Dear Miss Jenny - I have been so naughty missing your last 3 classes. Will you accept my excuse slip that life has been very hectic? So much so, that I am pulling from my old archives to participate in this weeks Alphabe-Thursday for the letter "H".
Do you have a Bucket List? I think everyone reaches a point in their life where they step back, assess where they have been and done and what they would like to do in the future. A while back I created my own little Bucket List (which can be a lot of fun to do, if you haven’t tried it!) Two of the listed items were #1 – return to Alaska and #2 – fly in a float plane and land on a remote lake. Since this is being written in Alaska, that takes care of #1. Today, #2 was realized.
A Footprint in Time…
September 3, 2010 by taylorsoutback
Rust’s Air, based at Lake Hood, Anchorage was my takeoff point. With 9 of us onboard, our pilot, Mark, headed North West and in about an hour, Mt. McKinley was in view. The tallest mountain (20,320 ft.) in North America, it also goes by the name of Denali, The Great One, or The High One. She answers to no one and has lured many to her summit or the National Park farther to the North.
We had been told that depending on weather conditions, we would circle Denali, fly over the Ruth Glacier and if possible, land on a remote glacial lake. It sounded pretty neat to me. I was not prepared for just how close we would get to this jaw dropping creation.
The sky was a deep crystal blue and our pilot informed us that this day was 1 in 100 for clear viewing. He flew us in and around the peaks with great confidence and ability as all the cameras and camcorders clicked and whirred. First the passengers on the right side had an unobstructed view and then he would gracefully bank the plane for everyone on the left. I was thrilled with the proximity as we viewed the surrounding areas – glaciers, rocky peaks, below, among and above the cloud layers…it was all so grand. At some point, I began to wonder where the remote lake landing would be…I figured we would head back towards Anchorage and find a little area amongst the spindly black spruce trees that are so prevalent at the lower levels. But as we began to drop down lower near the Ruth Glacier area and the Great Gorge…the engine slowed and we could tell Mark was preparing to come in for a landing…our “remote glacial lake” was indeed just that – high in the mountains in the carved out bowl left by a long ago glacier. The milky grey blue water was like glass as we touched down and everyone on board was grinning from ear to ear. We taxied to the rocky shoreline and were able to get out and walk around -
Each of us just stood for while, trying to take in the total isolation and other worldly feel – and the complete and utter silence.
My own insignificant footprint will disappear with the next storm that moves through, but the memory of stepping onto that shoreline is imprinted in my heart forever.
What an incredible journey....