At 42 years old I still think it’s pretty cool to go for an airplane ride in my dad’s plane. When I was young I would have to be propped up on telephone books in order to look out the window. Nowadays I have to be careful not to knock anything important with my knees.
I’ve been wanting to get up in the air and get a picture of the wind turbines being installed in Riverton Township, also known as the Lakewinds Energy Park.
Wednesday night was a little hazy but still made for a nice view of the several dozen turbines towering over Riverton.
I remember as a boy how exciting it was to get in the plane and go on adventures, whether it was a flight to Mackinac Island or a quick tour of Mason County. For this reason I called up a friend of mine to see if he and his 12-year-old son would like to go flying. Unfortunately for my friend, Mike, he wasn’t around. But, his son, Levi, was. I don’t think Levi even gave his mother a chance to finish asking the question. When I arrived to pick him up he was anxiously waiting at the door.
On the way to the airport he asked quite a few questions. What type of plane is it? Where will be taking off from? As my dad made his pre-flight ground inspection of the plane, Levi followed him around asking questions about the rudders, elevators and ailerons.
Then it was time to take off. There’s always a little time of anticipation as you taxi to the end of the runway and then go through another pre-flight inspection. Levi admitted later he was a little nervous when we took off but was fine once we got in the air.
He sat in the back and looked left and right out the windows as we flew over Mason County. It’s amazing how being up in the air changes your perspective of the world, even if it’s just your little part of it. For 12 years of his life he has only seen his home from the ground. Levi had never been in a plane before and now sees a lot bigger world.
Having grown up flying in my dad’s plane and having flown to various parts of this country and other places in the world, I am still fascinated by flying. I love discovering new places and flying gives me an opportunity to find new places right here in Mason County. Even Wednesday I saw lakes and pounds for the first time. Many of us have seen the lake/pound between Brye Road and the U.S. 31 expressway with the Century 21 building on its east side. Did you know there is also a lake/pound of equal size on the west side of the expressway? You can’t see it from the expressway because it is hidden by trees.
The Sargent Sand Company has dug a new lake in the dunes of the Ludington State Park. This is a different lake than the one they dug many years ago off of Piney Ridge Road. The lake is a result of sand mining.
In the middle of the Nordhouse Dunes there is a huge clearing. Thousands of acres of trees and then an almost perfectly round clearing.
I love flying over farms and thinking about the generations of farmers who have provided for us. I love flying over our family’s farm on Johnson Road. It’s such a different perspective.
If you ever get a chance, I would recommend taking a plane ride around our county. The Mason County airport offers rides at a reasonable rate. It will open up a whole new world, especially for your children.
Story and photos by Rob Alway