Winter collage

Winter collage

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"H" Is For High Flight...


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". 
For my regular readers, this is a repeat of a most glorious day for me personally and for visitors here for the first time, I hope you enjoy taking this incredible High Flight with me. 

A Footprint in Time…

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.
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....
 

16 comments:

La said...

Incredible indeed. Wow, that gave me chills. I'm so glad I stopped by today.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I think that Ms Jenny is the most understanding teacher :o) What an awesome adventure! Your photos were beautiful...I can just imagine the cool, crisp air and skies!
A great repeat post. Thanks for sharing it again...I missed this one the first time.

Blessings & Aloha!

EG Wow said...

What a wonderful experience. Kudos for checking off two iems on your bucket list.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

That was quite an experience and something I'd love to see too. I'm not so sure I'd want to fly in that little plane though.

Pondside said...

That was quite a day, Pat. I remember when you wrote about it last year - what an adventure!

Mrs. Adventure said...

What a beautiful post, your photos and story make me want to pack my bags and head up for a visit :o)

teresa said...

Pat ~ that looks like a great trip ~ the pictures are gorgeous

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

What an amazing adventure!!

WOW!!!

Sue said...

Sounds like a marvelous thing to check off your list!

=)

lemonverbenalady said...

Glad I refreshed your memory. It was a great day for me as well!

Esther Joy said...

I am so glad you republished this. What a beautiful description of an incredible experience - and the photos were awesome!

Judie said...

What a wonderful adventure! Your photos are really good, too!!

Lola said...

Love your ‘H’ post! Such great pics!

Have a great weekend too & look forward to *seeing* you again next time,

XOXO LOLA:)

Jenny said...

Wow. What an amazing journey. Thank you, thank you for letting us tag along. I sometimes get airsick in small planes so this was a perfect adventure for me!

Life has been busy lately. Just visit when you are able! No stress, ever, here at Alphabe-Thursday!

Thank you for linking.

A+

Cheryl D. said...

That looks like an amazing trip! Certainly a post worth repeating!

Friko said...

Something to remember for ever and ever, as long as you live.
We should all have such moments, they show us how insignificant we are and how wonderful this earth is.

Let's hope the generations after us will still be able to experience it, and that we haven't managed to destroy it.