The land of No

Mid January, 2006, I receive an e-mail inviting me to the first and perhaps only....

VW Bus "Arizona Roundup - Campout"

Date: February 17 ~ 20

Coronado National Forest "Council Rocks" area near Tombstone, AZ
Western slope of the Dragoon Mountains

No planned activities
No services
No facilities
No bathrooms
No water
No electricity
No giveaways
No entertainment
No fees


Perfect!  Sounds like my kind of place!!

Lolli has to teach.  I'm retired!  I pack my Vanagon, add four model airplanes and head out February 10th!  Before hitting the road I look on the Internet for model airplane flying sites between Fort Bragg, CA and Tombstone, AZ.  I find several and load their latitude and longitudes into my GPS.
First stop, the "Woodland/Davis Aeromodelers" northwest of Sacramento. 


A blacktop runway, shade structure, a clubhouse, outhouses.  I end up staying the weekend flying my planes and meeting various club members; made myself to home!!


The guy kneeling in the left photo is the guy who invented and manufactures APC props! He is one of the top pylon racers in the world and both mornings he brought out planes and engines to test.  He had data loggers in the planes and after a flight would download the information.  He was reaching speeds of 197 mph with that little V-tailed model!

The plane in the photo on the right was scratch built 26 years ago and it still flies beautifully.  This weekend the club is also hosting a model airplane show inside a nearby mall so I drive over there Sunday morning to take a look.


On the left is an amazing glider and on the right a beautiful bi-plane.  The club had many many planes on display.

Monday morning and time to hit the road.  Next stop Greenfield flying field southeast of Bakersfield.


By nightfall I am set up and flying my UltraStick.  Unfortunately, my favorite plane "Pete", in the right photo, got caught in a crosswind on take-off and cart-wheeled down the runway tearing off the engine and the wing.  Jason, one of the club members, offers to store Pete for me until I return through Bakersfield on my way home.


In the morning some guys show up and one of them has been experimenting with converting four stoke gas engines to diesel!  The diesel powered plane shown here even has an alternator, driven by the crankshaft, to power the onboard electronics!

Interesting and fun stuff but it is time to move on to the next field up by Lake Isabella.  Looking at my map I elect to take the road less traveled..., from Arvin, through Caliente, to Bodfish!!


Turns out to be an amazing drive on an old narrow road up into the hills towards Tehachapi.  The higher I get the clearer the air and I can look back down at the smog from Bakersfield.  Looks almost like a Japanese print.

Finally, over the top with Bodfish and Lake Isabella in the distance.
Come to find out Bodfish was the name of the town's founder.

Late in the day I arrive at the flying field northeast of the lake.


I get in some flying and spend the night.  In the morning two club members show up and fly their stuff.  One has a "Little Toni" racing plane and a helicopter.  The other guy flies electrics.  Retired folks.

Next stop, a flying field near Edwards Air Force base but the wind suddenly comes up so there is no point in going there.  Time to start heading for the "Land of no"!