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Stage Check Off the Back Burner

It was delayed.  I made two unnecessary morning trips to the airport only to have it cancelled.  It was required to receive a grade for the cross-country portion of my commercial syllabus.  Finally, it was today!  I had my cross-country stage check this morning.   Actually, I did the two-hour oral portion of it several days ago.  And I had bad luck again this morning.  In absolutely bone-chilling, freezing cold wind, I preflighted the 172.  I waited for it to be fueled.  The check pilot and I got in, shivering, only to discover that upon turning the key, a loud buzzing noise came from the plane and the propeller wouldn’t turn over.  The starter wouldn’t engage!  So I had to switch to a different airplane and do another preflight in the terrible cold… and even with two pairs of pants on, it hurt.  This plane started, thankfully.  The check pilot made sure I knew how to track courses, keep track of where I am, and divert to an alternate.  Then I performed all types of takeoffs and landings at Dubuque.   That was interesting because there were small clouds scattered above the airport, and under one of them, I flew through what looked like glitter.  It was a tiny patch of light snow in the morning sunlight.  I logged 1.5 hours and passed the stage check.