An Early Morning Cross Country Flight Weather here has been too hot to enjoy. Last night it was cool, so I got up early this morning (05:30 IS early) and flew a small cross country (XC) in southern Michigan. Visibility was over 10 miles, looked like about 15. Ceiling was unlimited. I was off the ground at 08:00, and flew over a couple of sod strips as checkpoints, then back home to Mason KTEW. Winds were so calm that I took off heading east, and landed heading west. Southern Michigan is a checkerboard of green fields, golden ones where wheat has ripened, streams and rivers, ponds and lakes, small towns, and a city with a federal prison. They don't like us to overfly a prison at lower altitudes, and I was about 2,500 feet above ground level, so I flew about 5 miles of E'ly of it. A few major highways serve as landmarks, confirming what the iPad and GPS tell me. It's reassuring to look out and see a highway, lake, or city where it's actually supposed to be by watching the charts. I have a new toy, a GPS. I used it to back up the iPad for navigation, and to track our flightpath. Kinda neat to put that flightpath on a topo map, and also see it overlain on aerial photos. I can see the lakes that I saw from the air - towns and rivers too. The air was smooth and clean. Landing was even easy, and I was off at the first exit from the runway. Put the Duck to bed in the hangar, "Thanks, Lady. Nice flight." And off for coffee with some friends.