June 13, 2006 - Guernsey to Casper, Wyoming

I took off from Guernsey around 4PM.  The North Platte goes through a canyon to the north.  That smoke is coming from a military bombing range.
 
 
The trail parallels the Laramie Mountains to the left. 
Some excellent ruts running from bottom to top center. 
I think those are ruts running just on the right side of the road. 
About halfway to Casper, I was startled to notice that my oil temperature was really high  -- approaching the red line.  It also dawned on me that my indicated airspeed was only 80 mph.  Normally it's over 100 mph.  It occurred to me that the day had just gotten hotter and hotter.  What was happening was that I was flying at a high altitude -- for a Citabria -- on a very hot day.  At high altitude, because the air is thinner, the engine produces less horsepower than normal.  And you have to lean the fuel mixture just to get that.  The high altitude and high temperature was why I was only seeing 80 mph indicated airspeed.  And the high oil temps were because it was so hot outside.

To try to get the oil temp down, I throttled the engine back to 2100 rpm, instead of the normal 2300 I cruise at.  I seriously considered landing at an airport nearby, Converse County (KDGW), to let the engine cool down.  But the oil temperature did drop some because of the reduced RPM, so I decided to press on.  I "limped" along at about 60-70 mph groundspeed the rest of the way to Casper.   

A good look at the Laramies.
This town was so desolate, I had to take a picture. 
The town of Casper, Wyoming off my left wing. 
There isn't much north of Casper. 
Casper has a big, towered airport (KCPR) - elevation 5,347 feet.  There were two Mustangs on the ramp when I pulled up around 6PM.
The Mustangs left just after I arrived.  Everybody who was in the vicinity stopped what they were doing to watch the takeoffs.
The FBO, Trajen, lent me the courtesy car and I went into town to get dinner and to try and find a motel.  Just outside of the main passenger terminal was a herd of Pronghorn Antelope!
I guess hunting isn't allowed at the airport.
Unfortunately for me, every room in Casper was booked because of a Rodeo State Championship competition.  It was late and I was done flying for the day, even if it meant pitching the tent in the desert behind some airport buildings.  Thankfully, the manager let me crash in the pilot's lounge for the night.  It worked out pretty well; I was able to get going right at daybreak the next morning. 
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