Day 20 – The Reluctant Restart

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Sunday, July 2nd, 4:00 p.m. – Departed from Max Conrad Airport in Winona, Minnesota.

The Atmosphere’s Mood

Afternoon/Evening Conditions – Temp – Reached a high of 79* / Wind – N at 5 mph / Skies – Clear.

9:00 p.m. – Arrived at Perrot State Park near Trempealeau, Wisconsin, 15.0 miles, 38,400 steps, 202miles remaining.

Highs of the Day

  • Restarting after the Break – After taking a week off to give my body some much needed rest, the idea of getting back out there again was exciting. The adventurous spirit is live and well, and continues to push me to GET OUT THERE AND DO!
  • The Day with Jill – We haven’t had a lot of time together for the past month. We got to camp together for a night, and then spend almost an entire day together. We had breakfast at the Golden Frog in Fountain City (and a Bloody Mary for me), drove around and checked out some neighboring towns, and got to see a couple of State Parks. It was awesome! 
  • Perrot State Park – Before Jill left for the day, we went down to Perrot State Park to check it out and see if we could get me a campsite. We were successful, and that really took a lot of pressure out of the day for me. Not knowing where the day is going to end can be stressful, and sometimes doesn’t end well. We also found the park to be quite beautiful. Set amongst the bluffs adjacent to the Mississippi River, its fields of wildflowers, Black Walnut trees and variety of birds and waterfowl made it a place I looked forward to staying at. Both Jill and I are hoping to return there.

Lows of the Day

  • Restating after a Break – Yes, it was a pro and a con. The adventurous part of me wanted to GO. The rest of me just wanted to go home. It can be a tricky balance at times, and was particularly difficult on this day. I had enjoyed my week off at home, and wouldn’t have minded going back there at all. Soon…
  • Saying Goodbye – Both Jill and I really struggled with saying goodbye. We’ve been doing it a lot lately, and it just keeps getting harder. I have no choice but to think of that as a good thing. I can’t wait until we can spend enough time together again to be sick of one another…:-)

Lessons Learned – Like anything else in life, there are pros and cons to consider when embarking on an adventure such as this. While it’s a lot of fun and there are so many things to see and people to meet, missing home and the people I love is part of it too. A big part. Especially today, that part was quite a struggle.

The Flight Home, The Week to Relax

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Tuesday, June 23rd, 7:05 a.m. –  Departed from the Max Conrad Municipal Airport in Winona, Minnesota in N9407H ( a Cessna 172).

The Atmosphere’s Mood

Morning Conditions – Temp – 57* with low humidity / Wind – NW at 3 mph / Skies – Clear with ground fog persisting in the valleys.

Arrival Conditions – Temp – Reached a high of 63* / Wind – WNW 11  mph, gusting to 20 / Skies – Clear at the airport, but low cumulus clouds and light showers were immediately to the northwest of the airfield and approaching rapidly.

8:32 a.m. – Arrived at the Burnett County Airport near Siren, Wisconsin, 108 nautical miles (124 statute miles), very few steps required. 🙂

The Week’s Highs – 

  • The Flight with Paul Foster – I really enjoy flying with Paul. Always have. We fly as a crew, and make sure to watch out for one another so that both of us get to live to fly another day. Flying isn’t as dangerous as most people believe it is. Being safe in an aircraft is all about mindset and preparedness. This was Paul’s flight, and he managed the flight planning, decision making and the flight itself with skill and expertise. I got to look out the window a lot. That was a really good thing. Thank you Paul…
  • Jill – When Paul and I taxied up to the Burnett County ramp, Jill was sitting at a picnic table waiting for us. There are no words to describe how I felt in my heart when I saw her. My Love…
  • The Wedding – On this same day, we attended the wedding of some friends at Superior Shores just outside of Two Harbors. It was a beautiful, outdoor wedding on the shore of Lake Superior. It and the activities that followed were really fun, and exactly what both Jill and I needed. Congratulations Jake and Caralyn!
  • Home – There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming home after and extended absence. It’s just so easy to appreciate even the simplest of things! The cat, the couch, the porch with the view of the park and the harbor; all of these things can so easily be taken for granted. We live in such a beautiful place! Returning home served as a pleasant reminder of that fact. 🙂
  • Variety of Activities – I got to do a lot of things during the week I was home. Besides the usual catching up on laundry and getting things ready to go again, I got to do a ton of gardening, got the kayak in the water, and took a cool bicycle ride or two. I also accomplished some long awaited repairs on my old motorcycle, and took that out for a few rides too. I went out with some friends from college (Good luck, Ali. You’re gonna do great!), and got to see some old friends as well. AND, I got to fly again. It was just a quick currency flight, but the skies were most spectacular that morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better week, except for…

The Week’s  Lows – 

  • Jill is in Cape Cod – Jill and I sort of changed places this week. She was in Cape Cod for the entire week while I was at home watching the house and the cat. While the week was fun and relaxing, it would have been way more fun if Jill had been here too.
  • The week went so quickly! – Today is Saturday, the end of my week off. It’s been such a busy week that it feels like I just got here! On a positive note, I caught up on my sleep, got some much needed home and cat time, and am thankful for every moment spent in our home on the hillside. It was just the recharge I needed!

Lessons Learned – Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. Yeah, I know. It’s not an original or earth-shattering revelation. It is, however, something that I’ve felt pretty strongly about throughout this past week.