GAN contributing writer Amelia Reiheld is participating in the Air Race Classic with partner Linda Keller. Here’s their latest blog post, Electrical gremlins persist — and lots of miles yet to go: Our mechanic friend, the so-kind Rocky Rexrod of Dumas, Texas, had his head buried in our airplane until midnight last night. He was doubtless hoping to sleep in this morning. Alas, it was not to be.
We launched from Dumas at 7 am, headed for a restart at Borger, Texas, and found that despite our six-hour drive to Lubbock yesterday to buy a new alternator and regulator, we still had problems. The same problems, in fact. Back we went to Dumas, and here we sit. No replacement circuit breakers anywhere within 500 miles, apparently, and now we’re waiting for the airport manager to return with hangar keys, so Peter can be robbed to pay Paul. SOMEbody in there is bound to have a couple they’re not using anytime soon. Even so, at 10:30 and counting, with no breakers yet found, it’s looking mighty dismal for our chances to reach Mobile before 7:58 CDT, which is our final finish time. But we WILL fly this race, just for our own satisfaction.
Nice man at Anywhere Map has given his thoughts, and if we ever get airborne, we’ll have some new tricks to try to make that box show its amazing pictures for us, so we can see what weather, especially near Mobile, lies ahead.
The scenery around here, except for the occasional small town dwarfed by its neighboring refineries, is desolate and dusty. Rocky says, “We haven’t had a drop of rain here since October. The Panhandle is dryer than Death Valley this year.” The nearby reservoir appears to be about a quarter of its usual size — lake bottom looks like a grassy valley. The huge blades of wind generators just south of Dumas flop lazily around and around, rather scenic, in a way. This would seem to be great wind-power territory — the wind, even early this morning, was out of the south at 20 gusting to 26. Come to think of it, every windsock I’ve seen in Texas has been straight out. But it’s sure sunny, much to the locals’ distress. A motel sign near Amarillo yesterday, asked motorists to “Pray for rain!” Will do.
Hope the next post has miraculous good news. If not, well, it’s been fun, and a wonderful learning experience.