The first part of my trip went off without a hitch. I took the airport shuttle out to catch my flight. The driver, Robin, a vivacious Australian, chatted up a storm. Turns out we have some similar interests in alternative health. I now know where and when all the best Chi gong classes take place and have the name of the best doctor of Chinese medicine in town. I intend to check it all out when I get back.
The first leg of my journey I had a suit from Vancouver sitting beside me. And no, I did not dare ask what he was wearing. Turns out this city slicker had just been up for a mountain trek “boot camp.” I am so amazed that these city folk pay big bucks to have someone take them up mountain trails that I’ve done for free my whole life. And then have someone fix them healthy meals that we make for ourselves at a fraction of the cost. He went on about his trepidation at possibly seeing a bear or other wildlife and talked about the struggles of steep mountain peaks and low oxygen levels. They were taught about “detoxification,” and encouraged to drink these health tisanes in the morning which made him rather nervous. He chattered on happily until the loud whirl of the dash 8’s propellers droned out all other sounds.
If you’ve never flown in and out of the Kootenay’s, Nelson’s nearest airport is quite an experience. The mountains are nestled so tightly together that it’s been rated one of the worst airports in North America. As the plane takes off, it heads straight for the mountain in front of it as it’s gaining altitude, making a tight turn at the last minute and then another and then another before it is eventually high enough to fly off to it’s destination. The pilots in recent years seem much more adept at maneuvering these tight angles than in the past. Only the most experienced pilots come in and out of this airport.
(Okay, now it's your turn, and I admit that some of you will have an unfair advantage. Tell me where I took that first photo. Hint...it's not so far from home.)