Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Rainy day so time for an update

We are currently sitting in a farmers field near Raven Alberta while attending another fun fly, or will be if it ever stops raining!

So this is what we have been doing since the last update.

Once we left Kamloops, we spent a few days in Vernon to visit with parents as we likely won't see them for a couple of months. After that it was on to Princeton and the Spring Warm Up Jet Rally. Before arriving there though we stopped and spent a couple of days at Bromley Rock Provincial Park. This is a small park consisting of 17 campsites and a day use area along the Similkameen River about 20 Kms East of Princeton. Before booking this location though, I had some concerns about if our rig would fit. Chris called the campground operator and they recommended only 2 sites. The first was #1, right off the highway. We picked that one as if worst came to worst, we could easily back out if necessary. #1 is a back in site and wasn't all that hard getting into, but it wasn't all that easy either; back up a hill and around a big fir tree and then watch the steep bank in the back corner.  


Once set up we explored a bit and came to the conclusion that #1 was the only site that would have worked for us. The rest were down a fairly narrow road with trees on both sides and low branches. We also discovered that our back up plan for egress would have to be used. There was a tight corner at the end of the road with a big tree right on the inside edge of the corner. I am not sure I would have been able to get enough clearance to swing around the tree. This was on Monday, May 16, coincidentally, my 65th birthday. As such, we we eligible for the BC Parks senior rate, half price!  Gotta love it!
The next day, we had to make a quick trip to Oroville Wa as I had ordered a couple of solar panels to replace the ones damaged on our way home from down south. The rest of the time we just spent relaxing. There was no cellular coverage there either so we were essentially off the grid for a couple of days. On Wednesday morning we pulled out (by backing out of the park) without trouble and moved on to the Princeton Airport and our first R/C event of the season.

We were the first to arrive and set up in our usual spot. A few hours later Paul, the event coordinator showed up and we proceeded to get things set up for the weekend. Thursday, the first official event day, others started to show up and we got the event rolling.

The weather wasn't the greatest but at least the rain held off for the most part and we were all able to get lots of flying in. It felt good to get my Elan back in the air after such a long break. I am happy to say, it ran and flew like a champ. My other jet, the 'Baby Boomer', unfortunately not so much. I just could not get it to start at all. I know the engine in it is pretty much done, but this basically decides things.

After Princeton, on Monday morning, we packed up and headed back to Kamloops for event #2. 


This is the Kamloops Model Airplane Society Spring Fun Fly. This is the event that Chris and I ran for probably 10 years before we went full time. Since then KMAS member, Andy and his wife Chris have taken it over and are doing a superb job.
The main event doesn't start until the Friday so for the rest of the week things were pretty quiet. Our friends Walter and Scott and their wives from the coast arrived a bit later on Monday so we weren't totally alone. One thing about Walter and Scott is that they like to fly early. They were both typically out flying by 6AM. Fortunately they both fly electric so didn't disturb us late sleepers.
By the weekend there were about 12 or 14 RV's and many of the Kamloops club members out flying as well. The weather was superb and I think only one minor crash!  KMAS put on a Friday night appy party, a Saturday dinner and Sunday pancake breakfast. By all accounts, a very successful event.

Again, the Monday after this event, we packed up and headed to event #3. This is the Grindrod Airforce, Spring Float Fly, held at Sandy Point campground just West of Salmon Arm. The roots to this event actually started about 45 years ago in the mid 70's on a different area of Shuswap Lake at the resort where I grew up. It was started by the Kamloops club of the day, the Kamloops R/C Modellers. We hosted it at our resort for about 5 years before Mom and Dad sold the resort and retired. It stayed there for a few more years then moved around a bit before settling at Sandy Point. By this time, hosting had been taken over by the Grindrod club.
Frequently, the spring event suffers from a lack of beach due to the spring high water. This year though was the lowest I can remember the lake level for this time of year. There was plenty of beach.

After getting the trailer set up, I dug out my aircraft and started putting them together. I was quite looking forward to flying my big Super Cub again after almost 3 years. I had run the engine up earlier while at Kamloops so felt it should be OK. After checking things out I took it down to the beach and after some further final checks, took it for a flight. It flew just as I remembered; slow, easy and majestic. This thing is a joy to fly, nary a bad habit at all. Between it, my Cessna and a couple of flights on others aircraft, I got quite a bit of flying in.  As the week progressed though, the cub engine starting acting up. At first, just the occasional miss, then more often and finally towards the end of the meet it just quit on me and I haven't been able to get it to fire at all since. I am suspecting an ignition issue of some sort but troubleshooting it will have to wait a bit.

Saturday afternoon, we packed up as we wanted to be on the road fairly early on Sunday. We had a few stops to make in Kamloops before heading North to our next event. This time a Grand Design Rally in Spruce Grove AB.  This is several days drive so we had planned to make our first stop at a small roadside pullout we have used in the past in Blue River. It is far enough off the highway and behind some trees so the road noise isn't too bothersome.  

Monday morning, we carried on and then turned East at TĂȘte-Jaune Cache. After a brief stop in Hinton for a bite to eat and a laundry stop, we carried on for another 30 minutes or so to a spot Chris had spotted earlier. It was a small lake just off the highway with several RV spots near the lake and some more a bit further back. When we arrived it was raining fairly hard, so guess who got to set up and disconnect. Of course, just after I had finished it stopped raining.

One of the local couples also stopped by to show off their family.


We stayed here and explored a bit for a couple of days before carrying on to our rally park in Spruce Grove.

This was to be our 3rd Grand Design Rally and the first one in Canada as well as the first one at an RV park. The first 2 were both in the Arizona desert outside of Quartzsite.  It was also a bit smaller than the previous 2 as well with about 50 rigs registered if memory serves. The first 2 were between 120 and 150. Once we had registered, we were escorted to our site and got set up. Through the rest of the day, quite a few other GD rigs were arriving and by nightfall we had quite the community. While the rally didn't officially get started until Friday morning, we did meet a few other folks including the rally hosts and the Grand Design rally coordinators.

One thing Grand Design Rallies are known for is that Grand Design and their local dealers will bring their techs out to the rally and do emergency repairs, recalls and other critical fixes for attendees. This is usually at no charge to the attendees.  With us, we had started to get trailer brake warning messages on the truck indicating an intermittent problem with the brakes.  We were able to get one of the attending techs to look at it and he completely re-spliced all the brake circuit connections under the trailer. Not a fun job which took around an hour. Not sure yet if that resolved the issue or not. Time will tell. Even if it didn't, it narrowed it down by eliminating one problem area.
There were also a couple of seminars and round table discussions I participated in which were quite productive.
Depending on dates and circumstances, we will definitely look at attending again next year.

Monday morning, we packed up and headed off to our next event (am I starting to sound repetitive?). Next up is the Valley of Hope Fun Fly hosted by the Rocky Barnstormers R/C club who are based about 30 minutes WSW of Red Deer, AB. Our weather started out quite nice and sunny but the forecast was for a massive rain event to hit the area later that day. Sure enough, by the time we arrived, we barely had time to set up before the rain started. We did get a break later in the evening, but overnight it started up again with a vengeance. I am writing this about 2:30PM on Tuesday and it hasn't stopped raining since about 9PM last night. My weather station is showing about 60mm since midnight. That's over 2" for our southern readers. Also very windy with steady wind of about 20 KPH and gusts up to 50KPH.

This is a screen capture of the AccuWeather radar about an hour ago.  We are just down and to the left of Red Deer. That storm is rotating anticlockwise and slowly moving towards the West. If things hold we should get a break in a couple of hours.