Fall Flying Reflections
October 1, 2017
Though the event will have transpired by the time this article is published, at the time of this writing I am planning to launch on a mission to partake in the annual Flying Cloud Air Tour, commonly known as the Fall Colors Tour, which is held annually in memory of David Jaranson of Side Lake, Minnesota. David was special, in that his love of flying his green and white super cub was unsurpassed. He loved life and flying. We treasure the memories this young man gave us as he kept a positive outlook and a smile on his face, even while fighting a losing battle with cancer. He was an inspiration to us then, and he continues to inspire us today, and tomorrow.
The weather forecast is more than a bit iffy for the North Shore of Lake Superior, where much of the Fall Colors Tour will take place. Still, I have looked forward to this flight and the opportunity to meet up with many friends at the nice airport at Two Harbors and take in the beauty which fall bestows on the North Shore.
Fall is an amazing time here in Minnesota, particularly when observed from the air. The landscape seems to burst with color as we fly over virtually every part of our State. There will still be some greenery, and the pine trees seem quite content to showcase the maples and birches and oaks which are intermingled into the collage.
There are some flights which are a bit more meaningful to me than others. Sure, I really enjoy flying to take in as many of the pancake breakfasts as I can during summer, knowing I may really not know anyone at those community events, but knowing I help support aviation by flying in. Over the years I have developed many friendships with those who live across the state, but honestly, I am never sure who I might see at the destination event. Tomorrow's flight is quite a bit different in that most of those who meet at Two Harbors are there because of their friendship with David.
There will be many airplanes in the gaggle that forms the flight up the North Shore. We will all meet at the airport for a briefing, and to renew friendships. Jokes will be abundant, tall tales will be shared. We will take to the air with a degree of thanksgiving for the privilege of flight, for the miracle of the changing of leaves below us. There is sort of a bond created when we meet together for the briefing, sort of a Band of Brothers and Sisters, as we give thanks for the good fortune of having all met and admired our friend who has Gone West; for the good fortune of being able to look to our left and our right and wave our wings at our wingman or wingwoman; for the good fortune of being able to appreciate and experience the joy of flight. David, from his perch above, will once again be smiling as we explore his neck of the woods from the air.