John & Anne Wiley

2011/09/08

Apex Flight

After just two nights at Smiley Creek, it felt like we’d been enjoying the serene beauty in this area forever. Partly due to the people and scenery I guess, and partly “prop advance.” That phenomenon we’ve frequently noticed, that seems the opposite of “jet lag.” With the latter you can feel exhausted and confused, and many people say you lose at least a day. With prop advance, you feel exhilarated and invariably seem to gain at least a day. So when we woke in Smiley and I went flying to meet the gals in Stanley, it truly felt as if puttering around the teepee at sunup had been the day before we met at the airport. Since I flew several times every day, it was even stronger and was then compounded by scenery like this.

4098 Redfish Finger

4098 Redfish Finger

Wasn’t it at least a week since we’d met Julie’s friends on the shore of Redfish Lake? Doesn’t looking at the Sawtooths reflected in the deep blue water take the observer out of chronos time to wander in reverie? When we flew up to look at the headwaters of the Salmon River back beyond Smiley, I was flashed back in time to 20-something wilderness hikes in Canada.

4109 Salmon River Headwaters

4109 Salmon River Headwaters

When we flew back past Redfish again climbing to leave the valley, wind patterns on the water seemed to wave a slow motion farewell.

4131 Redfish Reflection

4131 Redfish Reflection

As we looked back at the Sawtooth Mountains a few minutes later, Sawtooth Lake seemed to be waving too.

4150 Sawtooth Lake Farewell

4150 Sawtooth Lake Farewell

Time is such a fleeting thing. A young man wandering the wilderness becomes an old man flying over it. Strong friendships form, and are broken when one departs. People and places we love come and go, and it all passes in reflections on the river of Time.

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