I have traveled all over the world. I am, in my mind, a seasoned traveler. Passing security checks is easy. Flying in big seats and those less so is routine. Dealing with the unusual is normal. Until this trip, I labeled myself as experienced. Now that I have traveled to Silver Salmon Creek Alaska, things look different.
It is not that my experience was wrong. I was, in many ways, a character out of an old wisdom story. In that case, the author described the man as a “well-educated in the way of the Master and fiery in his enthusiasm. Apollos was accurate in everything he taught about Jesus up to a point, but he only went as far as the baptism of John.” (Acts 18.25) I thought I knew about travel, and I did, up to my departure from Anchorage.
My travel experienced grew when I approach a series of water inlets filled with small brightly colored planes. Yellow, red, blue, white, and a few shades I do not care to remember. In and amount them all was an old-style Beaver airplane. This particular model first flew in 1947. Our plane was one of the last ones made in 1963. Our pilot, Mark, was a veteran. He has flow this plane for the last eight years.
As the heaviest passenger, I had the honor of flying next to him. In the short hop to the Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, I experienced several firsts. It began with an effortless water take-off that takes you directly across the Anchorage International Airport runways. It continued as we carefully turned left then right to avoid two jumbo jets that we landing and a third that was taking off. As we slowly climbed from 400 feet up to 1,000 feet, everything slowed down. Our speed of 100 knots allowed one to feel the Alaskan scenery below. The smooth flights created a sense of serenity that was very different than any other flight. We landed on a small lake near the lodge. I knew I was in a different world.