A Good Tired

30 Sep

As I sit in my recliner writing this post, I am exhausted but its a good tired.  This morning I woke up with an anticipation for a day off from work and day filled with flying.  All week long I’ve been looking forward to a day of flying up north with my husband to see some fall colors.  I was not disappointed.

We arrived at the airport at 9:30 this morning and I pre-flighted the airplane, got my weather briefing, filed my flight plan and we were off. 

The original plan had been to fly from St. Cloud (STC) to Duluth (DLH) and then east to Madeline Island (4R5).  Last evening we looked over my plan and decided to change our route to St. Cloud to Superior, Wisconsin (SUW) and then east to Madeline Island and then back to St. Cloud.  The change in our route meant less time over the open water of Lake Superior and more over land but still along the lake for the view.

We arrived in Superior just in time for lunch and ate at the airport at the Upper Deck Restaurant.  While we were eating we watched other pilots landing and taxiing to the ramp just outside our restaurant window.  Very cool.  The food was very good and reasonable in price. 

The more we watched, the more we noticed the clouds moving in from the northwest.  The sky was starting to fill up with clouds.  According to the forecast they weren’t supposed to move in until much later in the day.  Decision time.  Do we proceed with our plans to go to Madeline Island or start heading back home?  I am a VFR pilot.  That means I have to be able to see the ground at all times when I am flying.  I don’t have an instrument rating which would allow me to fly in the clouds. 

I had my heart set on going to the island because we had gone there on our honeymoon and this was our first big flying trip but I wanted to be safe.  We have a lot of responsibilities and flying in bad conditions put others at risk they may have to search for you if something happens and you are unable to complete your flight as planned. 

We sat a little longer and discussed our options of  other places to visit and decided to work our way back home and enjoy the scenery along the way.  We would have to visit Madeline Island on another flight.  It was a wise choice as it turned out.  When we departed from Superior southwest to St. Cloud we were unable to climb to our desired altitude because the clouds were too low.  Not only were the clouds too low but we encountered a very bumpy ride.  We were buffeted by strong winds from the northwest. 

Here are some of the pictures I took along the way.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to take good pictures while flying but here goes.

I believe that it’s the Rum River cutting through the fall colored trees.

This was one of many gravel pits that we flew over on our trip to Superior Wisconsin.  It only makes sense with the amount of road construction you see in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the summer.  It looks like a big boy’s sandbox.

The picture to the left was taken as we departed south out of Superior, Wisconsin.  You can see the shadows of the clouds on the ground as we were flying and how low the cloud were.

I liked the mix of the rows of pine trees and fall colors in this picture.

It looks like this farmer had some artistic flair when he started harvesting his corn.

Milaca Airport

 Can you find the airport on this picture.  It is a favorite around here.  It is the Milaca Airport (18Y).  Its a grass strip.  Your only clue is that it is near the top of this photo.  It was one of the hardest airports for me to find the first time I visited there.


Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Flying Adventures, Nature, Vacations


Tags: , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “A Good Tired

  1. Joe Clark

    October 1, 2010 at 4:45 am

    You hit this one out of the ballpark today, Jeanne. Bravo Zulu for the flying, writing, and photography. Good decision-making; I had meant to mention you ought not be flying over Lake Superior on one engine, but you figured that out on your own. You passed the test.

    • flyinggma

      October 1, 2010 at 7:03 am

      Thanks Joe. I didn’t realize until I started working on my nav log just how many miles of water I would be flying over. Lake Superior just isn’t something to mess with boating or flying.

      It was great to be back at the airport. Flying yesterday made me realize just how much I would like to have my own plane and closer to home so I could do more flying. I’ll have to work on that.

  2. Joe Clark

    October 1, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Oh yes, another website to check out:

    • flyinggma

      October 1, 2010 at 7:40 am

      Thanks Joe, But you really should have warned me about how much time I would spend on that site if I visited it. I was hooked on all the fantastic photos.

      I will officially be late for work this morning if I don’t get moving.

  3. Thomas Stazyk

    October 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Great pictures! Is the little airport that green strip between your wing strut and the highway?

    • flyinggma

      October 3, 2010 at 8:11 am

      Thank you Thomas. It was fun flying and taking the pictures. You found the airport in the picture. The picture is taken from the north and the strip runs pretty much north and south.

      The first time I flew there I was flying in from the west so I didn’t have the same view. I ended up flying over the airstrip and circling back to land.

      The next time I flew there I was setting up to land and noticed that there was a lawnmower cutting the grass on the strip and circled back once again to land after he moved off the runway.

      One of the best parts of flying is going to different airports and meeting new people.

  4. midlifepilot

    January 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Jeanne, checked out your photos. Utterly awesome! Though I live in Australia, I’ve spent a lot of time living and travelling in the USA including plenty of time in and around Chicago. These photos remind me just how beautiful the world is in your neck of the woods.

    I’ll be following your future posts with keen interest.

    • flyinggma

      January 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks for checking out the post. It was one of my favorite trips so far. I also have one flight where I flew over a granite quarry in our area and it is one of my favorite photos. I don’t remember which post but it would be tagged under flight training.


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