Hopscotch Honeymoon Part V: Oshkosh b’gosh! part 1

In my campaign for the “best new wife ever” award, I agreed to spend a week of our hopscotch honeymoon attending the Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure convention and fly-in in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It’s serious business where hundreds of thousands of people and some 20,000-odd airplanes convene on the usually-quiet town of Oshkosh. Indeed, during the fly-in, the Oshkosh tower is the busiest in the world, beating O’Hare’s traffic by 50 percent! I’ve joked (in all seriousness) how much Oshkosh affected our wedding process… for example, we moved the date to accommodate the flying madness! (What fun would a wedding be when a whole passel of our friends couldn’t attend?) While I kvetched about the dorm living (as close to camping as I will ever come!) and enjoyed the attention that our “just married” plane sign garnered, I had a blast in Oshkosh and took a zillion pics. Here are a few from our first day in Oshkosh.

After leaving Hannibal, we headed to Chillicothe, MO to visit friends. There I procured my new white hat.
Gate guard at Chillicothe, a thunder chief something something.
At Chillicothe we met up with some friends from Sacramento (Michelle and Sue who are flanking the prop, and their respective hubbies) and visited with the Cullings who graciously opened their home to us. Also pictured here at the far right: Barb Culling and her sister-in-law Colleen (I think).
Tom and Barbara Culling offered us gracious hospitality which included Missouri BBQ and lightning bugs! Barb also insisted on playing “Somewhere in Time” for me which was marvelous.
Wisconsin farmland.
Can someone tell me why farmers make such beautiful designs? Throughout the country we found crop circles and patterns, but no one seems to know the purpose.
Dairy land in Wisconsin.
Lots of ponds and waterways with algae and duck weed, the tiniest blooming flower in the world (apparently).
The face of a pilot about to land in Oshkosh!
Following planes into the pattern at Oshkosh. Landing is a big huge deal there… Instead of talking to the tower like normal–identifying your aircraft and intentions, etc.–You wait for the tower to talk to you. “White high-wing Cessna, rock your wings… Follow the RV in front of you… Maintain altitude… Land on the green dot…” Pilots are not supposed to speak unless requested, it was bizarre!
In the pattern at Oshkosh.
On downwind for 27, looking at Lake Winnebago.
We were cleared to land on the numbers.
As we landed on the numbers, a plane was landing halfway down the runway on a dot in front of us while our friend Nick was cleared to land on the numbers right behind us. Crazy times!
Honeymooners made it to Oshkosh! We were one of the last planes to get in because major flooding in the days prior made the parking areas too soft to park planes. Thank goodness we took an old ride as they only let in vintage, show planes and homebuilts!
As one of the last to arrive during the open window on Sunday, we were parked past the flight line on the taxiway closest to runway 18/36. It was SO COOL! While unloading the plane, we saw T-6s land and later, mustangs! Also, please note the luggage. They told us we wouldn’t be able to get back to the plane during the week so I took everything. As a result, they kept trying to direct us to the camping area! (I will be mocked about this until I die, just FYI)
Happy, happy man.
Watching T-6s come in for landing.
Using my short lens because I’m so close!
After landing, we found our deluxe accommodations at the University of Wisconsin dormitory. Twin beds, no a/c, communal showers. Ugh.
Recycling in prison is a nice touch, huh? (Kidding!)

Next up: More Oshkosh! Photos from Traverse City, MI and Mackinac Island to follow.


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