John & Anne Wiley

2010/08/29

Looking Back

Today’s plan was to fly another dear friend around town, but she was just too exhausted after errands so we’ll reschedule. Like us she tends to get carried away and overdo things sometimes, so we certainly understand. In fact, we’d done exactly that yesterday after our flight!

Instead, today I looked again at pix from our NxNW adventure and in this extended review I’ve reached the first passage of that trip through the Jasper area. Wow.

Even with the smoke that day (seems impossible it was this month!), it’s easy to find more pix that convey some glimmer of how incredible it was.

0182 Eastern Gate

0182 Eastern Gate

From the Hinton airport I’d admired this silent sentinel, so minutes after takeoff we were awestruck by the magnitude of it and imagining the glacier that carved it.

0186 Tree Choir

0186 Tree Choir

Glacier, rain, river and other now silent forces were also on display in this bend descending from the peaks. A rugged stand of trees in the natural amphitheater seems to be pausing in a performance for an audience of their peers across the ravine. All this within a few miles of takeoff, as you can see from this glance back at the sentinel gate beneath Tripp’s broad wing.

0191 Looking Back

0191 Looking Back

The glacial water in the river was a brilliant hue of turquoise. I was reminded of the views from my only other trip through this valley, decades ago on the train. I recall the magnificent snow-capped mountains, and peaks endlessly assaulted by cloud armies.

0208 Cloud Cauldron

0208 Cloud Cauldron

Beyond the spectacle provided from the train, this time the view was expanded considerably by our increasing altitude. We spotted a tram station among the trees with cables leading up the slope that would be all but invisible from the train. Near the peak the cables end at buildings on a high ledge where people hiking to the top make small groups of happy little dots on the road.

0214 Alpine Perch

0214 Alpine Perch

By the time we were nearing the end of a powerful fast moving hour in slow flight we had risen above the lower ridges to gaze in wonder at the rows of ragged peaks layered among clouds into the distance.

0228 Upper Passage

0228 Upper Passage

Glancing again at a pic showing the lines of road and rail in the valley, I’m moved to offer a suggestion for anyone who dreams of flight: when you visit this area, be sure to include an aerial tour. Hinton offers them, and you can probably also buy rides in Prince George just a few miles from where I snapped this.

0234 Western Gate

0234 Western Gate

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