After brunch, we made our way back to our Camp at Keystone Heights. There we met the airport manager who extended all of the FBO facilities to us that included the Washer, Dryer, and Showers. All of which were very much appreciated by all.
We spent the rest of the day catching up with our lives and I spent time calling the many people to thank those who had helped along away and my sponsors. This included a gentleman who Greg had arranged a Hadron 3 spare wing from in Texas which fortunately was never needed. I later went on to collect the lines that Shannon Michels had made from a guy in Pensacola since they didn’t arrive in time to grab along the way.
That evening we cooked a team dinner and continued to spend our time catching up with friends and family.
The Next Day
Ray made arrangements for his family to fly into Orlando, while Greg & Cynthia made plans to fly home to Canada so they could complete quarantine before Christmas to join the family.
Laundry was a big thing too! We all desperately needed it so Tom & Cynthia helped do load after load. Ray spent a huge amount of time rearranging his trailer which would soon host him, his wife, and three kids.
My time was spent getting material for reporters & sponsors before talking to reporters and other interested parties.
The Day After Next
Flight arrangements made, we needed to get Greg and Cynthia to the airport super early and pick up Ray’s family in the evening. We departed Keystone at 4am and made the trip down to successfully drop them at the airport before making our way to a local Walmart to do some food shopping.
Submitting Flight Data for the Official Records
Tom and I spent the day working on the arduous task of preparing all the information and data to be submitted for several records we hope will be accepted and recognized. I can’t thank Tom enough for putting up with me during the stressful time which required submission within the 48 hour period allotted.
That evening I also got to catch up with a friend I hadn’t seen in several years.
The Balance of the Trip and Returning Home
Ray and family in tow, we headed to the beach to do some general sightseeing while I took care of a bald tire on the camper. Later we joined up near Cape Canaveral to watch a launch and did a tailgate dinner – so much fun and cool to watch. That night we made our way south about an hour and camped in the parking lot of a small municipal airport.
The following days our R&R continued all the way south to Key West. There I got permission from the tower to Fly, but unfortunately, the ramp agent didn’t want us taking off from there, and thus it turned out to be a no-go.
The next couple of days we pushed back north towards Tampa and the kids got to see alligators on the side of the road during a pee stop.
Later we made it to the City of St. Petersburg: Albert Whitted Airport. Once again we were pleasantly surprised to have an open restaurant and for the receptionist to let us use the parking lot and the FBO to do the Our Paramotor Nation show with David Wolf, John Rippa, and Dave Ruff.
We were joined virtually by the rest of the team as we shared some of the crazy events of the trip. We had a blast on the 2-hour show. A Big Thanks to David Wolf who went all out to make the show so amazing!
The following day we pushed to Lake Wales where we dropped off Greg and Cynthia’s Paramotors with Travis Burns from OneUp Adventures before settling in for the coming days of SIV which I had arranged with Andrew Fuller at SkyLab SIV where I had done my previous SIV training.
Over the next two days, Andy put us through several maneuvers and I moved up to doing SATS. We had a great time and learned a great deal.
Next stop – CloudBase PPG with London Ivy where he assisted us to do a Prop Thrust test on some props I had been asked to try out.
As always the stories flowed. His incredible aviation career is astounding and he kept us entertained for several hours. We also got to see a project he was working on – Reaction Simulator. The tool provides a tablet-based experience for pilots to be challenged with scenarios and see if their reactions have the desired outcome.
Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers
Next we had a long drive to North Carolina to Kitty Hawk and the Wright Brothers Monument where we even managed a flight around the field. So Much History!
The next day we started our drive heading west with a stop in North Carolina to see Heidi’s (Ray’s Wife) family. Then on to New Orleans will I made a stop in Pensacola to pick up the Hadron replacement lines.
After a stop outside of New Orleans, we headed to Springhill, LA, and saw Mr. Kyle O’Glee of The Kyle O’ School of Paramotor where we would spend Christmas.
On to David Ruff (Trike Flyer) where we learned about his farm, took a flight, and also met up with his amazing family who has a hotel that was absolutely amazing.
The following day we left heading in our respective directions – Ray to Wyoming via Denver and I via Albuquerque where I would have an engine light on my truck looked at. The problem was more severe than expected and forced being held up until News Years Eve before I finally got on the road.
I arrived back in Northern California on January 1st to end an amazing 6-week life experience that couldn’t have been possible without my Amazing 50xChallenge Team’s sacrifices, or the Sponsors and Supporters.
I simply can’t thank anyone enough for one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
Thank You Everyone!!!
… Especially my Mom, who had so eagerly followed my progress despite the risk something would go wrong
Adventure before Dementia! And if I should die sooner, be sure to drink to me and say ‘Thank God, he’s gone!’. I don’t want a funeral or sad memorial but rather people celebrate the things we do and only remember the happy Times.Harley Milne