In today's AOPA Live (watch it here), there were details of last Sunday's giveaway that I wasn't aware of, specifically that some of the AOPA people were landing in Litchfield as we took off, which suggests that we were just minutes away early on from blowing the whole operation, especially if Steve Lagergren's wife had arrived a few minutes earlier.
Why did we head for Hutchinson instead of Winsted? Let me explain.
The whole goal of the effort was to get Steve to Winsted, from which we could launch for home and allow Tom Horne, flying the Debonair to catch up to us.
But there was nothing going on in Winsted and, to make matters worse, Steve indicated early when we met that Jim Weckman in Hutchinson (who also has the Waco project in Winsted) and his RV-9A were going to come over to Litchfield, a move that would have put us solidly on the ground in Litchfield for most of the afternoon, ruining the surprise.
So I quickly suggested, "hey, let's fly over to Hutchinson to see Jim instead and then go over to Winsted."
I figured, "let's just get OUT of Litchfield and play it by ear."
Fortunately, when we jumped out of Steve's plane in Hutchinson, Steve headed off to talk to one of my other RV pals, which allowed me time to meet Jim and explain what we were up to, enlisting his help getting us all over to Winsted and setting the final rendezvous in motion.