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.
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.