Maine & Crossing into Canada

2016-07-10 Finally in Maine


This was our first time in Maine and first time for Enterprise C in Canada. The crossing did had some very minor drama related to the above gun. More on that below, but most importantly they let us in. Let the adventure continue.

Maine People

On my last flight at Morningside I dinged the prop when I stumbled on a runway burm. Bonehead.

It's carbon fiber which I've never had to repair so I used the same technique as on wood props since it only took off the last 2 inches of one tip. Yesterday I test flew it and it worked fine but one test does not a recommendation make. I couldn't tell a difference in thrust but that's far from scientific and there is certainly some degradation. After talking to an instructor who is experience  with carbon fiber props, it seems that this technique will only work for a VERY limited amount of damage and, even then, on only certain props. Here's the repair story if you ever need it.

There's an aspect of working on these things that I enjoy, a hint of sculptor escaping.

After Morningside we headed north and, for the first time, set foot in Maine. Along the way we got to meet up with two flyers, first David McNulty, a Paramotor Instructor south of Portland, ME.

As I've observed many times before, passionate people are interesting. David, for example, gave up a lucrative job writing software at Boeing to pursue his passion, paragliding and paramotoring, to the point of becoming an instructor. Good on him.


Tim and David just after we arrived.


This contraption is a tow rig used for training paraglider and paramotor pilots.


Next we met paragliding nut, airline pilot, author, and all around fascinating guy Kent Wein for lunch. Wow does this guy get around! His girlfriend, too, share a fascinating, adventurous life; evidence a rather serious situation they wound up in atop a snow-capped mountain. Here's a short, nicely edited video of that. His job as an international Boeing 767 pilot lets him take his paraglider to some really cool places. And when he's going local, he takes his converted Honda Element that doubles as a Camper (below). Remember the VW Westfalia pop tops? Kent did a conversion to do that so he could really be "in his Element" out in the elements.


Notice the little paragliders he's pointng at? Also, "Eastfailia" was artfully put on the back, a humorous take on the VW Westfalia pop-top van.


This guy tells me where to go. Long time college friend, Mike Tes, is a New York Air Traffic Controller and yes, he really has told me where to go while I jetted above. He now has some property in Maine, along with a Camper to escape winter so it was just good fortune to wind up meeting in Portland.


It was rainy and chilly for a couple days. We made lemonade by driving, working on computer projects, and going to see a movie (Tarzan. Liked it.) during the ugliness.


Acadia National Park

This park came highly recommended by several people, the last one being Kent. Yup, they were right.


Normally, these boots adorn flying feet. Here the saying carries less meaning.


Don't slide down, there was sheerness to a few of these dropoffs.


Beautiful. Even without flying it was spectacular scenery. Thankfully, the rains quit earlier in the day so the harrier climbs were doable. We expected to chicken out but it was nicely dry.


RV on a shoestring.


Crossing Over & the Gun Drama

Having enjoyed a tiny bit of Maine we pressed northward for Enterprise C's first international sojourn. We'd been to Mexico with B but never into Canada.

Guns are quite limited in Canada. We knew this, specifically, Tim knew it, having saved us from losing our primary armament on a previous trip. But even he couldn't save this BB pistol. I made the mistake of declaring it as being over 500 fps which put it in the category of regulated firearm. In reality this spring-loaded almost-gun can barely get the BB out of its barrel. But it was too late, and Canada owns it now. We'll live -- you can buy these things on Ebay for $14.

It was amazing how friendly the border people were. I always figured they would be surely creatures chosen for their lack of human emotions. Not at this crossing. By the time it was over I wanted to have dinner with these people. Weird.

When Kent Wein suggested a hiking trail, he sent this excerpt from a book describing the Beehive trail. It had the word "vertical" in it. Not me. So I added a small bit and sent it back to him. You can probably see what I added.
He convinced me that it wasn't that bad (it was, in two places, spooky) and we went for it. Glad we did, it was the highlight of Acadia.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!