We began our last day of the record-breaking week in Grand Forks, my former college town. Seven cities later, I found myself home at last and in bed with a handsome man! His name is Hubby, for those concerned about his identity.
From Grand Forks airport, we flew about twenty minutes south to Fargo. As a sugar-seeking student years ago, several trips were made to Fargo because it was the only Krispy Kreme location in the entire state. It took over an hour in the car...I love flying in a jet! After just a few hours in Fargo and bumping into a UND flying buddy (we were UND Aerospace Tour Guides together for years), it was off to Omaha.
We were unaware of the city's plight, but Omaha had experienced some major flooding the past few months. According to the disgruntled fuel guy, the Corp of Engineers broke a dam and accidentally flooded the entire valley! The city proper was spared but most of the surrounding area was soaking under several feet of water. We couldn't believe the sites as we flew over them. Is that a freeway?! We found the runway just past a huge portion of the overrun river. After landing and getting our passengers on their way by borrowing a free crew car, Terry and I headed to downtown Omaha to one of our favorite stops for lunch. The Old Spaghetti Works is just fun, and the food isn't too shabby, either. After just enough time to eat and run, we were back at the airport and headed west to our next stop of the day.
We often fly to Denver, usually to this very airport on the southeast side of town. Centennial Airport is very popular as a reliever airport for the larger Denver International. It's so close to town and has taken over as the place to land since Stapleton Airport closed about a decade ago. I love this stop...they know us when we pull up and always take such great care of us at the Denver Jet Center. Since we were out of bottled water on the airplane (people drink much more water in the summer!), we borrowed a car and drove to Walmart for some supplies. After a wrong turn into a parking lot, we spent ten minutes in a self-serve storage center before finally being allowed out of the code-guarded fence. It was pretty funny after the fact, but I was imagining how that conversation would go with Big Boss. "Yeah, we're aren't at the airport. In fact, we're trapped inside a fence and can't get out! We don't dare ram the gate with this borrowed car!" Luckily, we found a way out and turned down the correct road to Walmart for water. Passengers arrived shortly after we got back to the airplane, and we were off towards the south to Colorado Springs.
Once again, because of such a short stay, the gal let me borrow the crew car for my passengers. I love preventing them them spending $60 for just a few hours of a rental car. And the passengers like free cars just as much as me! We got the airplane ready and didn't have a chance to grab a bite to eat before they were back just a few short hours later. The good news? We were on our way home.
After we arrived back in Phoenix to drop off some passengers, Terry and I loaded up an empty airplane and flew it to Mesa-Gateway Airport for some maintenance. Even though we just got it out of a big inspection that took a few weeks, we were having pressurization problems all week long. It hurt the ears of and invited complaints from passengers! After Big Boss confirmed he didn't have flying plans that coming week, we took it in for the problem to be fixed.
We landed at Mesa-Gateway Airport at 10:00 PM. I had to take a taxi back to Sky Harbor for my car, then drove home from there. I pulled into my garage at almost midnight, after being awake since 4:00 AM and after visiting seven cities. Believe me, the Oldies kept me awake and insane for that drive home!
Day Four: Grand Forks - Fargo - Omaha - Denver/Centennial - Colorado Springs - Phoenix - Mesa/Gateway
PROPER COUNTING (after much-needed sleep) REVEALED THAT WE ACTUALLY BROKE OUR RECORD! 20 CITIES IN 4 DAYS!
Phoenix - Oakland - Santa Rosa - Redding - McKinleyville/Arcata - Medford - Portland - Seattle/Tacoma - Vancouver - Nanaimo - Edmonton - Regina - Winnipeg - Grand Forks - Fargo - Omaha - Denver/Centennial - Colorado Springs - Phoenix - Mesa/Gateway