This day was quite uneventful. I had a few options to go south: I could fly to Nakina, which I visited on my way up, or I could be adventurous and visit Pickle Lake. Pickle Lake was a bit longer flying, which meant that I would safe some time the next day, when I was hoping to meet my Canadian benefactor. I should have enough fuel to cover the distance. My lovely hosts executed their last friendly action and found me a hotel room in Pickle Lake. It was rather pricey since it was apparently a very popular holiday spot during weekends.
After this, it was time for the goodbye. It was one of the stops I’ll remember for a long time. They dropped me off at the airport and drove away, ready to work another day.
I felt like a local pilot walking through the security door in Churchill once again. I knew the security code by now and without any hassle I reached my airplane. I noticed another small airplane on the ramp. The pilot was on his way to Alaska. One of the rare adventurous (or crazy ?) single engine pilots out there. Filing the flight plan took a while. The following flight was uneventful, yet again a beauty. I had read in the news paper that Pickle Lake had been evacuated the week before due to forest fires. The hotel owner assured me that everything had been taken care off. I didn’t notice at the time, but the destruction of the fires is clearly visible on the pictures I took of the Pickle Lake area.
I was pleasantly surprised to notice a modern FBO in Pickle Lake. The last one I saw was just before the border crossing in the US. They provided me with reasonably priced fuel and drove me to my hotel. The view was nice, the air was pure and my stomach empty. Thus I headed to find the restaurant the hotel owner recommended. It was on this walk that I had my first unpleasant experience in Canada. A group of teenagers tried to start a fight. The shotgun was still in the plane, so I tried to blend in with the crowd. Which was quite hard when there are only 2 people on the street. The instructions of the hotel owner were a bit vague, which resulted in missing the restaurant. To avoid any violence with the local youth, I entered the first bar I could find. It looked a bit sleazy but the food was edible.
Back in my room, I inspected my mosquito bites from the day before. They had grown to unseen proportions. I tried to reach Kevin to inform him that I would be arriving the next day. A few missed calls, a couple of emails and forum posts later, the message got across. I was finally going to meet this total stranger who made such a significant contribution to my trip.