Leaving Tracy, Minn, we knew early on it was going to be a long rough flight.
30 Knots on the nose all the way, and almost three hours later (to cover 215 miles) we felt mugged. But tired and happy to finally see the burial place of the famous Lewis and Clark guide, Sacajawea.
The airport manager, Virgel Linling, was very accomodating, and advised that plans were afoot to build a pavillion that would have showers and bathrooms. The future of Mobridge Airport. The main runway was closed but the grass strip was available.
After a steak dinner at Virgel’s favorite restaurant in town, we were ready to crash (bad word to use when associated with flying).
We learn from our mistakes. We decided to not dillydally in the morning, and get off early (for us) to take advantage of what is normally smooth air. So even tho the surface wind was strong from the north, it was steady. We had to takeoff from the grass strip which was, fortunately, directly into the wind (15k). That runway has a small hill of grazing buffalo off the departure end. Actually, it’s a continuation of the uphill runway. It was great to land on, because we didn’t roll far at all. Takeoff was a different matter. When we arrived we’d burned a lot of fuel, which is heavy. Taking off, we were as heavy as we ever are on this trip – near max gross. Sooooo, we taxi to near the end, and add power. Danielle took forever to hit 60, and it just didn’t look right. So, Gary got to see our first ‘high-speed’ abort. Taxi back for another go. This time to the last blade of grass.
And we were off – to the beautiful little town in far-western South Dakota, Spearfish.