Clinic Stories

Keep Your Feet to Yourself

Isle Royale National Park is the least visited national park. For one thing, it is closed from November 1 to April 15 each winter. Also it is accessible only by ferry, float plane or boat. It is a roadless, car free cluster of islands near the Canadian border in Lake Superior. Isle Royale is famous for its wolf and moose populations and the studies that have been done on their interaction.

Rather than take the four hour ferry ride that runs twice weekly, I opted for a 45 minute float plane ride. Leaving with two other passengers from Hancock County, Michigan airport, we had perfect weather. I sat in front next to the pilot and enjoyed the view. After all, Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world by surface area, and holds 10% of the world's fresh surface water. It is huge and powerful. In the Summer the sun sets 35 minutes later on the Western shore than the Eastern shore. Waves of 40 feet height have been been recorded.

Enjoying the view and marveling at one of the world's great wonders I stretched out my legs. Gradually the plane banked to the right. The pilot then told me that I had my foot on the controls and was turning us starboard. I quickly pulled my legs back and we straightened. The pilot assured me that it was not a problem while we were in mid flight but it could have been an issue if I had banked us while landing. For the rest of the flight I kept my feet tucked firmly against the seat.

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