The Friday before the Big Bird was laced with high tension as we had NO Runway! In fact, we had been flying off of crushed asphalt for two risky months. If paving was going to happen in time for our event it would have to happen the actual day before flying was to commence. Our spirits started soaring when the drive to the field on Friday revealed what seemed to be a good sign...
As you see here, flying off of crushed asphalt can be done but it is really dicey... especially if you are proud of your plane and do not want it to get banged up. The machine pictured is the paving apparatus that was the most beautiful thing we saw besides the rainbow! Knife River did the paving honors and the Rogue-Eagles owe them a debt of gratitude. The workers went above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done.
John Gaines had brought his Super Sportster for Jay Strickland to use to fly the first flight off the new runway. This was to be sort of a 'Thank-You' for the incredible amount of work that Jay did to allow the club to have this new runway. Alas, the Karma demons caused paving to stretch into early evening and Jay had to leave, so John did the honors with a beautiful flight (and landing!).
Thanks to Pat Dunlap for sharing these splendid photos!