|Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo|
In this early feature, we will begin at the beginning - getting to our lodging and seeing the first signs of the grounds on the weekend prior to the week of activity. We spent our third year at Sleepy Hollow Farms Campground, just west of the main airport grounds entrance. As with any national event, finding accommodations can be challenging, especially the first time around. We also needed a place to stay for 10 days that provided an affordable, secure and comfortable environment to do some media work on the mass of material we would collect. The helpful staff at Sleepy Hollow Farms Campground worked with us to find a solution - a Camping Cabin Plus with bathroom and air-conditioning! It has worked well for two adults, providing a great place to stage our excursions and return to clean up and get ready for another day of great aero experiences. We would like to thank the Bartel family for their great customer service and old-fashioned, hard-working family business ethics. Here are some views of the accommodations available. Contact Sleepy Hollow Farms Campground early for next year's EAA AirVenture Oshkosh reservations.
Following our arrival, we were introduced to a traditional Oshkosh storm. The weather always plays a unique role in the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh activities: 2013 was cold, 2014 was rainy, and 2015 was greeted with a significant storm on Saturday morning, with lots of wind, rain and humidity. We would find out later that this year would be warmer than the two previous years, with the humidity remaining throughout our visit. It was still 8-10 degrees cooler than it was in Missouri, with periodic storm fronts that seemed to bypass the main grounds, so altogether a reasonably good weather report. Below are the effects of the Saturday morning storm, that thankfully was the worst weather of the week.
The main grounds were a short walk away (or even shorter cart ride) from the camp. Visitors to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh learn one tip very quickly once they arrive: orient yourself with the control tower and navigate from that reference point. The only object visible from almost any line of sight from your location is the tower, so get your map, find the tower, and start your journey. The tower seems to grow from a tree as we approach from the west.
The next waypoint for navigating the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh grounds is the Bus Park. If you would like to get a ride to a portion of the far-flung territories, the buses and "trams" will take you to most areas. Buses go to the EAA AirVenture Museum and Seaplane Base, while the John Deere-powered "trams" take you along the main roads to the tower, Warbirds, Vintage Aircraft, Ultralights, Forums and Workshops. Of course, EAA staff have a plethora of golf carts buzzing about as well!
We have just scratched the surface of the scope of the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 experience. Check back often for our year-long coverage!