Her it is:
Originally Posted by Bob Bement
I got a PM from Shauert a while back saying he wanted to come to Vale and see me. . . . Scott seemed to really enjoy the flight and that made me feel good. I was so glad that he wanted to come up and go flying with me.
To say that I enjoyed the visit and the flight would be an understatement of epic proportions. I had a BLAST!
I pulled up to Bob's house and he was waiting out front. As soon as I got out of the car Bob said "Let's go flying!" Well, you don't have to ask me twice! Off we go to Miller Memorial Field in Vale, where Bob is Airport Manager and enjoys the perk of getting to keep his beautiful bird in the hanger, along with a vintage fire truck. I had no idea where we were headed and didn't really care. It was all new to me and it's really gorgeous around there.
Bob said we were going to stop by the Owyhee Hilton. I had no idea what this was about but was soon to be pleasantly surprised with my first dirt strip landing. And when I say "dirt strip" I mean somebody just scraped off the brush -- that's about it. Bob plunked that 182 in there like it was a 10,000 foot paved strip and we bobbed along the undulating path to a smooth stop where we got out and and enjoyed the sites. Another plane joined us while we were there but they wandered off someplace else.
We pressed on, touring some of the area and got to see Leslie Gulch and Jordan Crater. The contrast of the lava flow with snow still on it surrounded by the high mountain brush was stunning. The Hole in the Ground was amazing and for some reason I didn't get any pictures of it.
Coming in to Mud Flat Ranch was an adventure. The windsock consisted of the opening with the ring and about five inches of orange sock. Bob got to demonstrate his prowess with short-field-soft-field-cross-wind landings! Too bad nobody was home. You know you're dealing with some serious outbackers when they have snake-bite kits hanging from the wall of the kitchen.
We plopped in and as soon as we started the roll-out you could feel the dirt grabbing at the wheels. Getting out of there -- no problem. That's what ground effect is for. Yeeee Haaaaaa!
We cruised over to the Holdout Cow Camp in hopes of finding someone home. It looked promising with the truck parked by the cabin. This was the shortest, roughest field of the three and Bob made it look like a cake walk when he dropped that bird in. Alas, nobody was home here, either. So we left a note, ate some of their cookies, and pressed on. Getting out looked like it would be a thrill, and it was. It's short and rough. But downhill and with a "ski jump" at the end that launches you up enough to get going. And off we went.
We cruised over a couple lone fisherman on the river in their boats -- only way to get to some of those places is by boat; no roads. Passed a few ranchers herding their cows and a big flock of sheep.
Coming back in to Vale was smooth and Bob greased it in. We tucked the bird away and headed downtown for some lunch. We had a great time visiting over Yankee Pot Roast soup and fried halibut with French fries. Man, that was good food. On the way out, Bob stopped to say "hi" to one of the locals that was there eating. And the gentleman told me "If he says anything about a lug wrench, he's lying!" That turned into another great story.
Bob's got lots of great adventures to share and he's pretty much the town's offical-unoffical search and rescue, and all around guy with the plane that helps his neighbors anyway he can.
Thanks for a wonderful day, Bob. I will definitely be back.
Here are the photos that came out: http://hauert.net/pictures/vale/index.html