Wednesday, 18 August 2010


ALMOST ON A WHIM SHE SAYS: IM IN THE MOOD FOR HUCKLEBERRY PANCAKES! She lifts us into the air and I look down on my tiny dot of a rig--- beginning to appreciate the grander vision granted to pilots. Flying is an invitation to put aside pettiness.
I have no notion where we are going---only that its the opposite of yesterdays direction--and downstream. I learned that down this valley once rolled the greatest flood the world has ever seen. ( yes greater than THAT ONE--its a myth anyway--when will the bible thumpers of the world ever google the Gilgamesh flood myth and learn where that story really came from--but I digress) To get the story of this whopper flood--google lake Missoula.
She lets me fly the plane--not keen on letting me land it.
Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced pond er ray) 148 sq miles of splendor--and it harbors a terrific secret--which I will reveal--In its depths there moves about--man sized creatures with intelligence like ours--air breathing--yet they can stay under for hours or even days while they do mysterious things. Somewhere near its center, these creatures have built a kind of lodge, not unlike the beavers do. Amazing---yet I swear it's the truth--google it and read the story for yourself.
Beyond Lake Pend Oreille---this! My pilot says it's a long running forestry experiment.
Priest Lake---somewhere out there is a gathering of eagles--which my pilot says we can join--if we can locate them--we fly all around looking--
for that strip of green
Can you tell that its a rare and challenging landing zone--BECAUSE IT'S RATHER STEEPLY UPHILL!
But a piece of cake to my pilot who's landed here many times. I found the moment thrilling and managed to capture this shot just before we sat down.
Here are the Eagles of which I spoke---(if a group of geese is a gaggle---I shall declare this a PILE of pilots) Seems this is a favorite haunt for weekend get-away-ers with wings. I expected a cluster of rich sob's conspicuously consuming and impressing----BUT NOT SO---these are folks of moderate means who saved their money--bought an old plane that they lovingly care for. My biggest surprise was that most of these planes are about 50 years old. Did you know that planes have a longer useful life than sailboats---or often--- houses. These folks are frugal--most camp in tents--and are very friendly. You want quality friends--people with wit, wisdom and gumption--look among the pilots with old planes. I'm delighted with my friend.
So I purchased exactly what she was hungry for. Those are huckleberries atop the pancakes---delicious---in a leisurely hour we ate the whole thing. If you wonder how pilots get around when they land at small airports--I will tell you---they borrow the courtesy car--usually provided by the local government--for a small fee.
After a full afternoon of assorted activities (and a nap for me) we take off---downhill. Counterintuitive to me--uphill seemed smarter. But my pilot chose the factor of wind over gravity--(note the windsock)and here we are at about 80 mph--bouncing downhill toward that slot--still on the ground, I think. I was very very brave to focus my mind to get this shot for you. (I was "puckering"--she was amused) When we reached our starting point she had another whim--to go home--And away she flew--called bout 2 hours later to report a safe landing---and a day or so later to update me on Tor's progress.
RANDY RUMINATES: Don't know what I've done to deserve my set of friends--can only report that they enrich me mightily. Thank you Joyce for sharing your world with me.

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