It's been a while since we had a good road trip. This year, we explored America's Midwest, wrapping the trip around the American Yankee Association's 2008 convention in Burlington, Iowa. We used a rented Traveler, N1321R.

As usual, we planned more things than time would allow, figuring to go where the weather was good. The weather turned out excellent, so we had a fairly busy itinerary. Except for twenty minutes in cloud on the very first leg, the entire trip was VFR.

We visited these airports:

Lockport, N.Y. - fuel
Saugatuck, Mich. - overnight
Burlington, Iowa - the convention site
Atchison, Kansas - fuel
Beaumont, Kansas - overnight
Hutchinson, Kansas - overnight
Lucas, Kansas - sightseeing
Dodge City, Kansas - overnight
Sand Springs, Okla. - fuel
Hot Springs, Ark. - overnight
Lakeview, Ark. - overnight
St. Louis, Mo. - overnight
Muncie, Ind. - fuel
Butler, Penna. - fuel
Milford, Conn. - home

Our trip began with an IFR departure from Bridgeport, Connecticut. We needed this because of a low ceiling, but we were soon on top in bright sunshine. The IFR route would have taken us well out of the way, so we cancelled and continued VFR to Lockport, N.Y., where we met Graham Smith and his wife for lunch.

Shortly after we left Lockport, Barbara got this stunning shot of the Horseshoe Falls as we were crossing into Ontario.

About an hour and a half later, we flew over the Michigan Proving Ground in Romeo.

Our first night's destination was Saugatuck, an artistic community near the beach on Lake Michigan. Saugatuck has an excellent, well-protected harbor, and it's a lively place when the sun goes down.

We airplane people only know our planes by their numbers. Boat owners give names to their craft, some more fanciful than others.

1935 Auburn Speedster.

That's quite a tree. Let's get a closer look.

Here's something for the younger set.

In addition to the nautical flavor, Saugatuck is an artist's haven. There are several galleries, and plenty of outdoor art to delight the eye.

William Tye

Sentinal II [sic], aluminum and concrete
Russell Thayer, Franklin, Michigan
This one is for sale.

This one is not for sale.

Family of Man IV
Cynthia McKean
If you stand in just the right place, the figures all line up. It looks like the whole piece was cut from a single piece of steel.

Some of the outdoor art has an everyday purpose.

Saugatuck is home to North America's only hand-cranked chain ferry. The chain is attached to each shore of the Kalamazoo River, and the boatman cranks it by hand from one side to the other. He should be in very good shape by the end of the summer.

It's also home to a religious zealot who can afford his own billboard. I'm glad I don't live across the street from this one.

Sunset over Lake Michigan is hard to beat. People start arriving early, because there's no instant replay.

on to Burlington

Saugatuck   Burlington   Geodes   Nauvoo   Convention   Tiedowns   Beaumont   Hutchinson   Lucas   Dodge City   Hot Springs   Garvan Gardens   Crater of Diamonds   Petit Jean   Gastons   Cahokia Mounds   St. Louis