Idaho, Day Two

A night of much-needed rest in 39°F evening mountain air invigorated an already well-vigorated adventurer and his best friend. Heading straight towards the Patron Saint of Skypark’s favorite airstrip in Idaho, Upper Loon. Approaching it from a different direction than most, the usual constrictions and Hidden Splendor characteristics didn’t set off any alarms as an over 2,500 foot airstrip in great condition welcomed us to this special area.

Without even shutting down the engines of our adventure partners, we were quick to see what drew Mel to this place ahead of others. Like many of the airstrips in Idaho, the sounds of a flowing river nearby meandered through the tall pines and still mountain air. As has become customary, a stroll down the length of the airstrip brought forth conversations we wished we shared with Mel. Knowing our itinerary had some time constraints (as we arise early to accomplish all our flying around the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area before noon), we began walking back to our cubs to fly down the Loon, stop at Lower Loon, then off to Challis for some much-needed aviation fuel.

Reality has an interesting way of presenting itself. Earlier conversations on spirituality led our thoughts to the truth that if one were to make journeys like this once per year (as it appears what the average is), that maybe 20 or so of these chances to experience places like Upper Loon are left.

Advancing in age, earlier thoughts of selflessness versus selfishness, and the balance of having time for personal growth at the cost of family time come full circle. Places like this are treasures. Miles from services, hours from help, the wilderness is a necessary reprieve from the modern world, and the lack of instant gratification is surely something I needed.

But thinking about the limited number of times to come and enjoy these precious moments leads me to think how to make them happen more.