2501 Miles From Home

2501 Miles From Home

Zehnder FieldThe journey continues. Today we started in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin from where we headed up the West coast of Lake Michigan, following the shoreline until we crossed into Lake Huron. Just after crossing into Lake Huron we came upon Mackinac island (pronounced Makinaw). We landed and were instantly transported back in time. In 1898 motorized vehicles were banned and it has stayed that way ever since. You have a couple choices for transportation on the island, you can walk, ride a bike or take a horse-drawn carriage. The town is only 2 miles from the airport so we chose to walk, it was a beautiful walk through the woods. Over 80% of the island is a state park and this keeps infrastructure to a minimum. About a mile and a half from the airport we arrived at The Grand Hotel, which opened in 1887 and has been owned and operated by the same family for the last 3 generations (soon to be 4). It’s $10 just to get in and see the hotel but if you make it to Mackinac it’s worth your time.
Mackinac Island was great but the significance for me was that when we departed I was once again headed towards home. It is not going to be a direct route but every mile I fly will bring me closer to my home airport.
From Mackinac Island we headed South and landed at William ‘Tiny’ Zehnder Field. Quite a long name for a 2500 foot grass strip. The approach had trees at one end of the runway, there was no wind to help slow my groundspeed and I used all but 100 feet of the runway to safely come to a stop. I parked Estelle next to the runway and hammered some tie-downs into the grass and buttoned her up for the evening. What a great part of the country to fly in, it has been mostly blue skies, tailwinds and more grass runways than you can shake a stick at. I have more grass landings in the last week than I have the rest of my flying career.
From here we continue South to see the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton Ohio and of course stop at Sporty’s Airport in Cincinnati Ohio.

Pilot Michael
Pilot Michael


  1. Adam Baker Says: August 24, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I love KMCD! Did you get any fudge while you were on the Island?

  2. We did talk about the AF Museum at Oshkosh. Thanks for planting the idea, it stuck. We are planning on flying down there this afternoon and shooting for a few hours. We are then going to spend all day Thursday there with a guide so we have a professional to help get us through in a day.
    I’m very excited.

  3. Hey, you are in my neck of the woods. I think we talked about the AF Museum at Oshkosh. (I’m about 45 miles from the museum, so I’ve been there quite a few times) You’ll need a long day just to see the highlights! If you start looking at details and reading all the information, it’ll take a couple days to get through.
    Have fun!