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Migration Can Be Fun, BUT. . .
Excerpt from Joe Duff's 2004 Flight Log

Joe Duff, OM Pilot

Migration Can Be Fun... Leading a small flock of naive whooping cranes almost 1200 miles to Florida is a great adventure, and if it weren't’t for the fact that it takes two grueling months, it may very well be rewarding.

Combining modern technology of ultralight aircraft with the primal instinct to migrate creates a noble calling, and if it weren’t for the fear of failure, and all that could result, we might even learn to like it. 

Hop scotching across the heartland of America is enjoyable and if not for the tight quarters, constant stress, and long hours, it could be pleasant.


Spending day after day as guests of generous landowners would be relaxing, if not for the fear of wearing out our welcome, or the worry that comes when we must pen birds in a strange territory. 

A weather-induced break in lovely countryside would be agreeable, if it were not taxing our dwindling budget of $1000 per day. 

Flying an ultralight aircraft over the mountains in close formation with majestic and trusting cranes could be awe-inspiring, if not for the nausea that accompanies every take-off. If we could just relax long enough to put our full weight in the seat, leading birds might be fun. 

Flying an ultralight aircraft over the mountains in close formation with majestic and trusting cranes could be awe-inspiring, if not for the nausea that accompanies every take-off. If we could just relax long enough to put our full weight in the seat, leading birds might be fun. 

For some, observing the weather is an enjoyable leisure activity, but when the wind is always in your face, and it means another day away from home, it diminishes the experience. 

Counting the days to Christmas is normally joyous, but with a daughter at home that I have not seen since early October and miss so much it hurts; at this point, counting the days until we complete this long trek is scarcely tolerable.


Try This! Journal Questions
  • Make a two-column chart. Label one column "Fun" and the second column "Not Fun." Enter Joe's comments and then add any other comments that you think of yourself.


Journey North is pleased to feature this educational adventure made possible by the

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (WCEP).

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