8/12/2006

End to a Lovely Day 4/26/06

Hello to all my trail buddies stopping in. Oh this has been another fabulous summer up here in the far north country. Well with going back to April memories, I recall a wonderful morning of getting up and out - headed down the trail. Seems the moose like to come out of the mountains and down to what we call the hayflats area just off the highway and graze like cattle. Now anyone passing through this area in the early moring hours could see moose. Up to as many as 30 were counted scattered along the highway one morning heading towards the big city...Anchorge. With that in mind, one of my missions was to go seek out the moose on April 23rd.

The morning started out with baby blue skies, a nice sunrise and a coolness in the air for April. Remember where I am - Alaska. Up, dressed, several trips to my truck and down the trail(road). Upon getting to my destination, one could view moose at various spots along the highway. Some close by while others were scattered off in the distance. Well worth getting up early for on a Sunday moring. But you got to like to view wildlife at early morning hours. Call me crazy. The notion of sleeping in late always took a backseat, when one can go look for the wildlife. With some time spent watching these wonderful large creatures, I moved on to another area of the flats. April here to me is a time when birds of all kinds are returning. I watch many types of waterfowl: Canadian geese flying in their 'V' patterns, trumpeter swans in large groups passing overhead to the many different types of waterfowl observed.

It's always nice to join up with other fellow birders heading out into the field to look for...the birds. All in all, I counted 7 of us out there on this wonderful morning. Oh the day was going well, weather was just right; not a cloud in the sky. As the day grew longer and later, I'd noticed planes out flying overhead. Nothing unusual about that. Boy to be up there and see the sights down below! Well, maybe someday. One of the last pictures I took that particular morning was of a large group of trumpeter swans flying out towards me. I'm always with my big lens (my 500mm lens attached with a 1.4 converter to kick it up a notch closer). I'd listen to the planes engines off in the background and never think twice to stop and look about just to see that everything is going fine for them. Now I am sure that we have all heard the sounds of a car crash before. It's one of those sounds you don't ever forget. Well just about the time those trumpeter swans got the point that I wanted to take their picture, which I did do, I had heard the sounds of planes close by revving their engines and then there was a big bang! To turn seconds later and witness 2 planes just after they collided in midair starting to fall out of the sky was unbelieveable. From my postion I wasn't sure what direction to turn and run, it looked as if they were coming down at me. Staring up at the falling planes in disbelief, watching wings twirling and plane parts dropping out of the sky, I don't think that any of the 7 of us out in the field that day could have moved.

I don't know how many "oh my God's" came out of me. To watch in horror, these 2 planes falling - which seemed like slow motion - right down to the second of impact. I'd never in my life witnessed anything like this. And I hope I never will again. As they were falling, the planes drifted apart coming down at quite some distance from each other. It was then the 7 us of from various points came running to the unforgettable resting spots. Even with being 2 -3 city blocks away from impact I could feel the thud when they hit the ground. It's one of those sickening feelings you get, feeling helpless and that there's nothing you can do but stand and stare at the twisted wreckage. Knowing in your heart as they are falling and even after watching to the second of impact that no one could have survived. Through the others that were there we had discovered that one plane had several people in it. A sick feeling when one finds a Harry Potter book not far from one of the planes. Problem was that the crash site was out far enough that locals had to bring fire and rescue in by 4 wheelers. Even with modern technologies we have still got to wonder how a tragic situation like this could happen? I later learned that one of the planes held a father and 3 children. My heart, my thoughts and prayers went out to the families of both planes that day, as they do now as I enter this in my blog. Needless to say the rest of my day was spent back in my rocker by the fireplace just in awe of what I'd witnessed. Energy just zapped out of me in my thoughts.

It is at these times we should look at each of our own lives, value and cherish loved ones, be thankful for what has been put in your lives. ~Amen

Buford T. Porcupine

1 Comments:

Blogger Dave Stone said...

Todd,
Even though we talked about this on the phone recently, it is still shocking to read the story here. Thanks for sharing it and the lesson that we all need to remind ourselves of from time to time.
I have linked this story on my "father's journal" page and will add it to my "michigan" page too.
I hope things are well for you and Conni. Talk to you soon.

Dave

2:18 AM  

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