by Kreg Anderson
Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2022 Digital Issue
This past winter, I ferried a Bellanca Super Viking to California for a client with my college friend, Nick Meyer. We actually recreated a favorite trip of his when we flew a much-slower aircraft there, a Meyers Luscombe 8E. He said that it was nicer flying a faster and better equipped airplane this time.
Our route took us from Alexandria, Minnesota to Rapid City, South Dakota, then to Ogden, Utah for the first night; then to Boulder City, Nevada, and on to Oxnard, Calif., the second day. We stopped at “Waypoint Café” in Camarillo, California, which is a favorite airport restaurant on the West Coast.
Some of my observations from the trip…
1) 10.5 hours of flight time in a Bellanca Super Viking is a lot less grueling than the 24 hours it took the last time we flew this same trip in a Luscombe.
2) The ONLY clouds we saw on the entire trip were on top of the Ferris Mountains by Casper, Wyoming. Otherwise, it was perfect blue skies all the way! Incredible, considering how crappy our winter has been.
3) Ogden, Utah seems like a neat college city. A cool downtown area with lots of activities within walking distance. Someone at the local dive bar mistook Nick for a classmate of theirs from Weber State.
4) When it gets brought up in casual conversation that you’re from Minnesota, Californians seem to gravitate towards the subject of weather and proceed to remind you how nice it is in California. “Every. Single. Time.”
5) I feel that California has the greatest number of landscape companies per capita in the U.S. “They are everywhere!”
6) The Hoover Dam is HUGE.
7) Geographically speaking, California is a crazy diverse and beautiful state. We flew over beaches, mountains, and desert, all within a time span of 20 minutes.
8) The only famous person we saw was Miles Malone.
9) After experiencing West Coast prices, I will never, ever again complain about the prices at our local restaurants – or our airports!
10) The water in the Pacific Ocean in California is cooooooold. It felt like the water in Minnesota lakes in May. That may have been the biggest shocker of the trip.
11) Kobe still owns L.A. For every LeBron jersey I saw, there were 10 Kobe jerseys.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kreg Anderson is the Airport Manager at Chandler Field – Alexandria Municipal Airport in Alexandria, Minnesota. A self-proclaimed airport bum, Kreg received his Private Pilot Certificate in high school before enrolling at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. After graduating with a degree in Aviation Management in December 2016, Kreg returned to his hometown where he became a flight instructor, gave scenic air rides, ferried aircraft, flew charter, and did a plethora of other tasks. In 2018, Kreg became the manager of the airport for the City of Alexandria and now performs that role, alongside other duties for the FBO, Alexandria Aviation. Earlier this year, Kreg was elected the secretary of the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association (MATA) and serves on the organization’s board of directors (https://www.mata-online.org/).