Tried to stress the importance of leaving early before the earth heats up. But alas I didn’t get airborne til 1:00pm since we got moving late and I gave a ride to my cousin Matt before I launched. Tried to go direct… only could climb to 4500′ initially due ceilings. A little light rain in Southern Ohio would set the mood for the rest of the day. As I approached the bigger rocks I could see some buildups ahead. Eventually I asked for 5500′ and settled there for a good while… dodging a small cell here and there. Then I needed to make a decision… fly around the mountains or go through the pass towards KGSP. Decided to head towards KTYS to make an end-around the mountain range (remember I couldn’t climb higher due to the buildups). When the controller said there’s Wx up ahead I decided to head for the gap in the mountains… right towards Asheville, NC. All was going well til the Asheville controller said “N410S, those are level 5 storms up ahead… suggest you alter course”. To make a long story short, I took a hard left and then landed at Rutherford, NC (KFQD) to have a look at the weather on the ground.
The guy at KFQD was really cool and let me use the computers and hang out for a while. Deciding that the coast was clear for a straight shot to Atlanta area, I launched. Debated about filling up at 18A or 19A on the way home (19A being only about 25 nm further). Settled on 19A… as that’s my usual fuel stop. Filled up and then headed to KLZU. Had to get the dog out of the kennel by 7pm!