We took a relaxing trip to the beautiful Mendocino Coast in February, staying for a couple nights at the Stanford Inn, a “Historic Farm & Eco-Resort”. The weather was a mix of rainy skies on the day of arrival, with cool weather and sunshine on Sunday. The hotel was “top notch” and very relaxing. Taking a walk around the quaint “downtown” of Mendocino to all the shops and cafe’s was very pleasant. Not too many tourists in this “off season”, but that is an added bonus to anyone (like us) who want to experience the tranquility of the surroundings. The Pacific Ocean was gorgeous as usual, and the sea breeze absolutely refreshing. Our drive from Cloverdale off Hwy. 101 took us through beautiful scenery, redwoods, rivers, and vineyards, passing Boonville and the Anderson Valley. It was only about three hours each direction, and we had almost no traffic until returning to the area well south of Santa Rosa. Just before crossing the bridge, we stopped for a much needed coffee and snack in Benicia. Quite a wonderful and romantic trip!
I had the field to myself of Friday around noon… a break in our recent heavy rainstorm allowed me to get in a bit of practice. Sue filmed my landings from the ramp next to Runway 19L. Landings went well, and the air was calm. The carpet in the plane got wet in the baggage compartment due to the whopping rain over the last couple days. And during “run up” prior to take-off, the engine dropped 400+ RPM’s with the initial application of carb heat. I taxied out “lean” and did not notice any hesitation in power. However, the conditions may have been pretty ripe for carb ice. I did a much longer pre-takeoff check with high power to bring the engine temp up a bit..and soon the engine resumed normal operation. No indications during the flight of any ice either. A fun practice flight.
We’ve had a week of winter weather, which in the SF Bay Area is not “snow” but rather rainy conditions. To add to the mix, we have had some very strong winds (30 kts) on some days, and then periods of calm. However, with the winter temps and the rain, we get our annual “valley fog”. So the airport goes marginal VFR, to IFR, and back to MVFR during the day. This photo is Saturday afternoon where the air was cold and damp, with clouds rolling in. Five hours later on after dark, the sky was crystal clear and starry. By morning its fog again. I can’t wait for a nice day to go FLY!
January 9th, we’re in the middle of an entire week of wet, rainy weather. There have been heavy rainy days, with a lighter day, then rain again. Today was supposed to be the “clearing up” part of the last band of rain, with tomorrow being “partly cloudy”…but this afternoon it came in again pretty strong. No flying in this stuff.
Kealy likes to bring dirt clods into the house. Mostly we intercept them. Funny that he has such a love for them.
Of course, he has that look on his face that says “Is something wrong?”