops-forward & backwards” and “stalls”. And, when he flew out over Lake Michigan, I was so relieved when he turned back to Michigan and followed the Grand River to the pasture of Cedar Creek Dairy Farm, where we had launched. I was feeling good, until I saw the big crowd of farm folks standing in the pasture & waving us down to our landing. I think it was then that I really did the “P.I.T.P
    Jack

  • Susan says:

    Hi Scott! Mathis, AndrĂ© and I just returned from Istanbul and I am just now catching up on your trip. I’m really enjoying all the photos and your reflections as you go. Sending you lots of love, Susan

  • Jack VanHesteren says:

    Wed-7/18: Good Morning Scott. Just got off phone call w/Barbara. She now has PC again. I’ll Email you her Email address. It would be great for her to be able to follow your Blog, so would appreciate if you could add her to the authorized list. Hope you are having a super day. Do apologize for recommending you take the Northern route first. Had done that because we Southerners nearly all have good A/C. Couldn’t anticipate the temps would be running about 10 degrees warmer daily up there.!! Love, Jack&Marilyn

  • Julie Ward says:

    Did you get a replacement phone yet? I miss your posts!

  • SuserWalter says:

    Walter says OH, I LOVE THAT PLACE! He’s been and was so delighted to see the planes again!
    Sending you big Marin love along your way! Cheers from the Triple C Ranch!


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