After I boarded the plane in Denver, the pilot welcomed us aboard.  “We are flying to Laramie.  I hope that you enjoy your flight.”

No one got up to protest.  In our little twin prop commuter plane we had precious little room. There was only one row of seats on either side of the plan.

Tall people would not straighten out until we landed and disembarked from the plane.  The head room was a mere few inches above my head.  But, once you folded yourself to board, you were half way to finding a seat to buckle in for the 40 minute flight. 

When we landed the airport was small.  The luggage cart passed me and entered the terminal.  Baggage pick up was just inside the door we entered. 

My buddy had his truck parked at the curb just outside the exit door.  We walked a mere dozen steps to load my gear.  The jet way in SFO is longer than my walk from the plane to his waiting pickup truck.

You have to love the quaint feel of a down home airport like this.  People were friendly, no one was pushing, there was an ease about everyone who was now in Laramie, Wyoming.  But something else was missing too.

There were no massive crowds pushing and shoving.  No one was more important than others and running for their next plane, taxi or limousine.  Traffic jams just were not around.

But, what was also missing was oxygen.  We were a mile high in elevation.  My lungs were sucking in deeply, milking what was available in the mountain atmosphere.

When we arrived at the cabin, we were another thousand feet higher.  I paused just to breathe.  My average time to acclimate is 3-4 days, at least. 

Before arriving I walked the hills of Daly City trying to prepare myself for this week of outdoor activity.  I’m glad that I did what I could but it was not enough.  But, slow and easy was a great way to move in this thin air of the great Wyoming wilderness.

The great part of the elevation and sparsely populated area is that the air is clean.  I’m a San Francisco resident, more used to impaired vision, air-filled with particulates, gasoline exhaust and diesel fumes are the norm in the city.  Come to the country and pause just to breathe and treasure that simple blessing of fresh air; God gives it to us for free.

photo credit: brucefong photography