The weather for labor day weekend didnt look that great for the weekend, but it looked like we could make it in on Saturday morning. Not sure if we could make it out on Monday, but we decided to give it a try.

Just crossed over Bartlett Reservoir which was almost dry.  Payson, AZ (KPAN) is on the other side of the ridge line ahead.

 

Level at 9500 ft getting set up to run lean of peak on our carburated 0-320.   Of course we have a headwind again as usual, but 6.5 gph isnt too bad..

Cracks in the Mogollon rim which is the southern part of the Colorado Pateau.

The ICOM A-210 has weather channels included in the available frequencies.  This is the first time I used them.  When I tuned in the first channel (162.55 mHz, I got local weather for Window Rock which we were flying over.  Pretty cool.

 

Badlands in Northeast Arizona.  Compare them to the google earth view from 6 miles up.

 

Lots of room between houses here.

More canyons cut into the Rim from erosion.

 

 

Nice little lake near Tsaile close to the New Mexico/Colorado border.

 

Shiprock Peak in Northwestern New Mexico on the Navajo nation.  It tops out at 1800 ft about the desert below.

 

The Colorado mountains start to appear in the distance as we approach Farmington, New Mexico.

 

Large coal fired power plant.  Bet they are happy they are burning coal instead of diesel fuel.

 

Another power generating plant just to the west of the first one.

 

Descending to the Durango airport (KDRO). This great view of the mountains was replaced by low ceilings for the rest of the Holiday.

 

10 miles to go.

 

Left downwind for landing on the 9200 ft runway..

 

Short final to runway 20.

 

53L is buttoned up.  However, the airport doesnt have any tail tiedowns for taildraggers.  With weather predicted for the weekend, we asked if we could put 53L in the hanger for the weekend.  It was already full, but they made room for us at the front so we could get out early Monday morning.  $5 a night plus $35 ramp fee.

 

Walking around Durango, saw huge mural on side of building.  Jack Dempsey fought his first fight in Durango at age 20.

 

There was a huge Harley bike rally in Ignacio over the Labor Day weekend.  I think over a 1000 bikes were in Durango on Saturday.  They were everywhere.

Coming back down the road that leads to Animas Airpark.  We were surprised at how much commercial and industrial activity is ongoing at the airpark.

 

Sweneys Restaurant is on the north side of Durango on the way to Silverton.  It started as a smaller restaurant, then they kept adding rooms. They have great food there and we try to eat there everytime we go to Durango.

 

RV4chick is enjoying her Filet Mignon.

 

The top of Engineers Peak is cloud covered.  We are scheduled to climb it the next morning.

Sunday morning, the Durango steam locomotive departs for its round trip to Silverton and back. 

Its going to be a wet, windy and cold ride for the next 7 hrs up and back from Silverton! There were only a few cars behind the steam locomotive this trip. We suspect that many cancelled out today.

The gliders at the little grass strip just north of town are grounded for the day.

Puragtory Ski Area.  A new huge hotel/lodge is going up next to the base of the main ski lift.

 

This is the trail head for Engineers Peak, at the summit of Coal Bank Pass.   RV4chick says she is going to pass on the hike today.

 

 

The mountain on the East side of Silverton. Must be great to look out your window and see such an imposing site. Looks like avalanche paths coming down it.

 

Our little cabin in Pagosa Springs.  We spent most of the afternoon reading and watching TV as it rained all day Sunday. Marc Ausman (Vertical Power) had found and reserved this cabin. He and his son were supposed to join us today, but the weather kept them in Albuquerque.

 

Leaving Pagosa Springs Monday morning to head back to Durango airport. 

After waiting at the airport until 10am, the sky cleared up enough to leave. Durango airport is in background.

 

We had a 35 kt headwind heading back to Phoenix.  Under the cloud layer, it decreased a little, but the air was really bumpy.

The clouds at the rim went right to the ground so we had to fly west and then follow Interstate 17 down to Phoenix.  In spite of the rainy weekend, we had a great time!