Flew to Winthrop with Scott
The plan was to depart Crest at 7am, pick up an IFR clearance and fly to Ellensberg almost directly into the sun. At about Cle Elum I would cancel IFR, turn to the NE and continue VFR to Winthrop. With the winds aloft the flight was going to take about 1 hour 45 min. I got to Crest early at 6:15 to begin my preflight and de-icing. When I got there, there was no de-ice left out and my plane was locked with no book or key. I had called late the day before and reminded them that I would be there early and made sure they would leave the book, key, and de-ice out. They said "no problem, we'll make sure it happens". After walking around saying "fuck" for about 10 minutes I tried to come up with a way to still make this happen. I walked around the building trying to figure out how to break in to get the key. Then I thought, hey maybe I'll see if any of these planes have keys in them because they would most likely fit with a little wiggling. Sure enough the first plane I checked had a book and keys. I tried the keys on my plane and sure enough they fit. After looking closer at the keys, I found they were the actual keys for my plane. Someone the afternoon before put the book and keys in the wrong plane. That's cool, I can at least get started on the preflight but I'm still hosed on the de-ice. Scott showed up at 6:45am and I told him the situation and that there was no way we were going to be off by 7. I tried calling my instructor's cellphone but just got his voicemail. I tried to get the airport manager's homephone but it was unlisted. I was really getting pissed and started saying "fuck" again. I had an IFR flightplan on file, I had the plane, we had the weather, we had a ride that would be waiting in Winthrop, everything was in place, but no fucking de-ice. Even when the sun did come up it would take at least an hour for it to even begin thawing. Out of desperation I called information to try to get my instructor's homephone. Bingo I got it and called him. To my surprise he answered and said he was just leaving to take his daughter to school and he would swing right by. In 5 minutes he was there. It took no less than 1/2 hour to get all the ice off the plane. Everything was frozen and it almost looked like frozen rain. Huge bumps and frost just waiting to disrupt the laminar air flow. Needless to say we weren't in "that" big of a hurry and saw the de-icing completely through. When we were ready to go I called our ride in Winthrop and told them of the delay and then we were off. We lifted off the runway at 7:40am. As mad as I'd been, it was all worth it. The Cascades had just got thier first snow and the visability was spectacular. I called Seattle Approach, got my IFR clearance and we were on our way to 9000ft.
Over the hills to the north, Issaquah is still socked in.
The Columbia River just north of Wenatchee
After the turn at Pateros, heading up the Methow Valley
Landing at Methow Valley Airport in Winthrop
Our airplane sitting in the sun. Still only about 29 degrees F, but alot dryer air than the west side.
We got our ride to Sun Mountain Lodge and did our work in about 1/2 hour, had some lunch, and were soon back off heading for home.
Methow Valley did not have any aviation fuel for some reason so we stopped at Wenatchee on the way back. Seattle Flight Service had told me this when I filed my flightplan so it wasn't a surprise.
Some clouds had formed above the Cascades but at 10,500ft we were well above them.
Home sweet home. We landed at 3pm. Way way better than driving all day long.