My  First  Flight

My first-ever airplane ride came as a total surprise.  In 1995 I was on vacation in Park Rapids, MN visiting relatives.  Using the excuse that they needed to pick up a package, my Uncle Tony and cousin Mara got me to the airport.  The weather had been overcast and rainy all day, so while I waited in the car they went in to check with a pilot friend of theirs to see if it had cleared enough to fly.  My cousin came out and motioned me to come over by the fence.  When I got there she said "SURPRISE! You're going for a ride!"  I didn't have time to get nervous -- in 5 minutes I was buckling the seatbelt.  She handed me her camera and away we went.  The nerves kicked in as we started our take off roll, but when we got a couple hundred feet up and I saw how pretty everything was from the air I thought ~if we crash, at least I get a scenic view!~  This remains the most scenic flying I've done. Crossing the Rockie Mountains at 30,000 feet in a 757 is nice, but seeing the lakes and trees of northern MN. from 1500 feet is much more exciting!  Thank you Aunt Maggi and Uncle Tony!
MNflight_1 Some of the 10,000 lakes.....
MNflight_3 It's easy to see the sand bars from up here!
A view of Park Rapids, MN. MNflight_4
MNflight_5 On final approach for runway 13 at the Park Rapids Municipal Airport.  My first landing.
Safely on the ground, but it took weeks to get my head out of the clouds! MNflight_6