A terrific, all night, rain deluged us and we woke to this scene. We mobilized our survival skills to make a fire--even with wet wood. The low clouds meant we could not safely take off. Who knows when they will clear.
And then the sun came out--Joyce performed the sun dance--familiar I guess to all pilots.
This strange man emerged from the woods---carrying soft drinks and charming Joyce into a hug. Is that not a classic cowboy face and body. His belt buckle also worthy of note--made of elk antler horn base.
Holes opened up in the sky ---we pack and prepare to leave.
Is it superstition or nostalgia that motivates her to turn the prop by hand a few times? The battery works just fine.
And we're off ---confident all is well.
That's hungry horse reservoir---one of many in Montana. This state is certainly on top of its water situation.
Back over the Swan mountains, we decide to drop in on Kalispell, Mt.
Landed-took a walk--and bought some cold flathead cherries from a cheerful vendor.
Joyce opts to purchase fuel from another airport across the lake--Rohan--here we are landing. Landings are more "thrilling" to me than takeoffs. Pilots call scary moments "pucker moments."
Fuel cost $4.25 a gallon.
Back at Thompson Falls--she tilts right for this photo--showing the now-dammed-up fall site.
And back to our starting point. The mouth of that valley ahead is the site of numerous Indian wars--a choke point for tribal disputes and ambush.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I'm struck by the speed up of life that airplanes make possible---by the extended range and richness they facilitate. In a single day we experienced weeks worth of change and sensation. I'm moved to poetry---redacting bits from two of my poems--I will call this rhythmic collage: AIRPLANE PEOPLE CONDENSING TIME
Their moments, like our moments will--
brush them by and over the hill.
they let them go without delay--
knowing millions more are on the way.
With relaxed intent, they glide through events
on wings like a fast-moving knife;
So these air pioneers live three hundred years
in the span of a single life.