The Sunday weather, which heretofore this year has consistently found weekends to be the perfect outlet for a week's worth of suppressed lacrimonious outbursts, exceeded all expectations and defied all forecasts. In a word, it was splendid. The preflight DUATS session was nothing more than a formality, what with the Weather-out-the-Window fairly strutting its splendor. There is the question of NOTAMs, though, and one really ought look in order to keep the whole deal legal in the eyes of the all-knowing, all-powerful FAA. Just in case the need for a little CYA comes along, really.
So there I was, scanning down through the page after page of NOTAMs, mostly to ensure that Dear Leader had successfully repaired back to the cloistered ramparts of Washington DC and taken his onerous TFR with him, when I happened across this:
Versailles OH (Darke County) [VES]: June NOTAM #283 issued by Dayton OH [DAY]
- Aerodrome closed except prior permission required 937 - 417 - 5907
There's not much you can say to that other than "Awww, crap."
Now my boy Cabot may just be a young whelp, barely dry behind the ears, but even he can tell you that there's more than one way to gut a $6.95 puppy toy. While flying would have been preferable, I was not about to allow the focus on flying take precedent over the goal of the day which, as we all understand, was to sacrifice some measure of refined petroleum in pursuit of comestibles. Sure, the letter of the agenda could be met through the simple expedient of cooking my lunch on my propane cooktop, but when it comes to sacrificing the efforts of billions of diatoms, my altar of choice is and will always be a motorized vehicle. And, as millions of penguins have discovered before me, if you can't fly, you drive. Or in their case, walk, but you get the point. Cabot and I would take the Miata.
I have a nice route that I take that avoids highways and almost all towns. It's scenic and fun to drive, although it can be marred by getting caught behind a slow poke. Being still somewhat early on a Sunday morning, we made it more than halfway before encountering any kind of obstructing vehicle. Much to my chagrin and Cabot's enormous delight, the blockage in question took the form of a very recently used manure spreader. Keep in mind that one of the defining traits of a convertible is that you can see, hear, and smell everything when the top is down. Cabot, who clearly felt that our time spent drafting in the malodorous trail of the farm implement was the very highlight of the day, was as annoyed at our eventual passing of it as I was overjoyed. Only to catch up with this behemoth just a handful of miles later.
Note that the brake lights are illuminated. They must have been on some kind of automatic flashing circuit since they came on every 50 feet or so. Naturally this was a nice, curvy part of road with double yellow lines prohibiting the resumption of fun driving. Not even Cabot found this in the least bit amusing. It went on for miles. But, as they say, this too shall be passed, and we eventually were able to get around it.
It could have been worse. We managed to avoid the worst of the equine rush hour.
Although I think Cabot may have enjoyed tailing behind one of those for awhile, given his odd tastes.
The rest of Cabot's day was spent trying to move fast enough to negate any advantage the auto-focus on my camera may have had over him. For the most part, he succeeded admirably. It was nearly impossible to get a picture of him playing that was anywhere near in focus.
He sure was worn out when we got home. It was a full half an hour before he was rested enough to get back to surgically removed the squeaky heart of his puppy toys.