My girlfriend Jessica's birthday is just around the corner, so I wanted to do something special for her this year. After a bit of thinking, I decided that there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to fly around Southern Saskatchewan!
During my cross-Canada Instagram challenge, I was followed by Instagramer flyingmachines_, a pilot here in Regina. Once I saw what he did for a living, I asked him about it. After switching some dates around, we picked the perfect day: Saturday, November 7th, 2015, me and my girlfriend's 58th month together. After dropping hints the days leading up to it, I eventually told Jess what I had planned. She was excited, but also very nervous. Neither of us had ever been in a small airplane before!
On Saturday we met our pilot, Jamie Fitzel, for the first time. It was here that I first learned about his incredible flying documentary "Journey to Yellowstone" he made this past July. His story is incredible, and although I only skimmed the 5 part series, you can tell he has a definite love for flying! I highly recommend you checking it out!
The plane he took on his 1,300 nautical mile journey across unrelenting terrain was a Cessna 172... which happened to be the exact plane Jessica and I were taking that day!
The plan was to fly west from Regina to Pense, then circle my girlfriend's farm, head north to the Lumsden and the Qu'Appelle Valley, and then fly back to Regina for few laps. The total flight took about 57 minutes, but it was well worth it!
A big thanks to Jamie for making this possible!
And an early Happy Birthday to my sweetheart Jessica. I love you.
Happy Birthday Jessica!
Don't forget to pin it!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Are you looking to explore Saskatchewan? I recommend:
As this was my first time flying a kite, I'm proud to say I only crashed it about thirty times. Thankfully, my instructor said, the kite wasn't too expensive and was made for crash landings. After one particular sharp nose-dive, however, he came over to show me what I was doing wrong. After a few minor adjustments, I kicked the kite back into the air and managed to do my first loop.
The field we were in was empty that day. Within 24 hours, however, the field would be full of kite enthusiasts from across the world. Many of the kite flyers were from Canada and the United States, but some even came as far away as London, Germany and New Zealand. At only 13 years old, the SaskPower Windscape Kite Festival has become internationally renowned to kite flyers around the world.
When people think of kites, they might think of the classic diamond shaped kite of Charlie Brown. However, these days there are many different kinds of kites, and each with their own unique design and purpose.
Stonehenge, Saskatchewan, is just a little over two hours southwest of Regina, just past the town of Assiniboia. I've explored this area of the province before on previous trips, but I've never been to Stonehenge. In fact, my journey started out as a trip to Castle Butte, but after seeing a nearby marker for Stonehenge on a map, that quickly became my primary destination.
I've driven this area a few times looking for abandoned buildings. Normally I'd keep an eye out for them, but I knew most of them were a little further south. Before I got that far, I took the turn off to Ogema.
As I stood in the courtyard of Fort Henry, I heard screams emanating from within. Fort Henry was constructed to protect the Kingston Royal Dockyard from the invading American forces during the War of 1812. The threat was so real that the capital of Canada – which was then Kingston – was moved to Quebec to protect it. The docks are all that stood between the United States and the St. Lawrence River and both countries were all too familiar with how easily it would turn the tides of battle.
As the screams from inside Fort Henry faded, I turned to the man beside me. He had come with his family. We got talking, trying to calm our nerves as bloodied clowns and undead mimes began wandering out from inside the fort.