In the category of what I did on my summer holiday, I went to the far north of Ontario (y’know, north of North Bay), spent a week at a glorius rustic cabin in the woods. It was absolute heaven.
Mr elbows had decided we should fly in as he used to do with the ‘boys’ back in the ‘day’, as it were. Since this will save our hosts several hours long drive in a boat to fetch us, I consent.
Things were so busy coming up on this vacation there was little time to really reflect on it. Truth be told though my personal taste in airplanes runs to the sort of plane that leaves Chicago and touches down in Tokyo 15 hrs later. The bigger the better, that’s always been my theory. I have been in smaller planes but I knew this was going to be the smallest yet.
My first concern was how will I tell them exactly where this friends cabin is, but it turns out not to be a problem when I book the flights, apparently they just fly by and you point. So I book the flight but get off the phone with an uneasy feeling I can’t put my finger on.
As vacation looms I begin to question the Mr about how small this plane will really be. First he lets drop that it’s probably the VERY same plane he flew on 20+ yrs ago. It finally clicks in what was bothering me about this airline. What kind of an airline doesn’t ask for a credit card? In his next breath he points out it will probably be flown by some youngster barely old enough to drink.There is no time to really consider any of this.
When we finally leave for the long drive north, along the way I reflect that this is a remarkably small community to have an airport. Well, of course there is no airport, he says. What, they just have a tower? Oh no, there’s no tower!
By the time my eyes fell on this machine I was not feeling really all that wonderful. I could not believe the size. I wasn’t sure our gear would fit.
But being both brave and foolhardy in equal measure I sat in the front seat beside the teenaged pilot.
Wee taxied well out into the lake and then up we went. I’m not going to lie, it was mighty scary. But we were flying just over the treetops it appeared, when I asked how fast Steve (pilot) said 125 mph. I can’t help thinking that cars can go that fast.
I swear it was smaller than the interior of the car. And I could barely see out the windshield although the view was great out the side window.
The entire instrument panel was shaking at take off, not reassuring. I was on the brink of terror.
At this altitude and speed turbulance feels way different.
And in the next second we were away from the townsight and it was breathtaking views. Clear water, giant rocks and old growth forest as far as the eye could see. The day was sunny and clear, the lakes were still like glass. It was just captivating.
Not a twing of fear returned until it was time to land. You get a much better sense of the physics of flight, you can kind of feel it in your bones in a way you can’t on an airbus. But when we were coming down onto the lake I have the overpowering sensation that as soon as the pontoons touch the surface, the whole plane will go ass over end into the cold clear water. I clenched my jaw and regretted sitting in the front seat.
Needless to say, we landed the most gentle airplane landing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I turned immediately to Steve and asked him what keeps the plane from going nose into the lake like it feels it surely will. Steve replied, ‘I do.’
So the return flight was even more pleasant, not being peppered with fear and all.
So seriously now, like, how brave am I?