Blakesburg’s a Blast!

Antique Airfield Flyin, Blakesburg, Iowa. Saturday. It’s 7:00 a.m. and I’m still in my nice Queen size bed at the Hotel Ottumwa. If you haven’t been to Blakesburg, you’re probably not familiar with this historic 1917, 6-story property. Back in its heyday I’m sure the accommodations were 1st Class and the Hotel was the social hub of the area. It’s not a bad place to stay today but it shows a lot of wear ‘n tear everywhere you look. The single elevator is tiny & the hallways are narrow, just what you’d expect from a 99 year old building . I’m OK with it all and happy this great old property continues to survive. I will say the thought crossed my mind about taking a room on the top floor with only one tiny window for egress…..but seriously, what are the odds of an event happening that a quick exit would be necessary?

Hotel Ottumwa

Hotel Ottumwa

So, at 7:00 a.m. I’m comfy and thinking very seriously about actually getting out of bed. 7:01 Still in bed. 7:02 Still happy in bed …… but suddenly the bed starts shaking and rolling side to side. What?! Surely I was imagining it…but it continued – and continued. OK. I know there’s only one thing that’ll roll continually for 8 or 10 seconds like that – an earthquake! Yes it was confirmed as a 5.6 earthquake centered somewhere in Oklahoma and it hit promptly at 7:02 a.m. We felt all the way to Blakesburg! I’m happy to report the 99-year-old Hotel Ottumwa is just fine and I’m sure will still be standing long after I’m gone.

image

Another “ride of a lifetime”! I was lucky enough to not only get a ride, but 15 minutes of stick time in this rare 1934 Waco D, S3HD. Its a tandem, enclosed cockpit, with a P&W R-985, the only Waco D still flying.

Thank you to pilot owner, JOHN RICCIOTTI, for this amazing flight. John tells me taxiing out he’s going to do the take off and landing and the rest it will be my bird. True to his word, 400′ agl climbing out Jphn says “your airplane”. Seriously, it’s my airplane! John’s relaxed in the front P.I.C. cockpit and happy to let me zip around the skies in his fantastic Waco.

image

image

And what a great turnout for our LadiesLoveTaildraggers Blakesburg meet up “on the porch” at 3:00 today. Look at all the ladies who showed up for a fantastic meet & greet. Thank you ladies!!

image

Kelly Jeffries (left) arrived a moment too late for the “meeting”,  flying in from Poplar Grove with hubby, LD in their RV8. Rest assured, nobody catches up on all the fun faster than Kelly!

image

This Brunner Winkle Bird is spending lots of time in the air this weekend.

image

Custom Stearman

image

Holy cow, check out the shiniest C180 I’ve ever seen, on big Alaskan Bush wheels. I’m in LOVE.

And the fun continues……!

No Comments

Leave a Reply...