Podunk Meets Paradise is aptly named, if I do say so myself. I, Podunk, do so frequently encounter Paradise. Take, for example, our recent jaunt to visit my sidekick Lucy and her longtime Beau in the Frank Freakin Church Wilderness. The occasion was Iron Chef’s birthday, of which he is extremely fond, and a kind neighbor’s gift of a pair of backcountry plane tickets.
The flight from Salmon highlighted a fact my friend Kate pointed out when we moved here 20 years ago: “Girl,” she said, “You are a long way from the good shopping.”
Our planned weekend visit to the wilderness with Lucy and Beau became extended stay in a big fat hurry when a snowstorm moved in early and the spry little backcountry airplane couldn’t retrieve us.
I know what you are thinking — here we go again. First, trapped in Argentina with the keys to a fully stocked bar, and now this — stranded with your besties in a hot springs swimming pool. Please…
Hey, sometimes the big universal dealer just hands out aces like they are candy — what can I say? I’ve had my share of 5 of Clubs so simmer down now.
After what could only be described as many days in Paradise, a teeny tiny break in the weather inspired our young pilot to attempt to collect us so we could carry on with our ordinary peasant lives and stop wrinkling our skin in the hot springs. Whew!
We thanked and embraced our gracious hosts and loaded into the wee plane where our pilot offered the comforting advice, “Don’t freak out. I’m going to chew up a lot of the runway, but we’ll be fine.”
Previously I had never considered a) freaking out, or b) that we wouldn’t be fine, but now he had me thinking. At the end of the runway is the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and across the river is the menacing wreckage of a small plane that had a few hiccups earlier in the year.
All’s well that ends well, and I think the Chef has a good start on a memorable year.