It was a busy weekend. Debi and Mary drove out from Houston on Thursday. Debi had a job interview in Odessa on Friday. Mary and I went to Schlemeyer Field for some ground schooling with Josh. Debi met us at the field while we were looking at some of the commuter jets in the main hangar. She thought the interview went well. We drove back to Midland to get some lunch at Luigi's. Then we picked up two older jet skis from my coworker, and pulled them back to my house. The plan was to work on them a bit (one was not running) and tow them to Lake Nasworthy on Saturday to meet up with coworker. I couldn't get either ski started. Finally I got one started using starter fluid, but the other one would not start; it would not even spark. I was bummed out. I wanted to go to the lake and ride the skis.
On Saturday morning we decided to go to Lake Nasworthy anyway, and rent some jet skis. We'd seen a ski rental place on our spring break trip to San Angelo (see previous blog). Drove two hours to the lake and the ski place was out of business. Feeling empty handed, we drove around and found a place renting a 17' bass boat with a 25 hp 2-stroke outboard, $60/hr plus fuel and oil. We rented it for two hours, and it was an amazing amount of fun. The little thing only went about 20 mph, but that was plenty for the chopping, wake-splashed lake:
Looking for Spring Creek Marina
The little engine that could -- barely.
I was struck by the similarities between boating and flying -- it's VFR. No one is in control, you look our for yourself. Everyone got a chance to drive, or at least steer:
Mary steering the boat
After our two hours were done, we hopped in the truck and drove around to the marina, where we met up with my coworker, his family, and a couple of his buddies and their families. We sat on the shore while Mary played with the various kids. Co-worker offered me to take a ride on his new-ish Honda Aquatrax skis. Debi and I hopped on the less-powered on and went out into the lake. It was very choppy, and I found it difficult to go more than 20-25 mph! We topped out at 35 mph and did some big-feeling jumps. We were probably actually a few inches off the water. I tried to do some sharp turns like I'd done before on Moss Creek Lake, and the ski immediately started to capsize. I jumped off to save the ski and Debi did the same. After that I took it easy. The ski felt unstable in all the chop and waves.
The "slow" Honda (blue one)
Later I took Mary for a ride. She quickly tired of the jet ski. We returned to base at about 12 mph. We hung around a bit and then high-tailed it home, or actually to Odessa, because Debi had an appointment with the sky at 8 PM. We just made it to Schlemeyer Field:
Debi does her pre-flight... or at least watches Josh do it.
Mary hangs out in a hangar
Debi enjoyed her flight. We went and got some food somewhere and went home, exhausted. After a few short hours of sleep, we were up again on Sunday. We loaded up my Honda dirt bike into the Tacoma and drove 30 minutes east of Midland, past Stanton, to Outback Adventure Track. We paid our $10 and set out across the dry lake bed in the Tacoma. I unloaded the bike and rode around, a little bit with Mary. Then Mary went back to the truck and we rode around some trails; me on the bike and Debi driving the Tacoma with Mary. I was amazed at the narrow trails they drove down -- several times I turned around to find the truck right behind me! They gave the 4x4 a good workout, and even drove part of a motocross track. Debi goes crazy behind the wheel of a 4x4 truck. No pictures of this phenomenon...
I quickly tired of the 100-degree heat and we loaded up and drove back to Midland, unloaded and got cleaned up just in time to make it to the Rockhounds baseball game. The Rockhounds are our local minor league baseball team. Concho has a number of season tickets and I grabbed three the week before. We breezed into the 3/4-empty stadium and took our assigned seats. At least Debi and I did. Mary spent most the game running around, mostly chasing the team mascot, Rocky the dog. She did manage to get his autograph... three times. Once on a used ball that Rocky gave her, for being a loyal fan/child stalker.
After eating hot dogs, burgers, drinks, nachos, cotton candy, and peanuts, we decided we needed some ice cream. Stopped at the ice cream place on the way home to fit in the final food group.
Monday morning Debi and Mary packed up to leave Midland. They picked me up from work for lunch and hit the road for their nine-hour drive back to Baytown.