Photo Dump -- Early April in South West Alaska (Part 1)

I recently returned from another 10 days in South West Alaska.  We spilt our time evenly between Dillingham and Cold Bay.  We were blessed to have an awesome stretch of weather as we were able to work every day.  The first 3 days of the job were virtually blue bird, so when a little bit of cloud cover and freezing rain showed up we really could not whine about it.  The winds were generally light never exceeding 30 knots on the surface.  We saw steaming volcanos, bears, wolves, foxes, caribou, moose, a killer whale, old ship wrecks, glass bouy balls, eagles, a wrecked DC-6, and we even stopped at the hot springs for a little swim.  It was truly an awesome trip.  If this works there will be about 70 pictures from the trip posted below.

Crossing the Alaska Range for the west side.

Crossing the lake district North of Dillingham.

Refuling near Sparrevohn.

Refuling at Nyac with only thin snow cover.

Sneaking back into Dillingham on drizzly night.

More fuel at Nyac.

On the ramp in Dillingham, hoping it does not start to freeze and thankful for a hangar.

Changing oil in the hangar in Dillingham.

Ali's stuffed horse Milo took this trip with me.

Complete lack of snow leaving King Salmon, Alaska.

Milo and I waiting for the helicopter in Port Heiden

Crossing from mainland to Unimak Island.

Shishaldin Volcano on Unimak Island.

Neighboring Isanotski Volcano.

Isanotski Summit.

Shishaldin Summit

False Pass, Alaska.

False pass.

South Side of the Alaska Penninsula.

Looking through False pass with Mainland on the right and Unimak Island on the left.

South side of Unimak on a beautiful morning.

Fueling in the sleet.

Final for landing at False Pass.

Cold Bay Saturday Night.

Cold Bay Sunday Morning.

A DC-6 landed gear up at Cold Bay several years ago.

Mike and I posing by the carnage.

This is now sitting off to the side of the runway.

Looks sorta cold.

You can see the helicopter and the biologist ... I circled the caribou.

How many caribou do you see?

This might help.

Beautiful morning in Cold Bay.

There were too many photos to upload all at once ... so there is a second part with lots more photos if you are interested.  Just click here

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Photo Dump -- Early April in South West Alaska (Part 2)

Most of the track from our trip.

The Cub and Helicopter arriving together at the mouth of the David River.

Holding onto our hats on the Bering Sea side.

Stretching our legs.

Nelson Lagoon, pretty amazing location for a community!

Cold Bay.

One of the many amazing views from Cold Bay.

Sometimes the wind blows in Cold Bay.

Milo helping the biologists draw blood from a caribou.

Another Cold Bay view, Frosty Peak.

Getting ready to head home.

Pre-heat. The next best thing to a heated hangar is an electric heater and a honda generator.

Crossing at Port Moller.

Landing on the beach.

Probably one of the coolest places I've ever been in my life.

These hot springs are absolutely amazing.

Mark Cruising the beach in the cub.

Mike headed home.

Gramps and Milo in Port Heiden.

Frozen lakes and no snow.

Taking on fuel in Port Alsworth.

Landing at our house in a snow storm after a long beautiful flight from Cold Bay ... amazing!

Ali and Milo, chillin' in the hangar.

Photo Dump -- 5 Days in Western Alaska

I spent the last 5 days on the West side of the Alaska Range.  Alaska finally got a little bit of snow early last week which permitted us to actually get something done.  The weather has now been clear and windy for the past 8 days.  It only took me 3:35 to go from AK93 to Dillingham and just over 5:05 to return on the same track.  That means the wind was out of the North East at about 30 knots.

I have never seen so little snow on the ground over such a wide spread area in late March.  It's amazing to see frozen brown tundra where there is normally 4 foot of compacted snow.  Dillingham is going through break-up, and my cub got all muddy taxiing around on the ramp.  I think that is about a month earlier than normal.  

Ali and Mae's pet horse Milo took this trip with me.

Snow capped peaks in the Alaska range

Crossing the mouth of the Wood River. 

Milo and I getting ready to launch.

Kim and I posing for a photo in the sun.

Looking out towards the village of Manakotak.

It was -5F when we started the project last Wednesday and 25 above yesterday.  Spring's a comin'.

Mike Meekin loading up

Morning Sun.

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Photo of the Day -- I Forgot My Camera

Very few views are finer than a mixture of granite and clouds.  Ever since I was a little kid I remember being enamored by, "mountains that go all the way up to the clouds."  I have since come to a more full understanding of this phenomenon, but the intrigue is still written on my core.  I was flying yesterday in the Chugach mountains for 8 solid hours.  As the day progressed the winds increased.  It was a blue bird day until the wind started to blow.  Then I had the pleasure of watching clouds form out of thin air.  Sometimes they are not even clouds, just a frozen haze of tiny ice particles glistening in the sun and reducing visibility.  It's like flying around in one never ending cloud.  It always looks like the visibility is going to get really bad up ahead, but it never does.   The ice crystals look like snow flakes, but the sun is shining, so it does not make sense.  Ice crystals and sun are difficult to capture with a camera, which is why everybody should own a Super Cub and fly regularly in the mountains.

This photo was taken in September.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera yesterday so I did not even get a chance to take photos of the sun, or the clouds, or the ice crystals.  But, good Lord willing I'll get another chance.

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Photo of the Day -- This Photo Makes Me Happy

This photo shows a great time of year.  The air is crisp and cold from the near miss on snow cover.  The leaves are falling off the trees and my Super Cub smells like the butchers shop.  I love all of Alaska's seasons, but when I stumble across a photo of early September in the middle of February I've just got to share it.

Photos of the Day -- Calendar Overstock! Buy 1 Get 1 Free.

I took these photos while flying over the Chugach mountains earlier this year.  It has been a slow start to the flying season because South Central Alaska has very little snow cover.  I hope America is enjoying all our snow, because Alaska is getting a little bummed right now.  We went through a long period of unusually warm temperatures in January.  February has been windy, but I'm not complaining, It'll eventually straighten itself out, and then we will get to work!  I'm doing lots of maintenance on the planes and enjoying a semi-normal life this winter.  I did not do a good job of selling calendars this year because I was so distracted with moving into the house and then traveling, so I ended up with 20 extras.  I would love to get rid of them so I put them up on a 2 for one deal.  Enjoy!

Just go here to get your calendars, hoodies, hats, and t-shirts.

Photos of the Day -- Some Snow Slidage

I covered the Chugach and Talkeetna Mountains this past week.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera on the desk for 3 of those 4 days ... what an idiot.  On the one day that I did have my Canon I managed to document a bit of the activity out there.  The farther East I went in the Chugach the more unstable the conditions became.  I saw some big cornice breaks on the North Faces, as well as some nasty slushy terrain traps on the Southern Exposures.  It was a surprisingly mixed bag of snow conditions considering it was only the end of January.  The warm temperatures really wreaked havoc on the snow pack.  Much of what I saw would have been better suited for a mountain bike than a pair of skis, but the winter is young, and I am still hoping for the best.  Of course the Broncos fans were thinking the same thing this evening during the second quarter ... we all know how that turned out.

If you do get out on the steeps to play, try to be a little careful.