Being in what felt like a van with wings thousands of feet in the air wasn’t exactly high up on any list of things I’d like to do, but I didn’t have much other choice after arriving in Canada a few hours earlier and needing to make a trip up from Vancouver to Williams Lake, a roadtrip that I could have taken by bus or car over a ten hour period. By flying there it meant just 45 mins of nerve shattering white knuckles, which in hindsight turned out to be kind of fun.
The plan was to take the flight to Williams Lake and get picked up from their small town airfield. The problem was my phone had ran out of battery, and since my charger was now currently being loaded into the cargo hold of the tin can taking us there I needed to figure out a way to make contact with the friends organising my lift on arrival. All I really knew at that point was that it would be my friends girlfriends sister who would be picking me up, neither I, nor she, knew what each other looked like and the only way for us to figure that dilemma out would be for me to somehow get some battery on my phone.
To my left in the departure lounge of Vancouver airport was a well built mountain of a man wearing large sunglasses and holding an iPad. There was no charger attached but it wouldn’t do any harm to ask, ‘Excuse me, hello friend, sorry to bother you. I was just wondering if you might happen to have the charger for your iPad in you’re hand luggage?’.
I proceeded to explain my predicament as he removed his sunglasses and gave a chuckle, ‘Yea, no worries mate, I think I can help you out’, came his reply in a warm friendly Australian accent.
As I plugged my phone on to charge in the nearby socket we chatted about Williams Lake where we were heading, ‘You’re gonna love it mate, it’s a beautiful area of Canada, and getting there’s fun too’, he continued, pointing out the window at a small airplane with two propellors, ‘That’ll be our ride up there’. I gave a laugh thinking it was a joke, and then realised this tiny 12 seater buzzbox was supposedly going to carry us, and all our luggage through the air and above the mountains.
At that moment, all seven of us were asked to start boarding the plane, ‘You don’t mind if I have a window seat do you buddy?’, I asked my new Aussie friend, he let out a hearty laugh and informed me EVERYbody gets a window seat.
Once inside, there were no dolled up glamorous air stewardesses to give us safety information. Instead the actual pilot showed us where the exit doors were and then sent my fear factor up 80% by informing us there would be a thunderstorm along the way.
There was no time to bail out now, the propellers began to whir as we rolled along the tarmac toward the runway. At times like these I figure the best thing to do is admit defeat, let’s face it, if the plane is going down there’s not a lot else you can do other than accept death is imminent and attempt to make peace with you’re maker.
The aircraft managed to rumble up into the sky, up and up, until finally we levelled out above the clouds. Twenty minutes later we approached the storm and the captain assured us we would be able to fly around it. Almost as if by magic the clouds began to clear and storm thundered past to the left as we flew by. The sight of a rainbow within the storm made it all the more enchanting. I’d never looked at a rainbow from above one before. Slowly we made our descent toward Williams Lake.
I gave a relieved look over at PJ, as the plane touched down on terra firma, his hearty australian voice shouted over to me as the propellers began to slow down, ‘See! That wasn’t so bad was it!’.