The trip to Granduc properly begins at Prince Rupert.
Until then, to a sometime traveller, the jet-air trip from Vancouver is merely another flight from point "A" to point "B" - taken with less thought and with considerably less discomfort than a journey of a twentieth of the distance not so many years ago.
Grumman Goose owned by Trans Provincial Airlines, landing at the Stewart airport.At Prince Rupert, then, transfer was quickly made from the DC-9 to the waiting Grumman "Goose", twin-engine workhorse of Transprovincial Airlines Ltd. for the further run to Stewart.
Again in the air, the tempo changed and the real enjoyment of flight, and of the trip, began. To members of the jet-set, and even of their poorer relations, if not those who have travelled extensively in Canada's North, the 110-mile hop was one of sheer delight.
Sitting in the 12-seat cabin, as the young and nonchalant pilot calmly guides his craft, the advantages and the entertainment - not movies, not stereo, just unrivalled scenery was beyond price and almost beyond words.
A glance at the map shows that the route was right down the middle of the Portland Canal and just a few hundred feet above its surface. On either side mountains rise from the water. It was pointed out that our flight carried us along the centerline of the border separating British Columbia and Alaska. There was the spectacle, then of towering ramparts of stone and trees facing each other, as in a mirror, on opposite sides of the international boundary.
A boat or two slicing through the water below was the only sign of life; late spring freshets tumble down scattered ravines splitting the mountainsides to provide relief from the general stillness of the rocky rises. The plane droned on and arrived at its destination sooner than anticipated. The landing was accomplished so quickly and smoothly that the traveller cannot help but compare the performance to the involved landing processes of the large major airports of the world. The pilot pitches In with the rest of the ground crew to get the baggage into the hands of the waiting passengers who go their respective ways.