blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Day 5: Rainy Lake

The fog behind us
The thunder we'd have met west of Thunder Bay reached us in the night and left us with a foggy morning: "300ft broken, 1500 ft overcast". However, visibility on the hill above town where the airport is was enough to get us airborne after lunch, when the larger clouds were gone. We heard a warning over the airwaves later that they were towering to 43,000 ft at the eastern end of Lake Superior.

Before we'd reached 2500 ft on our way up to 6000, we broke through the fog layer, and above and beyond it was a perfect summer's day. ATC turned us left heading 350 and then asked, "Do you want to fly the airway or go direct?"

"We request direct!"

View of Rainy Lake as we approached Fort Frances
"Stand by, I'll see what I can arrange. ... PTN is cleared direct to Fort Frances."

This took us over gloriously wild, mostly flat scenery full of oxbow rivers, muskeg and unspoilt lakes. We zipped along at what Chris ironically calls the nosebleed rate of 87 knots (not very fast for an aircraft, about 100 mph), through or under the small cumulus clouds, sometimes rocked by gusts of wind, sometimes in smooth air.

Winnipeg Centre handed us over to Minneapolis Centre. We could see the extent of Rainy Lake from a far distance, and as we came closer, the myriad islands and the twin towns of Fort Frances and International Falls that lie on the Ontario / Minnesota border. When we landed ahead of a family of 6 from Colorado in a Commanche, we had gained an hour. The gentleman who was Unicom and fuel attendant and airport manager combined has lent us his van until tomorrow, so that we could drive ourselves to tonight's lodging, La Place Rendez-vous, a resort on the lakeshore. And for an extra $10 I had booked a lakeside room--well worthwhile. Chris is sitting outside the room in an Andirondack chair watching the sky colour over the lake as I write this and the sun sets.

Mill, Fort Frances

Fort Frances Post Office

Swimming in Rainy Lake
We took the van into town for supper (steaks) and peered over the river to the American side where a cumulonimbus cloud was rapidly growing. The gust front caught us scuttling back to the main street, but didn't wet us too much. This evening I got myself wet all over swimming in the lovely Lake from the beach beside the hotel. We were the only people there.

Chris at the Place Rendezvous, outside our room

View from our hotel room

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