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Today, I spent a lot of time and money on my hobby.

My CFI got a job with a regional airline. To celebrate, he called a burger run, so a bunch of his current and former students (me among them) showed up to fly to another airport around 100 nautical miles away with a decent restaurant, have dinner and bench fly, and then fly back.

Unfortunately, a massive winter storm hit the Northeast a couple days ago.

So the airport we were going to fly to (New Bedford Regional Airport, New Bedford, MA) was still closed, two days after the storm came through. They're near the MA coast, and they got three feet or so of snow dumped on them, and they haven't gotten everything cleared yet.

But it was really nice out today, and I haven't flown in three weeks, so I borrowed a car and drove 150 miles to the airport. We found that nope, the target airport wasn't going to be open, so we picked another one that's a mere 40 miles distant, flew there, had dinner, flew back, and I got back in the car and drove 150 miles home.

300 miles of driving for 80 miles of flying.

Totally worth it. I couldn't even log Pilot in Command time, because we ended up leaving after sunset and I haven't made three night landings within the past 90 days. Luckily, my passengers were another CFI and his son, so I took the flight as 'dual received' time and got in two night landings. I would have gone around just to get the third, but we were second of three airplanes to land on the way back, and it was getting late. Still, better than nothing. Night flying is beautiful, especially in areas with lots of ground lighting. It's riskier than daytime flying, that's for sure - if something goes wrong, finding someplace to land is going to be a copper-plated bitch and maybe impossible. Fields and forests both look like big dark areas down there, and anyway, everything was under a couple of feet of snow which makes it worse.

But hey. I got to fly an airplane. Improves the weekend no end.

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