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Round Two: 2009

Round Two: 2009
Click the Logo to Learn More About This Historic All-Women's Transcontinental Air Race at the ARC Website

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Resting in Racine

According to some, our day today could have been called grueling. The heat was nearly unbearable, the humidity was wretched, the legs were long and the winds weren’t favorable. But we smiled most of the way. And the Velociraptor hummed along like a champ. We swear, that airplane LOVES to race....

So we had another gruesomely early morning (this time without breakfast) to head to the Grenada, Mississippi airport in the wee hours of the dawn. The mosquitoes were out in full force, though Kelly swears that’s not what they were. But Erin is a mosquito smorgasbord – that’s what they were….

We had a little time to zen out while we were prepping for take off, which is always a nice way to spend a morning. Out on the ramp with anti-bug cloths in hand, watching the sunrise over a little airfield. Few better ways to start a day, we think!

Our flight en route to Sparta, TN (SRB) was uneventful and we were happy with our performance. A quick turn in SRB to gas up, empty bladders and go was all we needed before blasting off toward Jacksonville, Illinois (IJX). The highlight of this leg was that we managed to not get shot down by the unscrupulous prison guard who has it out for local air traffic. We were briefed in Denver before the start of the race that one particular guard has threatened to shoot at planes flying by the prison yard, which happens to lie underneath the final approach for the main runway into IJX! So Erin built a fix into the GPS with the latitude and longitude of said big house, just to ensure that we didn’t stray too close, which worked like a charm!

After a snack, a break, more debugging (it never ends!) and a few checks of the weather we decided to go on one more leg up to Racine, WI (RAC). It was a bit more interesting than many of our other legs because of the busier airspace up near Chicago (and it kept airline pilot Erin on the edge of her comfort zone!). Flying VFR under the Class B shelf of Chicago isn’t fun for those who aren’t fond of VFR flying to begin with!

The approach into RAC nearly resulted in a dual fly-by, but we managed to squeak past the Cessna in time to have the fly-by to ourselves with them hot on our heels. The folks at RAC were happy to have us and delighted to tuck the Deb into a hangar for the night. The Wx here (that’s aviation for weather) is lovely and we don’t expect any issues for tomorrow’s last leg out to Iowa for the finish line.

We know this entry is a bit dry and the photos not up to their usual standards, but it’s late, we’re under-slept, the camera had intermittent fits all day today and sunrise is rapidly approaching. So goodnight for now and thanks for the vibes!

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