Sunday, February 10, 2008


It took more than two grunts to get it back up into the air

One of the most hair raising experiences of my life came while visiting Ketchikan, Alaska. Two other couples were traveling with my wife and I and we decided to take a float plane to the beautiful Misty fjords region. The Misty Fjords National Monument was created by President Jimmy Carter within the Tongass National Forest in 1978 and Congress reconfirmed the wilderness classification in 1980. This area is a 202-million-acre national treasure where in flight you will see from a different perspective hundreds of waterfalls, shear granite and basalt cliffs shooting 3-4 thousand feet into the air, with trees growing everywhere, even out of shear rock, and a temperate rain forest from sea level.

During the 2-3 hour flight you will see wildlife that may include seals, deer, bear, marbled murrelets, bald eagles, guellemonts and others to numerous to mention.

To add to the excitement of the flight the pilot announced he was going to land the plane to give us a closer view of the surroundings. Well, I was already wondering where we would land if we had trouble with the plane, and now he said we would be landing. My eyes bounced from one solid rock mountain to another with nothing to land on or near. Then a small tiny body of water popped into view. That can’t be where he was referring, I thought. It was! In just minutes we were hidden between huge cliffs with snow covering them in every place. The float touched down easily on the calm lake. All six of us were invited to walk on the landing pontoons of the plane and for about 30 minutes we laughed and enjoyed the most serene place I had every been.

Time to go! The pilot commanded. With our seat belts snapped, he turned to us and told us he would need to back the plane all the way to the land because he would need all the water possible to take off. Hmmmm! I pondered. He got us down here, but getting out of here looks impossible. I began to have some concern as I looked ahead and to each side nothing but high granite rocks. The two engines started and he reveled them fast as the plane began its forward move. In front was the huge darken mountain and I was not able to see above it. The plane was now higher in the air, but the stone mountain was still ahead with no view of the sky above. I was nearly to resolve that we would hit it until all at once the plane leaned to the right at a 90 degree turn and I was able to see the valley between the two cliffs. I felt I could touch each one and dip out a hand of snow as he continued to climb until we were above both. What a relief! How majestic.

I was reminded of a book written by a friend entitled, “God has never failed me, but he has scared me to death a few times.”

There is another book full of truths beyond our thinking.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2

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