Friday, August 09, 2013

Flying out of the Soo

Wednesday saw a beautiful morning with scant high clouds and no wind to speak of. We broke camp and caught a ride to the airport from a fellow camper and took off for points south, overflying the locks on the way out.
Oh look--sunken barges!

Our flight path took us down the ship channel and around the tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, with a touch-and-go on Drummond Island just because it was there. And there were ships in that channel.

Then it was westward, destination Mackinac Island.
Here's the wold-famous Grand Hotel.
And old Fort Mackinac, on the bluff overlooking the town and harbor.
I tied down next to the beautiful Cessna 185. (want, want, want...)
I'll do another whole post on Spud's day in the island shortly, but suffice it to say that he was in his glory all day, seeing new things and talking to reinactors.
Come evening, it got to be time to go. We hiked back up to the airport, then we fired up, taxiing out past this spiffy L-39, complete with dummy missiles, that must have come in during our stay.
We overflew the Mackinac Bridge again, and Mackinac City, with historic Fort Michlimackinac below.
.Then I took a couple of orbits around another Great Lakes legend, the recently-decommissioned Coast Guard ice-breaker Mackinaw, USCG 83.
From her launching in 1944 until her retirement in 2006, she was the undisputed Queen of the Great Lakes icebreakers. I toured her many times in younger years when she came to Grand Haven for Coast Guard week. I'm glad to see her preserved as a museum ship, but my personal opinion is that she should be back in Grand Haven, not stuck way up in Mackinaw City where few will see her.

After a fuel stop in Cheboygan, we headed south with the sun setting beneath the starboard wing. It was full dark by the time we reached West Branch so the rest of the flight down was night flight. Spud saw Bay City, Saginaw and Flint for the first time, each all lit up from 5000 feet. Then we made a long descent into the municipal field near his place. It was a long day but a good one for both of us.


  1. Sounds like fun. Looking forward to the next edition.

  2. Wow....sure you wish you were MY uncle!

  3. What a GREAT day!

  4. Great way to spend the day, and hopefully some of the good stuff will rub off on the Spud!

  5. Anonymous10:48 AM

    Great pictures thanks for sharing them

  6. Amigo, I envy the bejesus out of you for having the chance to do that sort of stuff. You seem to be rubbing off on Spud and that ain't bad.
    Thanks for the glimpse of places I've been (at ground level).