There's a "NorCal Meetings" thread on BeechTalk which I follow closely, wherein Beechcraft owners in my part of the world coordinate spontaneous flying trips and meet each other at fun destinations. The most popular destination is Shelter Cove, a tiny coastal town about 50 miles south of Eureka. This incredibly remote town (they don't refer to the area as "The Lost Coast" for nothing) features a picturesque airport on a tiny point jutting out into the ocean from sheer cliffs. All the houses on the hill are cut from the same mold: the wall facing the ocean is covered almost entirely by windows, from the floor to the vaulted ceiling. And in front of that wall is a huge viewing deck hanging out over the steep terrain. Aside from the homes and some fishermen, there isn't much there. This is, after all, one of the only short stretches of the California coast that Highway 1 doesn't follow closely (it's a windy 20 mile drive inland).
I've been wanting to join my fellow Beechcraft owners at a gathering in Shelter Cove for a couple of years now, but our schedules never seem to line up. A bunch of them flew up yesterday, and once again we were unable to join them. After checking out their photos and videos of the trip I decided that I'd had enough already! We decided to go up today for lunch. Thank goodness for paternity leave.
We took off from Palo Alto at noon and landed in Shelter Cove just after 1pm. Good job, N4WR! This was our two-week-old baby Luke's first flight. He slept through the entire thing like a champ! Max also fell asleep on the way to the airport, slept through the transition to the airplane (in his car seat), and didn't wake up until we were about 15 minutes from Shelter Cove.
Naturally we were all hungry by the time we landed, so we headed over to the deli for some delicious fish and chips and fried clam strips.
We found a nice spot to eat.
After lunch we looked into the local fishing industry.
We also explored the old lighthouse from Cape Mendocino, which was dismantled and relocated to Shelter Cove in 1998. It was built in San Francisco in 1867.
From there, we walked down the stairs to the ocean to see what kind of life forms we could find in the tide pools (the tide was way out). The snails were Max's favorite.
The flight home was a little quicker due to some tail winds. We also got a great tour of San Francisco and the entire peninsula from 2,000 feet, where ATC kept us due to busy airspace above. As we overflew SFO, we saw all 4 runways in use with parallel landings on 28R and 28L just as we passed by. Pretty cool! This was definitely a trip we will be repeating.