I recently was able to turn a work trip into a mini-vacation! My buddy Zack, who lives in Indianapolis, has always been interested in flying. I offered to take him up, and so we decided to meet in Pittsburgh. I departed on Thursday morning so that I could work Thursday & Friday on campus in Pittsburgh and then spend the weekend going out on the town. We planned to do some aerial sightseeing on Sunday.
The weather wasn’t great on Thursday, but it was VFR. Last time I flew to Pittsburgh, I did so in a well equipped Piper Arrow. I was able to depart IFR on the return leg. This trip I was in an older Cessna – and while it had a VOR, there was no GPS, and an autopilot I would rather not use. Translation – I had no desire to fly this puppy in IMC.
On the way up I took a selfie and sent it to Zack to let him know I was on my way. Heck of a morning commute to work! This past winter I was able to snowboard at Ski Liberty about a half dozen times. The slopes recently closed – but as you can see there is still plenty of snow on the trails.
On Thursday night, one of my engineers, Brandon, scored free tickets to the Pirate’s game. I was having a very Pittsburgh night. Primanti Brother’s sandwich, Iron City Light beer, and a Pirate’s game. Hard to be more of a “yinzer” than that!
Work was rather productive, but I had a difficult time getting the locals to join me at a watering hole on Friday night. No matter – I have no issues with going solo! More Untappd checkins!
On Saturday, Zack finally arrived from Indianapolis. We did a soup crawl in Sewickly, PA. Basically the main street shops all get together with various restaurants and put on the soup-ly equivalent of a pub-crawl sans alcohol. All told, I believe there were 13 locations with soup, and I do say there were some excellent soups!
Zack went to both undergrad and pharmacy school in Pittsburgh, living in the city for nearly 10 years. He’s been out of the city for several years, so the weekend was a bit of a trip down memory lane for him. He took me to several fine establishments such as Howlers below. I left with my ear drums bleeding and my clothes smelling of cigarettes so badly I believe I was acquiring nicotine through osmosis.
Fortunately, I don’t have picture of the other upstanding establishments!
Here is Zack and I on Hot Metal Bridge during our nostalgia pub crawl.
On Sunday we awoke early to jump in the airplane and fly south the Davis, West Virginia where Zack’s brother lives in the family home.
West Virginia is beautiful and we couldn’t have gotten better weather.
Here is Davis from the air.
We landed at KEKN, Elkin’s county for lunch. Zack’s brother Alex was able to meet us at the airport and I took him for a few laps in the pattern. Unfortunately, none of my landings were stellar. I should stick to my preferred low-wing aircraft.
All in all it was an excellent trip. I got a lot done at work, Zack and I had a great time hanging out, and we flew a very scenic and enjoyable route. Looking forward to the next trip!