Up, Up and Away - Social Distancing Goes Over the Top!

By Lori Johnson

HIXTON - Dale and Nancy Klevgard of Hixton have a unique way to help bear the isolation that the current times deem necessary.

Dale is the Manager of the Black River Falls Airport, and his job, is considered “essential” during this time of uncertainty includes keeping the airport in running order, and does safety checks. They always have to be prepared - Recently an airplane had to make an emergency landing at the BRF airport, and they were ready for it. Dale also needs to keep his pilot’s license current, occasionally doing required numbers of takeoffs and landings. On this past beautiful Palm Sunday, they jumped in Dale’s Piper Cherokee 4-place airplane and took to the skies to do just that!

Nancy provided the following details of their flight:

“After taking off from Black River Falls, we headed East to Lake Arbutus. The last time we had flown over, it was covered in ice and dotted with fishing shacks! This time, the waters were open and running. We continued on to Neillsville so Dale could practice a landing and take-off.”

“Flying the approach, I looked down at a farm and saw a lot of vehicles. I thought that there were WAY too many cars there, that they must be having a very large gathering, and they needed to practice social distancing. Then I realized I was looking at an automotive junk yard! The joke was on me, “ chuckled Nancy. Then she continued. ““After taking off again, we headed to Lake Wazee and the cranberry bogs. Things were still a bit brown with no leaves on the trees, but in contrast, the bogs were a lovely deep red. Returning, Dale did an approach and a smooth runway landing. Total time in the air was 50 minutes, with about 100 miles covered. I was busy with her camera during the relaxing trip and we both enjoyed the bird’s eye view of Jackson and Clark Counties.”

Finding a way to do something interesting, and yet being safe during this time of isolation can be challenging. Nancy noted, "We're lucky we have this hobby to occupy our time, because our "social distance" from anyone is nearly a mile away... straight up!"

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