My wife’s family has a cabin on a lake very near the boundary waters just outside of Ely, Minnesota.
Ely, Minnesota is a wonderful place. One of the primary egress and ingress points for the Boundary Water Canoe Area. It’s also got that friendly Minnesota small-town feel but due to the enormous amount of tourists and travelers the have an economy and businesses that are similar to a much bigger population.
After the baby baptism my intention was to stay the rest of that day and take off the next morning but weather was getting in the way. I had clear weather that afternoon (albeit a bit windy) but it was potentially going to be cloudy the next day. That would have potentially stranded me for a few days. Between having good weather for sure and chancing it 18 hours later, I took off that afternoon.
I passed directly over Harper’s Ferry, IA again.
A little later, I followed a section of the Wisconsin River
Then Madison. It was tough to get a decent picture or even a half-decent picture as the light began to get a little dimmer. Here’s the best I managed.
I had to stop for fuel as it got darker and made a pit-stop at KENW. Then it was time for one of the reasons for the trip in general: The fly-by of Chicago at night. As I discussed briefly in a previous post, to stay out of Chicago’s airspace, you need to fly low and over the water. If you don’t, you risk having Air Traffic Control vector you half-way across America to keep you out of the way.
The remainder of the flight was quiet and smooth as I flew over Indiana and Ohio farmland before arriving at my home airport.
After getting a strong head-wind the entire flight back, it felt great to get out of the airplane and stretch my legs.
I’ve wanted to fly to Saint James since I got my pilot license. It was so nice to skip the commercial flight and rental car and land within 5 minutes of my destination. Having the whole in-law family plus some to see me land and pick me up at the airport was an extra treat.
As long as I had the plane in Saint James and the weather was clear, it was a good idea to take a short tour of the town from the air. I went begging for a bit to find someone willing to climb into the right seat of the airplane but eventually convinced an only slightly worried sister-in-law to be designated photographer.
Grandma-in-law’s place on St. James lake.
We did a quick fly-by of the in-law’s home and they even came out to wave.
It was a short circuit around the town but it was a lot of fun to see it from the air.