John's Most Excellent Adventure

Last updated by CraigV Comments (5)

Categories: Trike Talk, Cross Country / XC


John Williams set out June 6 in his Revo, flying from Williamsburg, VA towards New Braunsfel, TX. A family friend Kenzie, is along for the first part leg of this trip as they fight their way through the awful weather that has been pummeling the East and Southeastern parts of the US. Here is a link to John's blog about this walk - (fly) - about. Follow John as This Most Excellent Adventure unfolds.
I also left June 6 from Lodi, CA to meet John in New Braunsfel. The biggest challenge so far has just been getting out the hangar door (Well that and downing a shot like a Real Cowboy! I'll tell you about that in a moment.). 
Two weeks before leaving,I damaged my prop on a trip around the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Luckily it's a Warp Drive Prop and I was able to send it by Two Day Air to Daryl at Warp Drive in Iowa, where he repaired it and sent it back by Two Day Air also with a couple days to spare. But then things got strange.
An ordinary muscle spasm in my back kept growing and growing and getting more and more painful until I was laying on the floor of my bathroom throwing up from the pain. Is this what a heart attack feels like? I threw up about 30 times from the pain and at that point was finally able to be driven to the ER. My heart is great and all I needed was DRUGS...NARCOTICS. OMG it felt so good to not hurt --- lucky I don't have an addictive personality. 
So a few massages, a transition to Advil and and a couple days to shake this all off and I'll be ready to go...right? Well, I thought so anyway.  Then my trike radio AND my interface blew up, fried, shot...don't ask me how, we don't have the time here. So work is a mess but manageable, I'm out of the ER and off narcotics and beginning to enjoy Advil, I re-installed the prop (don't worry, not while on the narcotics) and now I need to PACK AND INSTALL A NEW RADIO AND INTERFACE IN ONE AFTERNOON?
There was only one thing to do. Rig up my trusty Icom A6 and hope it worked. Got to bed by 11 PM and the first radio test was as I flew by Modesto tower the next morning. "Uh, Modesto Tower, this is Experimental 912QR, radio check please?". "Loud and clear!", he responded. Yahoo! The trip was on!
The WX was clear skies and hot as I headed south down the California San Joaquin Valley and crossed the Tehachapi Mountains at 11,500' due to the strong headwinds and as anyone who has flown in desert areas knows, the ferocious thermals. Most of the flying was at 9,500' across the Mojave Desert but it was getting pretty bouncy even up there and I need to come down for fuel at Blythe, CA. Wow, what a ride. There was a Citation doing touch and goes as I descended and I just hung on for dear life. Maybe the kind hearted Citation pilot heard the girl like squeal of fear in my voice but he extended his downwind by a lot to allow me to cut a few corners and come in for a smooth landing. I'm not sure how hot it was when I landed but a couple hours later I was told it was 111 degrees!
Well the next day I was fully back into the old routine. Early departure, a fuel stop at Manama AP just west of Tucson, AZ and the final destination at Dona Ana AP just west of El Paso, TX. Also there seems to be a new routine of the roller coaster ride down through the thermals, squeals over the radio and somehow I made it again. It seemed cooler here. Only 101 degrees.
This called for a celebration! Off to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner. What a great place! Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings blasting over the sound system, eat your peanuts and throw the shells on the floor and then yell HELL-YEAH!!!  And then what happens next? Well HELL-YEAH comes right back at you! 
Well I know you're probably wondering at this point about that thing I mentioned at the very beginning? You know about downing a shot like a Real Cowboy? I was kinda dry and all after that long flight and cheating death does give you a powerful thirst. They have these giant margaritas at the Texas Roadhouse and for just $1 more you get a "kicker" with it. "What's a kicker I asked the waitress?" I couldn't really hear her very well 'cause Waylon hit a particularly soulful part of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" and she probably mistook by head moving to Waylon as "a kicker is a great ass idea". A short time later this enormous margarita shows up with a giant test tube stuck upright in the margarita slush, full of this very strong smelling, amber colored alcohol drink. Well as the great Johnny C once said in "A Boy Named Sue", "What else could I do?!"
So my pretty young waitress shows up awhile later, nods approvingly as she sees the empty kicker tube and the empty gigantic margarita glass and asked, "How did you drink the kicker?" "Well I poured it into the margarita glass and drank it all through the pink and yellow swirly straw. How else could I drink it?" A look  of disgust crossed her face as she rolled her eyes upward and turned away and I thought she said, " a Real Cowboy just knocks it back and chases it with a beer.".  I can't be sure 'cause just then Hank Williams broke into the chorus of " I Got Them Honky Tonk Blues".


  • XC Triker

    A GREAT first chapter to the beginning of another Excellent Adventure.  Keep the shiny side up, the shot's down, and the stories coming!

    I just got off the phone with Henry seeing what we can do about the Oyster Shooters waiting for us in Arcata this weekend-- problem, a parts issue may delay us a week(end)-- we'd miss the Official Oyster Festival, but I bet there'd still be oysters available the next weekend.  We'll see how it plays out.

  • TrikeBoyWonder

    Welcome to Texas Craig.  Watch out for those Kickers and the local culture...HELL-YEAH & BEVO too!!

  • CraigV


  • TrikeBoyWonder

    BEVO is the University of Texas Longhorn mascot and those Kickers are the local Cowboys.  Here is a link for you Craig.  Anyway enjoy your stay............. :-)


  • Ken

    Great story, Can't wait to read about the next part :)