Jul 2011 It’s beautiful at Smiley Creek
The Women’s Airworthy Symposium has begun at Smiley Creek, Idaho and I am amazed by the sheer beauty of Idaho.
I feel so lucky to be here, to be sitting outside at a picnic table at 6:00 a.m. on this chilly, clear, crisp morning in the mountains. I’m soaking up the sounds, the view and the smell of pine in the air – all alone. The mountains are in front of me to my north, the grass strip is just off to the east and the lodge and cabins are behind me.
Christina Chapman, who is hosting this symposium for women pilots, has kept us all very busy since arrival. Â Introductions and flying history from all the women – a remarkable group of ladies! Then a short introduction about this event from Christina whoseÂ enthusiasmÂ is contagious! Next was ground school/mountain flying instruction from John with Sun Valley Aviation who will also be available to give one on one instruction in the owners’ planes or Sun Valley Aviation’s turbo 206 the next few days. And last was a presentation by Galen Hanselman, writer and author of many mountain and canyon flying books. He’s the guru on the subject of mountain/canyon/back-country flying – and not just in Idaho. He gave usÂ a great overview of the mountain strips of Idaho and the criteria he uses to calculate how hazardous each backountry airport is.
At 8:00 a.m. I’m flying with Galen, departing Smiley Creek Airport for Sulphur Creek Ranch AirportÂ for breakfast. Then the plan is to photograph a couple of other back-country airports for a current project he is working on. Should be a great day in Idaho with one of the best back-country pilots anywhere. Am I lucky or what!??!