Sunday, August 24, 2008

Denali - The Great One

Saturday I got in my car by myself and drove two hours north to do a flight around Denali. I have always wanted to do a flight around the Mountain, but have never been able to go with anyone. Not that I need to be dependent on someone else, but I just didn't want to do it by myself. Well, I threw that all out the window and headed north to the Mountain. I left Anchorage to drive in the rain, as I thought to myself, this is not going to work, I'm going to get to Talkeetna and it will be raining there and they won't be doing any flights. That's what happened last year when I attempted to do a flight. As I was about forty five minutes outside of Talkeetna I saw blue sky up ahead and the sun trying to poke through. Oh, thank heavens - so I stepped on it and drove a little bit faster. I arrived in the tourist trap town, Talkeetna and drove directly to K2 Aviation and walked right in and said, "I'm a tour guide on the trains for Princess Tours. Is there any way I can do a flight with you today?" Ned, the nice young man looked at his schedule and said, "It looks like we have a glacier landing leaving in fifteen minutes, do you want to take it?" HECK YEAH!!! Then he asked my weight, I said, "What? You don't ask a girl her weight!" He then said, "I have to because the planes are small and we can only carry so much weight." I tried to get out of it, but then realized this is a free flight - give the man your weight!!!

Within fifteen minutes we were loading up on the plane and heading to the Mountain. It was ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!! I have flown past the Mountain several times when I've had to fly to Fairbanks, but this was better. Much better! Tony, our pilot was an awesome tour guide, as I just sat in awe of being this close to such a huge piece of rock. We came upon Ruth Glacier where he landed the plane. I got out and was overwhelmed with the silence, it was something I have never experienced - the sound of clouds moving. I was bummed when I suddenly heard a plane in the distance flying. We were on the glacier for ten minutes then hopped back in the plane and flew back to Talkeetna. Just as we were leaving the Mountain showed it's top one last time then completely disappeared. It was rain the rest of the way back to Talkeetna. We arrived safely and I tipped my awesome Tour Guide/Pilot $50.00 and still feel that was not enough money for what I experienced.

K2 Aviation was awesome, I will always be grateful for their service and allowing me to take the opportunity to fly to the Great One, Denali.

4 comments:

Lucashell said...

How fun, very brave, I am chicken no way in Hell would I do that. Heck can't even drive to gateway by myself all scared I will get lost. Lucas gets nervous too, says I can't drive worth anything cause I am a girl.

Anisa said...

That is really beautiful. I really like your self pic.

Lucashell said...

That is a very beautiful pic of you by yourself.

audrab said...

I am so happy that you finally got to do this! Wasn't it amazing?!?!