Aug 09 2012

San Franciso – > Las Vegas

Leaving Hillview this morning I flew over to Calaveras (CPU, .5 hrs) for some cheap $4.95/gal gas. It is located just north of Columbia on the way to Las Vegas.


It was a bit hot there…
After leaving on my IFR flight, ATC had me climb up to 17,000 ft. Wow! I have never cruised this high, and I am really glad I had the power to get me there, although the bird wasn’t too happy. As I was getting closer to the pass, the controller kept asking me increase my rate of climb and the best I could do was about 300 fpm.


I never appreciated all the complains I heard from western flyers about high oil temps. Mine got up to 240 for a while in a hard climb, 215 when I had to slow the climb and finally 210 in cruise. On the east coast I rarely get up to 190 f in cruise. Most of the 2.5 hr trip was at 175 kts at 6.5 gph. There certainly is something to be said for flying high for fuel efficiency.
Again the terrain was stark and unforgiving. I sure will be happy to get back to the southern states where it is flat with lots of airports to divert to. You westerner’s can have this high rugged flying!



Later after talking again to the locals, I found once more I took the worst route possible. Right over the top of the Serria Nevada mountains and Yosemite National Park. The minimum in route altitude was 17,000 ft. If I had traveled a bit south of San Fran THEN headed west I could have avoided the high mountains and flow at 9000 ft. This is another flight where I am glad I made it, but probably would never do it again.
When I arrived in Las Vegas I found it to be UNBELIEVABLY hot. When I landed (over 110f). Dry heat yes, but at 110 it is just freaken hot no matter what.




This city is just CRAZY with people. I remember it from a few years ago before all the development on the strip and it was busy, but it is now like NYC on new years eve. Las Vegas Blvd (main drag) shown here has 12 lanes of traffic. It doesn’t have cross walks, it has elevated walkways at each intersection with elevators to get to the higher second level. Crowds of people gawking at the sights with overly crowded sidewalks and whacko street performers,


Want to to get your picture taken with such as the half dress cupids. Why not? The things people do for $$$ At least it is legal I guess.

It is just plain nuts with traffic and people and this is a week night. I am told it gets even busier on weekends and when the weather is better. I guess the heat is why I picked up a room for $24/night. While I was here, I took the opportunity to see a show which was the Blue Man Group.


The architecture here is just incredible This place truly is a wonder of the world.



I wouldn’t mind visiting Las Vegas again at the right time of year when it is not so hot and crowded. It would be nice to spend a few days and with proper planning one can see a lot of shows in a 3 or 4 days.
For now, a
s great as this place is, I cant wait to get out of here tomorrow morning (early) to head for Sedona for lunch and then to Phoenix area. It may be hot there, but wont be so crowded.
I am now heading east toward home and as much fun as I have had, meeting terrific people and the unforgettable sights, the fact I am heading toward home makes me anxious to get there.

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