Idaho Flying Trip August 25, 2016

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Woke up to nasty weather in Chillicothe MO - worse than when I arrived yesterday. One mile visibility and 300 overcast in moderate rain. I arrived at the airport at 8:00 am to return the courtesy car but couldn't leave until the ceiling and visibility reached 1500 and 5 miles which happened about noon. It gave me time to carefully consider my route, catch up on my logbooks and do a thorough preflight.

Here's what it's looked like at 8:00 am. Once I took off I found that the overcast was lower outside the airport and had to do some ducking and weaving to the southwest toward Kansas City until I got clear and turned northwest on course.
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I was able to get above the broken cloud layer in smooth, cool air at 4,500 feet. A nice little tail wind (finally!) gave me a ground speed of about 105 knots. I had filled all 4 tanks at Chillicothe so I decided to go direct Sidney NE non-stop to make up for the late start. The trip took 4.5 hours. Here's the Missouri River where I crossed into Nebraska. I flew parallel to the Platte River part of the way. It looked like an Alaskan river with lots of branches and gravel bars. Once I got into the foothills and rougher, rising terrain I climbed to 6,500. It was windy and turbulent. The draggy tundra tires kept me from exceeding maneuvering speed (125 mph) although I got close a few times. Fortunately, I was able to keep the blue side up.
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Eventually I left the rough terrain behind but the turbulence got worse. Nebraska has a lot of farm land. Arrived at Sidney NE about 5:20 pm and landed in a stiff crosswind on their grass runway. The folks at the FBO couldn't have been nicer. They towed the airplane into a transient hangar, loaned me a courtesy car and put my bags in the trunk. I read a lot of good reviews of this FBO on www.airnav.com and I agree with them. I was able to book a nice, but expensive, room at the Best Western Plus. Did you know that Cabela's has a huge store and campground here? I'm not sure if it's their headquarters but it sure is big. Here's a shot of the Best Western.
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