I arrived at the Regina airport last Friday after a quick ride from Calgary via Air Canada and was met by Richard Reetz and his son Caleb who flew me to Estevan via “Air Reetz.”
The only other time in my life I have flown in a small private plane was about 30 years ago in Oregon. On that jaunt, I sat in the back, facing sideways and Oh Baby did I get sick! I mentioned to Richard that I was prone to motion sickness and he suggested I take a Gravol since it was a bit bumpy on this cloudy day.
After I swallowed the little pill, we walked outside the Regina terminal and around the back — no security line-up — and through a gate onto the tarmac where the little orange plane was waiting for us. What a pretty little thing she was. The plane is older than the pilot but in mint condition — I snapped a few photos with my iphone before climbing into the co-pilot’s seat.
Richard gave me a headset to wear, said a few magic words to the air traffic controlloer, turned into the wind and we were off. It took less than a minute for us to get up to 60 mph and then we zoomed straight up and were gone. Richard told me we would fly at 155 mph and it would take 45 minutes to get to Estevan. We cruised along at 1000 feet — like a hot air balloon only faster — and the view was spectacular.
Before leaving home that morning, knowing I would be picked up by private plane, I had left explicit instructions with Gerry about the Order of Worship and choice of hymns for my funeral. I had told him I wished to be cremated and wanted my ashes spread at Waterton Park. “Which hike?” he asked. “Will I have to climb a lot?” After humoring me for a few minutes Gerry laughed and said, “Connie! You’re not going to die. You are flying in southern Saskatchewan — it’s one big landing strip!” And so it was. But terribly thrilling to see it from a whole new perspective. Thank you Richard and Caleb for one of the best trips of my life!