Dalhart and Back

by Berck

I finally did it. I hadn’t flown since December 2, but I finally got the long cross-country done today.

The stupidest thing I did was forget my camera. Which is really a loss, because there was lots of stuff to take pictures of. Or more importantly, not much for me to do during the 7.0 hours of flight time today.

I stopped in Borger, TX both ways for fuel. I probably could have just refueled in Dalhart, but there’s really no reason for me to worry about fuel when I’ve got everything else to worry about. Not to mention I really had to pee when I landed in Borger.

There was still snow on the ground in Dalhart. Navigating after I got about 100 miles west of OKC was difficult, but I managed. There really wasn’t much of anything to look at, so I just flew on over endless nondescript farmland until I came upon the occasional town marked on my chart. I counted all 14 buildings that comprised one of the towns.

Borger, TX isn’t much of a city. It’s mostly a refinery.

The Dalhart airport is co-located with a prison. This is a little strange, but since they fence both of them these days, why not.

I spent most of the time staring at the ground, willing it to move. At 8,500 feet and a measly 85 knots indicated airpseed with a 35 knot head-wind, it really doesn’t move. For awhile I was flying along I-40, watching the trucks go the same speed I was. Sometimes they seemed to be going faster.

My headset is fortunately comfortable, but I found it tiring after awhile. There was little to listen to on Albequerque Center. Every 10 mintues or so a plane would check in; another 10 minutes and one would switch frequencies.

Most of all, with nothing much to do but sit and look at the view and trying to identify a cluster of barns as a named town, I decided that if I ever get paid to do it, I think it’ll be a pretty good life.

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