We got up in the morning and packed up while Murphy raced around the campground chasing rabbits. I really don't have a problem with him off-leash here, because his separation anxiety has been off the charts every time I've been out of his sight so I know that he's not going far. Sure enough, soon as we were ready, I called him once and he raced right to me. He wasn't about to risk being left behind. Even at the airport, he was so anxious to get in the plane that he refused to sit still for a simple picture.
And as soon as this was taken, he jumped in through that small baggage hatch, climbed over the luggage and took his place in the back seat before I even unlocked the cockpit doors. Dog wanted to FLY!
I'd planned a flight back along the Lake Erie shoreline past Cleveland's skyline, but once aloft, I saw that it was pure rainstorm over that way so I changed my plan and went straight south instead. Even that way, we got wet a couple of times and drifted a fair bit west as I dodged scattered showers. But by the time we got about thirty miles inland, the sun was breaking through the clouds and the rain was gone. And when we got to Wheeling, Ohio, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Still, I wanted to check weather again at my home field and it couldn't hurt to top off the fuel thanks after all of the extra maneuvering.
At least for this trip, I had a co-pilot.
He was a little apprehensive when we got up close and personal with some clouds on the last leg, but when I took him through one small one just to show him that it was ok, then threw on some steep turns to dodge around other ones (why are the clouds always at MY altitude?), he thought that was great fun. "You're flying it like a World War Two fighter!" he exclaimed.
I wish. But my trusty 172 is not a P-51 Mustang and cannot be flown like one. Still, to a young 'un who hasn't flown before...
Finally we crossed the last mountain ridge and dropped into my home field. And I'll never tire of having the tower tell me to "Check wheels down" when clearing me for landing. Hey man, I'm just a Cessna 172! But just to be compliant, I always look out my window at the left side wheel strut anyway.
Got her down, cleaned her up, and came back to the Lair. Tired. Showers, dinner, Bible reading, and bed!
And interestingly, when it came time for bed, as the Spud went upstairs to the guest room, he was followed up the stairs by Audie Murphy Dog, who proceeded to spend the whole night up there watching over him instead of sleeping on his dog bed in my room. The kid's only been here a few hours and already I've lost my dog to him. So much for canine fidelity.