In Minneapolis-St. Paul we boarded a two-engine plane and buckled in while the pilot tried to start the engines. An hour later, we deplaned and made preparations to camp out in the airport. Apologetic employees gave us cookies and stale sodas while we called our loved ones and scratched out our last wills and testaments on the backs of airline napkins.
Hooray, they got the second engine started. We reboarded, de-iced and prayed. Less than an hour later, we touched down on dry pavement in Aberdeen, South Dakota. On this trip, my friend and TV producer, Sam Pyke, was along. This was our first foray in what I hoped would become a regular pilgrimage to pheasant hunting’s nirvana.
In the morning Casey Weismantel, who works for the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.huntfishsd.com), swung by and picked us up at the AmericInn and we pushed south out of Aberdeen to make a hunt with guide Dennis Foster.