Good News, Bad News and a Case of Get-Home-Itis

Written by Jim Bredy
Sunday, May 29, 2011

Photo of Jim Bredy.The good news is that we had a successful and safe aerial survey that concluded on May 25. The bad news is that I am still trying to get my aircraft back to New Mexico. The good news part of the bad news is that my delay in getting home is due to a lot of rain—moisture which is assisting in maintaining the good to excellent wetland conditions in most of Southern Alberta. We finished the survey on May 25, and completed all of our initial data entries and summaries that evening. I bid farewell to the excellent Observer, Kevin Doherty, the morning of May 26, as he left via commercial air from Grande Prairie. I flew the aircraft to Edmonton, and had to stop there due to heavy rains from Red Deer south to the MT border. I then met with Canadian Wildlife Service personnel on May 27, and discussed the data and the survey.

I was not able to leave until May 28 due to the persistent rains to the south. I had to deviate multiple times around rain and thunderstorms and cleared US Customs in Great Falls, MT. It was snowing in the MT and WY high country, so a direct route back to NM was not safe. My hope was to get to Cheyenne, WY, as another big storm was predicted to hit the area by Sunday morning. I had to turn around, due to thunderstorms, and chose the nearest town of Worland, WY, as my stop. It is now 6PM on Sunday, and it has been raining all day, with snow in the surrounding vicinity. Because Worland is surrounded by mountains, it is not safe to fly due to the icing conditions present in the clouds. Yes, I want to get home, but having a case of get-home-itis kills pilots every year. So here I sit and await better weather.

I was away from home for only a month. But that pales in comparison to our servicemen and women who have been gone much longer than that over the centuries, fighting for our country and our freedoms. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as you enjoy the freedoms of your great outdoor adventures.

Heavy rains the end of the month, assisted in the maintenance of already excellent wetland conditions.  This photo is of the Milk River Ridge area, a few minutes before I crossed the US/Canada border enroute back to my home base in New Mexico.

Heavy rains the end of the month, assisted in the maintenance of already excellent wetland conditions. This photo is of the Milk River Ridge area, a few minutes before I crossed the US/Canada border enroute back to my home base in New Mexico. Photo by Jim Bredy, US FWS

Deviating around thunderstorms. Trying to get back home.

Deviating around thunderstorms. Trying to get back home. Photo by Jim Bredy, US FWS