I stayed at the Best Western in Sonora.
My favourite idea is to stay at one of the other hotels
nearby the airfield in the local community.
Often when flying in the USA you end up staying at a
hotel somewhere out of town, probably in an industrial
area, or near some malls that are nearly always closed at
the times I am there, and so you do not see the local
Perhaps this is a fact of American life for many people
who commute in their cars to work and to the mall, and
when not doing so are safely closeted in their suburban
They go on vacation to see life elsewhere in the world.
It was very kind of Robert
Szego, President of the Bellanca-Champion Club, who gave
me a lift to the hotel after I arrived late in the
Saturday morning I woke up at
05:10 as there was a bang in the next room... People can
be noisy in their hotel rooms.
I snoozed a while and then went for breakfast. I saw a
real tip, a right mess, in the next room as I walked by.
The cleaning staff had a real job to do to clean up after
I am a low impact customer... I leave my hotel rooms very
clean and hardly used. I shower and sleep and try to make
as little a mess as I can.
I suppose it's pride in ones' own cleanliness.
Ted was already at breakfast
when I arrived in the hotel café.
Breakfast for me was porridge and brown toast... I've
noted that I have added five pounds to my gross weight,
mai dee, not good, I don't want to go along the road to
obesity as I see so many of the denizens also having
At the airfield the gate was
closed to the camping side, and we didn't know the
code... So we drove back to the 'terminal' side.
It was nice to sit in the shade in front of the FBO
building and chat with people there.
I spoke to a Filipino lady who had arrived there two
A four year old boy was kicking a plastic bottle cap
around... This wasn't very aviation, but I suppose he
could play for the USA in the world cup one day...
I went inside to buy a quart of oil and while I was at it
I bought one of those $1 foam plastic fighter gliders. I
bought a Bearcat thinking it would be more American, but
in spite of the packet there was a Spitfire inside.
I assembled the glider and gave it to the four year old
to throw around for as long as it lasted.
This years' fly-in was well
attended with a lot of very nice aeroplanes and a lot of
good fellow aviators. There were even a few, just a few,
who were not grey haired.
Ours is an aging enthusiasm and it is sad to see
recreational aviation and passion for aeroplanes showing
I suppose life has become so much more competitive and
work/career orientated that people don't have time for
such a commitment. Cost is also a factor, but I, like
many of my generation, was poor when I learned to fly,
but we did it anyway!
Boxed lunches were dished out; I
had a beef sandwich in mine... I don't usually eat a lot
of beef, but I've had a fair amount lately.
Pao gave up eating beef when she learned to fly, and I
respect her for this, so I have not eaten a lot of this
meet since I met her. Perhaps I am wrong, but the way
beef is raised has given me cause for concern. I wonder
whether the apparent increase in deseases such as cancer
has come from the foods we eat?
Time to walk...
I walked across the airfield, through the FBO, and down
the path between the exposed rocks to the main road into
I am a walker, I walk miles and miles, and sometimes I go
out for lunch and can't decide and simply walk and walk.
Columbia is a gold rush town which has turned its history
into a tourist attraction.