Joining the Southeastern Minnesota Flying Club made flying a lot cheaper than renting from Rochester Aviation. Now that I had my license, I had lots of plans. I wanted to take all my friends up for a ride, go for $100 hamburger runs and take some flying vacations. One of the first people to fly with my was my friend Tom Weideman.
On our first trip, we flew from Rochester up to Red Wing, then followed the Mississippi river to Winona, then west back to Rochester. That was one of my favorite tours to take people on. Tom also liked to go with me when I went out to the airport to practice touch and go landings. To him, it was like riding a great amusement park ride. I really liked taking someone along that really appreciated the good times.
One winter day, Tom and I went for a hamburger run to Rice Lake, Wisconsin. The wind was really strong out of the north, so the flight up there took about an hour and a half. We got a car from the FBO and went for lunch. When we were ready to come back, the airplane had really chilled down because of the below zero wind chill that day. But after we got the engine started, we were off for home. Now we had a really strong tail wind. It only took about 15 minutes to get to the Mississippi, then another 10 to Rochester. Tom couldn’t believe how fast it went.