IFR to Kelso

I've been having a blast lately flying IFR places and look forward to getting into some clouds. Today I filed an IFR flight plan to Kelso. It's always interesting to see what route you get vs what you filed. The funny saying for this is...

File what you want.
Fly what you get.
Log what you need.

Today I filed COTNY TCM AFGAP OLM WINLO KKLS at 6000ft. More often then not when receiving a clearance on the ground they will clear you as filed. (Assuming you didn't pick some dumb route that would never work for them.) This clearance has to assume that they may never hear from you again. (What if you're radios failed just after take off?)

Since radios don't usually fail, once airborn you contact "departure" on the assigned frequency. Once they establish radio communications and have radar contact with you they may change your route altogether. Today they said proceed direct to "WINLO", climb and maintain 7000ft. Well that's easy and it cuts out a whole bunch of stuff.

Here on the chart you can see what I filed and where WINLO is. (It's the 2nd to last waypoint.)

WINLO also happens to be one of the Initial Approach Fixes (IAF) for the GPS RWY 12 approach at Kelso.

I think the "Seattle Center" controller was a little behind today because although he'd cleared me to YAPEC he still hadn't issued a clearance for the approach. I called and reminded him that I was getting pretty close to YAPEC and he immediately cleared me for the approach. Anyway it all worked out good and was great practice.

This particular approach is kind of funky and has you out in the sticks a little.

Another view

Once on final I pulled off the approach and did a circle to land. (The wind was from the North today.)

Something else that happened was Seattle Center told me I could cancel IFR with them on the Ground at Kelso. After landing I couldn't get ahold of them. (Well I guess maybe they could hear me, but I sure couldn't hear them.) I switched over to Seattle Radio and had them cancel it for me. They said they would let Center know.