Getting There

The short version of our trip to Rockford IL can be described thusly:

Looping Around the Weather

Walter arrived a bit past 4pm and after a quick load of the airplane and kiss from my Sweetie we were off to Rockford IL (KRFD). The skies were beautiful in Columbus but according to Walter’s XM weather feed (on his carefully constructed Notebook computer in the cockpit) there was bad weather ahead.

This meant going around. And in an airplane, going around can mean the long way around. First we were sent to KELSI intersection.

Radar picture of weather

On the display, the ① is our destination. The red stuff is <b>bad</b> and that little plane to the right is us heading for same.

Then, when the red flashy bits started covering that we were rerouted to Peoria. I wondered what Judy was thinking, knowing she was following our route on FlightAware. But, by going south we skirted the storm and as it went East we came in behind it and landed at Chicago-Rockford Airport (KRFD).


Our trip to Oshkosh was part of a larger group: “Bonanzas to Oshkosh”. Walter has owned a Beechcraft Bonanza for some time and has been a member for a while now. The group goes together for comradery, to make a big splash and because it’s the one time they can talk aviation without loved ones heading for the hills. B2OSH had arranged with UPS at the airport to allow us to park in front of their hangar. Alas, the weather had pushed Walter and I far past the deadline so we wound up parking in front of the Emery  hanger. The wonderful folks at B2OSH had already started the soiree but there was plenty of delicious food and drink (not to mention lots of discussions of matters aviation).

A bad situation loomed, however! The original plan was for the 100+ strong B2OSH group to fly in formation to Oshkosh the next day. However, rains had made the campground impassable. The standard briefing was already scheduled for tomorrow at 10am so contingencies would be made then. In the meantime, we were to assume that the formation would be postponed one day to Sunday.

Our accommodations

Where we stayed will remain nameless. A shuttle bus was provided by B2OSH to two of the main hotels – one near the field and another a few miles away in town. Unfortunately, our hotel was not on the list of ones visited. It was only after much pleading and cajoling that we were able to change the driver’s worry about talking us to a worry that we’d report him. Still, he wouldn’t bring us to the front door; only to the end of the block.

The desk clerk was a 19 yr old who looked like he would have rather been anywhere else and after he checked us in we shared the sentiment. Our mood was not helped by the signs which, if believed, told us our room did not exist. Finally, we went back down stairs and an even younger lady who was there on her night off – presumably flirting with our slacker desk-clerk, showed us to our room.

To Walter’s concern (and my relief) the front desk clerk informed us that he was booked solid the next day. Taking a page from my consulting days I whipped out my credit card and Hilton points number (I have super-deluxe status with them) and made a reservation for the next night at a Hilton Garden nearby. Not only was it nicer but I would earn Amtrak miles.(!!!)

With plans “A” and “B” set we retired for the evening.