Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

May 12, 2009

Just another Monday......


On temporary layoff, I decided to spend an afternoon flying to Ashland airport. I had it in the back of my mind to fly to Madeline Island and land at the airport there. Here is a look at the trip……

This shows the route, starting at JFK Memorial Airport near Ashland, veering to the West on the way up. Turns out that this little jaunt was about 45 miles long. Great scenery……..

Ashland from due West, about 2000’ up.

A bit of Ashland and Chequamegon bay with "cloud shadows".

Washburn from the west, southwest. The tip of Madeline Island is at the upper left, and inbetween is the arc of Long Island. By this time I'm at about 4000' elevaton.

Looking north from Washburn, along and across the peninsula. You can see Sand Island and the tiny Eagle Island on the other side of the land (if you click on the image to blow it up....)

Looking north as I approach Madeline. Not the best photo, but a nice view of most of the islands and a bit of the peninsula. The water crossing here is about 4.5 miles, kind of like going from the Ottertail to Highway 8 at Prentice.

La Pointe, from the south.

La Pointe airport.

I really like this view. I was over the very Southeastern corner of Madeline Island, looking North, Northwest toward Bayfield. Across the peninsula you can see Sand Island, the second farthest West of all the Apostles. A two mile water crossing here.

As you may have guessed by now, I did not land on the island. I really did not want to give up all this wonderful altitude to land, and then have to spend a bunch of time climbing back to a height that felt O.K. for crossing that water…. I’ll land there sometime when the weather is a bit warmer.

What a thrill it was to be out over that huge lake and see all the islands!! They certainly look different when you see them from that high up.

This is an odd one. As I was crossing from Madeline to Bayfield, I noticed how the sunlight was reflecting from the lake on the south side of the plane. That's choppy water 4000' below......

As I turned south and flew over the water near the peninsula, I could see the harbor at Cornucopia, about 18 miles to the west.

So I was headed for JFK airport once again. I would fly over the point by Washburn and across the west end of Chequamegon bay.

One last view of Ashland from the North. Then I started thinking about a descent, an approach and landing, and getting warmed up! I had left the passenger side door off the plane for better photos.... I misjudged the temperatures and I was pretty cold by the time I got back. I refueled at Ashland and headed off toward Phillips Internationa.... The thermal activity on the way back was quite amazing. While north of Ashland, the clouds had been few and far between, but going south was another matter. I was at 5500' on the way home and being about 1000' below the clouds, I got in on some spectacular updrafts. Under each one of those immense, fluffy white clouds is a column of ascending air. This is just where the hang gliders like to be..... anyway, it was amazing to see the altimeter suddenly start climbing, I would push forward on the stick to avoid gaining altitude and the plane would be aimed downhill and increase airspeed quickly! A few times I had to actually throttle back quite a bit to avoid either large altitude gains or else very high airspeeds. Wild. It's weird to have the plane pitched very noticably downward, going quite fast and still gaining altitude.....

I looked back a ways and found this related post. That was the first trip north, here is the second.

Well that's all that's new here, Peg is home this week as well and she is working on getting ready for the last big push on the garage sale.

I gotta go, Carlo



Anonymous said...

WOW! that's really neat! i think that's one for the books, but i dunno if i could go out over the water so high? hmmm.


Anonymous said...

I know that I could not go out over the water so high!!! I can barely stand to look at these pictures and know that Gene was up there taking them. They are great pictures tho. Please be very careful when you are up there in the sky.


Carlo said...

Actually, its much better to be way up there when over the water, as it gives a chance to glide 4 or 5 miles back to land, if necessary. In this case, I was never more than a mile from any land at any time.

yram said...

I recognize Sand Island! Have been there. All those views are familiar in a way and can place them in my head. I love the apostles. What a jewel. Will have to cop a ride up there sometime. Think you could circle out to Bear and Devil's? Devil is farthest north point of Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Those are some amazing pictures!! Adam and I have spent some time up in that area so it is neat to see it from a different viewpoint! Hard to believe just a couple of months ago all that water was ice!

Good luck with the garage sale this weekend!

yram said...

I think i see bear and devil in the 10th picture?

Kent Gabrielsen said...

Beautiful Scenery!

Anonymous said...

Wow fantastic!!! I want to go!!!!! Come pick me up in Wausau! :)~Rosie