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By Skyhawk to the Pacific - Day 1 - Ithaca to Mackinac Island

July 11, 2017 9:30 PM | Michael Brown (Administrator)

Unusually for one of my long-distance flights, the weather cooperated and we (N46493, John Hrubos and I) were able to take off as planned, on time.

Before long, we were passing Niagara Falls

From Niagara, we passed into Canada. This is a ship on the Welland Canal.

Overflying Canada is no big deal. You just need to be on a flight plan, Buffalo hands you off to Toronto, and off you go.

I think this Canadian pond looks like a rabbit - or maybe a triceratops?

This part of Canada is basically flat, with large farms having large collections of grain elevators.

A couple of hours of Canada, and we passed into Michigan. The St. Clair River divides Sarnia, Ontario (left) from St. Clair, Michigan (right).

The weather remained good, with a broken layer of clouds extending from 2,500 to about 3,500 feet. We mostly stayed on top, as there were more than ample holes to drop down through when we needed to.

As we headed northward in Michigan, the land flattened out even more, and the roads became straighter.

After three hours and fifty minutes flying, we were on final approach for runway 32, KMBS Saginaw, Michigan, for lunch and fuel.

After lunch, it was only 140 miles to our destination. Along the way we passed the first, but I'm sure not the last, rocker pump of the trip.

Soon the shore of Lake Huron appeared and we crossed over to follow the south shore of Bois Blanc Island westward to Mackinac Island. The pattern at Mackinac Island is a bit odd - you're requested to fly the downwind and base legs over water, so basically for runway 26 you fly downwind along the east coast of the island, then turn and follow the north coast as your base leg, then turn final.

And, we were landed. We tied down 46493 at the end of a satisfying day of flying, about five and a half hours total.

The FBO called a taxi for us, and when it arrived it had about eight seats and two horsepower. Well, two horses. It turns out that cars were banned on Mackinac Island in 1910 and today all transportation (other than a fire truck and an ambulance) is horse drawn or by bicycle. This is the island's UPS delivery vehicle - of course, the horses are brown - what else?

This is "City", the only town on Mackinac Island.

I'll finish up with a picture of one of Mackinac Island's inhabitants.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we're off for Fargo, ND. We'll see how far we get...

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