The Camporee is History
The Camporee ended with a bang, literally, as a HUGE fireworks show lit up the sky forever! I heard many kids say they had never seen a show this amazing! There is only so much an iPhone can do to capture the essence of a fireworks show! It was a fitting culmination of a great time for thousands of happy campers!
The first part of the week the campers left, and we and MANY others took everything apart. The stage alone was put on at least 24 semi trailers. (Some may have left before I could count them). More than 50 semi trailers were filled with other supplies and equipment.
We turned in our golf cart – there were 1,000 golf carts for workers to use. (Coincidentally there were also 1,000 Porta Potties added to the existing bathrooms for the EAA camp).
We watched them stack dumpsters three high, and line them all up, getting ready for something huge to cart them off. I figured over 200 dumpsters in one area alone!
We were privileged to have our new friend Winston, and long time friends Marilyn Oliver and Pastor Ron Whitehead (Head man over all this awesome Camporee) over for dinner after things got a little quieter Monday evening. Winston couldn’t believe he got to meet Ron, so we did a short video so his family would believe him! Winston supervised cooking fresh corn in coconut milk, garlic, turmeric and curry – Fantastic!
It was a little sad to see everything taken apart, and the place empty out… but a little peace was good too!
Last week I tried to go through the EAA museum, but it was insanely crowded. I decided it would be better to do it this week, after the Camporee Crowd had left. After our Maranatha team had finished its work, and the whole place cleared out, I figured I should be able to spend lots of time looking at the fabulous displays in the museum. My new buddy Winston wanted to go too, so we spent the morning at the museum… but not inside. We chose to go outside, to “Pioneer Airport” – a re-creation of a 1930’s style airport. There are plenty of planes to look at in hangers there, but the best part is being able to fly in some of them!
Winston had told me that when he was a young man, growing up in Trinidad, he wanted to be a pilot. He even got accepted into a flying school, but his father squashed the idea. He has only been in a small GA aircraft once. I figured he needed to get in an old biplane! (And of course I did too…)
My flight was in a 1927 Swallow. This particular plane is believed to be the oldest plane still flying paying passengers! It looks pretty good for being 92 years old! The Swallow was designed to support a new industry: air mail. This plane never carried mail, but is special because its first owner was the first woman in the state of New York to own an airplane. She loved flying, and even flew advertising flights for Old Gold cigarettes. (I forgive her)
The Swallow now has a larger engine, still a radial, and has had an electrical system and radio added. But she’s basically the same gal she was in 1927! We did a couple gentle maneuvers; a lazy 8 and a stall. A great way to see the countryside!
My Pilot, sitting in the seat behind me…
Winston’s flight was in a 1929 Travel Air E-4000. Travel Air was state of the art in those days, and built rugged airplanes suited for the grass runways then available. The three principals of the company had worked building the Swallow, and proposed some enhancements to their boss. He refused to listen to any ideas of change, so they all quit, and started Travel Air. Their plane was very successful, but ironically, when it was time to improve on their design, they couldn’t agree which way to go. So they all quit and formed their own companies. They were Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman… Those of you who like airplanes will know those names and their companies!
The only crazy thing… we spent our whole time in Pioneer Airport, and I never got to see more of the museum inside. Guess I’ll have to come back! 😉
Pine Harbor Campground
We are now in a pretty wooded campground in Chippewa, Wisconsin. Looking forward to a peaceful weekend.