Early Sunday morning was overcast and raining. It wasn't apparent whether the flights would actually get off, but I left after 8 a.m. to make the hours drive out to Oregon, Illinois. The weather cleared up along the way and I arrived in time for my reserved 9:30 flight, just as another front began to move in from the west.
Here are the ladies that were inside the building at the airport. That's Dixie on the right, and her friend. Sorry I didn't jot down her name. They were selling bottled water and Pringles.
After checking in I proceed back to "Gate One", and just beyond my chariot (a Piper) awaited.
The pilot introduced himself and launching into my interviewer-mode I determined he'd been flying since the '70's and he really liked this new plane he'd purchased - more horsepower! He'd flown over from Freeport to offer rides for the day.
I've been in alot of small planes in my day, some while traveling in Central America that literally had tape holding some instruments from sliding around on top of the cockpit dashboard. But most of the planes I've flown in had a high wing, I think that's what's it's called. This plane required that we step on a small bar, grab a handhold and walk up on the wing to climb into the very small cockpit area. There's two seats in the back - for some very, very tiny people.
It's so interesting to be in the cockpit and watch the instruments and take off and landing, which is something that never happens in a commercial jet.
My pilot, Darryl Jensen, banks to the left after takeoff and we head south towards the reason for my trip - the Fields Project.
Come back tomorrow and find out more about high culture in the middle of a 15 acre farm field.