Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Day 7: Wisconsin to North Dakota

8 November 2005

Back to Freddy, after a few days with the band. It was good to be back with the fellow. Took off around 8:30am and flew fast up north into Minnesota to see the land of 1000 lakes. And more than a thousand lakes I saw. Very cool it was. A quick lunch in Alexandria, Minnesota and then I continued on to try to make North Dakota! And make it I did, landing in Jamestown, which is just over the border. I had initially planned to go further but there was a bit of haze in the air, and I did not want to fly in haze after sunset. So land I did in Jamestown. I could reach no one on the radio when I inquired about fuel and a tie down for the evening. I could also see no planes nor people on the airport. I wondered if the airport was closed but seeing the runway lights on, I knew it had to be open.

I fueled up with the self service, the standard routine now, and then took a look around. There was one spot with ropes for a tie down which someone said I could use, when I finally knocked on a hangar door. But since landing, the wind had gone from three or four knots to twenty four or so. In my exploration I had found what looks like an abandoned hangar, that is except for the many pigeons who had taken up residence there, so I pulled Freddy around and slipped him in with barely a foot of clearance on either wing tip. But we were a bunch of cozy cookies in there. The front door stayed open but it was facing away from the wind. The wind eventually made it to gusts of 39 knots and hard rain poured down. Canceling my usual evening in town because of the wind and rain, I hung out with my man, Fred. We still rocked about due to the wind even inside the hangar, and it continued all through the night.

I had a slight crisis earlier when I thought I broke the video camera. I was taping the putting of Freddy into the hangar when a gust blew the tripod over, yes, I have a tripod. My main form of entertainment would not focus - the blow had crippled its internal electronics. Or so I thought. I gave thanks to those who take thanks when I put in the other battery and my problems were solved. The sacrifices we make for a good shot.

So I hung out with Fred and did some housekeeping: reviewed my notes, added some things to my checklists, watched a few planes go in and out and listened to North Dakota public radio. my in house dinner: hummus, black beans, wheat bread, raisons and some Triscuit crums. Deliciousa. 48 degrees inside the plane at bedtime. Many thanks to the pigeons who let me and Freddy be by ourselves. It would have been a nasty night out in the open.

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