We are home as of 9pm last night.
We started at Moses Lake early and had hoped to be in Claremore by 6 or 7, but we got off to a slow start. I was programming the GPS while the plane was running and dad pulled the mixture. Apparently Joe's plane wouldn't start. Joe took over the controls from Randy and tried again. He tried long enough the battery was getting weak, after waiting for a corporate jet to leave, we got some help and a power cart. With the power cart it still would not start, we took the P leads off the mags and could not get it to start, we took spark plugs out and looked for spark (saw very little), we put our only spare spark plug in and it started. We all thought it was flooded, but the plugs were dry. We never did figure out what was wrong, but it cost us 2 hours. We left there for Gillette, Wyoming.
Gillette was a great big hot box, temp 100 and density altitude of 7600' (the airport is only about 4300'). We fueled up for a direct flight home and Joes plane almost didn't start again. He got it started, while we watched from the ground, then stole my clearance and left us on the ground for 15 minutes. We departed Gillette with a 300fpm climb which only improved slightly until 10,000'. As our flight progressed I realized that my concern of being over gross at a high density altitude and long climb that I didn't have enough fuel to get home (15 gallons reserve is to close for me) and we had to nearly dive on North Platte, NE to land for fuel. After refueling and departure we navigated a few storms and just missed (because our fligh path was just north) of a massive cell over Tulsa. The lightening from this storm made us glad we were almost home. We did not want to come home in the dark but had run out of daylight, as we were about to touch down in Claremore a deer ran in front of us, I had enough altitude that I pulled back anticipating more and floated over two more for a smooth touchdown.
We are happy to be home, we enjoyed our new friends and our adventure to Alaska. THE END!