It was a later than our usual start but we decided to make a day trip to KEDE-Edenton, NC. Highlighted by the banks of the Albemarle Sound, Historic Edenton was the first Colonial Capitol of North Carolina. Edenton was incorporated in 1722 and is the second oldest town in the State.
08Romeo needed some fuel for today's flight and Aeroways was just finishing up when we arrived at the airport. I completed the pre-flight and Mary had everything set up inside, ready to go. I filed an IFR flight plan today just to be in the system and picked up our clearance. We were soon launching off runway two seven and calling up Philly. The air was smooth and temps at six thousand were hovering around forty five degrees. One could easily pick out the tip of New Jersey at Cape May and across the Delaware Bay to Cape Henlopen to our left. To our right we could see The top of the Chesapeake Bay, just beautiful with no brown haze layer.
Philly handed us off to Dover and in turn they handed us off to Patuxent, two Norfolk controllers and finally Washington Center. As we crossed over the Chesapeake the batteries died on the camera, I forgot to check them. We watched Tangier Island pass by on our right and the Fisherman's Island and the Bay Bridge Tunnel on our left as we now had passed Cape Charles VOR. The Bay was busy with tanker traffic but there were quite a few weekend boaters having fun too.
We crossed over Norfolk and counted an endless number of cranes on the waterfront for loading/unloading containers. The area is very densely populated but once south of Norfolk it turns back into wide open green space. We could see the open spot along the water and called the airport in site. I was stepped down to three thousand feet and once we were within ten miles and had the updated traffic from center I canceled IFR. Over to the CTAF and make the appropriate calls to enter the pattern. Winds had been shifting back and forth enough to warrant runway one, but had now went calm so I dialed in the GPS 19 approach, selected vectors to final and intercepted the extended final on the altitudes noted on the approach plate. I can't log it but it's nice to run through the process with the Garmin 530.
Once the plane was secure we headed inside the terminal to check on a courtesy car. We were in luck, they had one available! The man working the counter was really nice and gave me detailed directions for town. Mary reminded me that her new GPS was sitting in her car, we could have tried it out today. The terminal was very clean and everything seemed to be in perfect order.
The directions were perfect and we made our way to town with the first order of business finding something to eat. Remember we didn't leave Wilmington until around ten and had not made a breakfast stop along the way. I did have a bottle of water and Mary had some bottled ice coffee drink. We turned left off of RT32 (Church St) on to Broad St and could see the main street stores. It was a posted 25mph and taking no chances I followed that exactly, besides, it was nice to check out all the places along the way. Just about to the waterfront we made a right on, you got it, water street and found Cheros on our right. The place was busy with customers lining up at the buffet. We found a table and got settled ordering something cold to drink and planning on the buffet.
The food was very good, it's worth the stop. Mary made a salad and sampled the BBQ chicken, roast beef and a few other items. I did the BBQ chicken that just fell off the bones, mac and cheese, smashed potato's and some how managed to fit green beans on the plate. The sweet tea was endless and hit the spot, I was a full puppy. We settled up the bill and decided to take a tour of the town. The first stop was across the street from Cheros at an antique shop. Mary and I found crystal candle holders by Villeroy & Boch that we both really liked and yes, they came home with us. It was time to check out the town and possible place to stay for future weekend get-aways. We made the rounds looking over the Bed and Breakfast locations then traveled just out of town, a whole two miles, and found the Hampton Inn. The North end of town seemed to be more commercial with all the fast food places and chain stores while the downtown remained more Main streetish small town, specialty stores in the old buildings that provide a nice walk and beautiful scenery.
We covered town east and west of Broad street from the Chowan hospital and old cemetery's to the fire department and my favorite, Dairy Queen. It was time to put some fuel in the courtesy car and head back to the airport. We made our way to the airport checking out the cotton and tobacco fields along the way. What a perfect day to fly and explore, I'm glad we took the opportunity to visit this lovely town.
Once the car was returned I needed to amend my IFR flight plan for the trip home. We were leaving earlier than what I had filed. A quick call to Flight Service and the new time was noted along with a TFR update for my route. I received a text message that stated the intended route. I completed a pre-flight then taxied over to the self serve fuel. I wanted to take on enough fuel to have at least twenty gallons a side and ended up taking on maybe twenty five a side. I restarted and taxied for runway one nine and called for my release. It took awhile but I was finally given a void if not off time and cleared to depart. I made my calls on the local CTAF and thanked the guys for their hospitality on climb out.
The sky had changed during our stay and we were looking at a layer around seven thousand, our intended flight level north east. Mary was soon asleep and I was taking us home. We climbed through some big puffy clouds and leveled off skimming through the cloud tops. A few times between Edenton and Norfolk it was Solid IMC but only for brief moments as I broke out of one cloud bank and entered the next. I checked the XM wx on the Garmin 496 and it was looking like the cloud layer would be gone by the time we were to cross the Chesapeake Bay, just north of Norfolk. Right on cue I broke out and had a clear view across the bay and all points north, it was fun while it lasted.
The remainder of the trip was uneventful and that's the way it should be. Mary continued to snooze waking up only to ask for some cabin heat. I closed the vents and did add some heat until she was comfortable and back in dreamland. I like to scroll ahead on the 496 and check METARs on my route. While doing so I now noticed that Wilmington had a TFR in effect, so much for the flight service call. I hit enter and read the info and it was opened at 11am and would be over by 1:30ish or so on Monday. Thankfully with the VP's TFR I can get into Wilmington IF on an IFR plan. The new rating has paid dividends twice already due to TFR's. Philly handed me off to Wilmington advising us to expect a visual for runway two seven. Wilmington cleared us to land as we followed the Delaware river and set up for a left base entry for two seven. A nice landing in the book and another adventures comes to a close.