Old Pilot’s Camper Journal: Sun ‘n Fun 2022 #1

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Nothing will cure the blues of winter better than a week at the Sun ‘n Fun aviation extravaganza in Lakeland, Florida each spring. Coming up on my 67th orbit of the sun, I have not missed coming to SnF since 1984. When my oldest two sons were 3 and 5, I camped with them in an area now inhabited with Paradise City vendors. They are old enough now to have given me 6 grandchildren.

This year, I seriously considered staying at a hotel during the show, but I just could not resist the lure of the oak shaded campgrounds and the camaraderie of tenting with your tribe. I could not fly my trusty Skyhawk “Princess” to the show this year because both she and I are not airworthy at this time. I am still wrangling with bureaucracy to regain my medical after a cardiac adventure (new stent, no heart attack), and Princess decided that three out of her four seat back brackets would give up the ghost one week before the show. So, Princess, awaiting parts, had to stay home, and I, awaiting more medical records, decided to drive to the show in my trusty Honda Ridgeline (which currently has no name).

Being incredibly savvy for my advanced age, I prepared for my SnF 2022 adventure by gathering all my camping equipment together and checking everything out for cleanliness and function. Every year, I pitch my tent on the home driveway to make sure it is all there and to test my cognitive ability. This year I successfully remembered how to assemble the poles and flaps. Thank goodness. We’re going to Sun ‘n Fun! One day, I will attempt the same test and fail, at which point we’re going to memory care!

As I loaded my truck the night before departure, I was as excited as a 16 year old preparing for a first date. A week of adventure awaits. I will attempt to relate some of the magic this coming week in hopes that you will join me in spirit this year and in person next year (provided I remember how to assemble the tent).

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