This post is for Baylie, our Golden, and the best dog ever.
I explained it to St. Peter,
I’d rather stay here
Outside the pearly gate.
I won’t be a nuisance,
I won’t even bark, I’ll be very patient and wait,
I’ll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I’d miss you so much, if I went in alone,
It wouldn’t be heaven for me.
This past weekend was probably the last cool, dry one we see until late October. With temperatures in the 70’s and dewpoints in the 50’s, it was a great time to immerse ourselves in anything aviation.
Saturday was the Second Annual Seaplane Fly in at the Tavares Sea Plane Base (FA1) on the shores of Lake Dora, in downtown Tavares, FL The stiff breeze kept many of the smaller light-sport and experimental aircraft away, but the ramp was still busy. My favorite was a beautifully restored 1944 Grumman Goose, which started its career in the US Navy. The crowds were enthusiastic, and the food at ALS’ lakefront restaurant was good as usual.
Sunday morning I flew a friend and his 8-year-old son on a short trip down to Bartow, (KBOW), for breakfast. The ramp at Bartow was surprisingly quiet, and it’s clear that high fuel costs are taking its toll on general aviation. The KBOW control tower is now closed on weekends; a sure sign that private flying is struggling in this economy. One-hundred low lead, averaging over $5 per gallon, has much to do with a dearth of pilots flying these days.
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The food at the Bartow restaurant was very good and the service attentive. If you ever get an opportunity to land at KBOW, there is a nice aviation museum in the general aviation terminal. Bartow was an Army Air Corp training base in the 1940’s. There are photos of Gus Grissom, who trained there long before he became an astronaut. He later perished along with two others in the capsule fire at Cape Canaveral during the Apollo program.
Once we landed at Leesburg and taxied back, we pushed 85Kilo back into her hangar, and wiped off the bugs off the leading edge of the wings and horizontal stabilizers.
That afternoon, the three of us met up back at our horse farm and spent some quality time with our golden retriever, Baylie, (aka The Bay Dog) before going on a trail ride. Baylie was enjoying the breeze, and surveying “his” estate and “his” horses for the last time, from the shade of the tack-up shelter.