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Thread: Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

    When we were transferred to Dahl Creek from Umiat just before New Years in 1965, all the company had was a 38 x 8 foot trailer that had been flown in with our C-82 (02B) which was probably a little tail heavy since part of the trailer stuck out the back. The doors had been removed for that trip so I was told but who knows. I never saw it. Needless to say, not capable of 50 below zero temperatures with the 2 inch walls. My generator was 1.4 KW so we kind of had to be like Green Acres on TV. If we plugged in a number two, we had to unplug a 1 and 3. Shut off all lights and radio when we made coffee and toast. Oh was that place cold all the time in the winter. My wife had to melt very dry powder snow in a 30 gal garbage can over a two burner Coleman stove burning 24/7 just to get water but the heat helped keep the HF and NDB radios warm. No sewer or well of course. Outhouse was a Porta-Poti (called honey bucket) in the uninsulated generator shed which never got warm.

    I told the CEO (a book, Arctic Bush Pilot, has been written about him) I would spend the rest of the winter but not another winter so we talked it over. He agreed the company would buy a 1000 sq ft log Pan Abode building for quarters and use the trailer for "passenger terminal and cargo/mail storage". I talked him into 1400 sq ft with a floor plan of my choice and I would use our living room as passenger terminal. After all, we knew everyone anyway.
    Finally he agreed so in due time, everything was flown in but then the CEO dropped the bomb so to speak. The company couldn't afford the labor to construct it that summer. I have a feeling he knew what I would do next, after all, he did the same things himself in Bettles many years before so I was ready for it. I agreed to build the building and any costs for construction I would pay for and they would pay me back next year. Agreed but not on paper. Stupid? Of course but I trusted his boss, Sig Wien, the airline owner. Back in those days, his word was better than a written contract. I did get approval that I could bypass our purchasing department and order all materials direct and everything was my choice, no questions asked. That included the entire kitchen, bathroom, lighting, plumbing and wiring. Boy was that fun and Sears became my very good friend. As I recall, other than the work my wife and I spent on the building, I paid some $300 labor from start to finish at Dahl Creek. My wife and I worked all company flights while building the log home.

    For those not familiar with the Pan Abode cedar log homes, they are prenotched and tongue and groove cedar, about 2 inches thick. A really beautiful building when completed and with fantastic heat ratings. The Office at the resort I was associated with on Maui came from the same company and all of our bush buildings for Wien at the time were the same also. They went together just like the old Lincoln Log toys.
    Even though my wife could do about everything, I needed a guy to help lift the logs so we hired an Eskimo from Kobuk that had built log buildings for years. Only problem was he could not speak English so my wife would translate and it worked great. All logs were identified by letters and numbers on the ends so all he had to do was look for the letters.
    From the day we started looking for the logs for the foundation to the day we moved in was 45 days although it was not entirely completed yet but better than what we had. While doing all this construction, we also worked flight operations every day.

    I had decided to use 8 large trees (18 inch butts and 4 on each end) for a foundation over bare gravel over permafrost. The logs would overlap the smaller ends in the middle of the house.
    Now is where the guy from Kobuk was so unbelievably fantastic. It was so interesting to watch him just hunch down and look for maybe an hour or so. Once he made his decision, off he would go and he would tell my wife what he wanted me to do. He set the floor up so perfect that when we put the last prenotched log on the crown some 12 foot high, it was less than 1/4 inch off. The roof had a bow up in the center but the next year, the crown was level and stayed that way. What a guy he was.
    We put in solid oak shorts for flooring and rented a sander from Fairbanks to sand it down and varnish it with several coats. All wiring was surface mount because I didn't want to drill any holes in the wall for fear of frost. All light fixtures were of the old kerosene type electric lamps and with a large wagon wheel in the middle of the living room and over the dining room table, again with the old type lamps and many small wall mount ones all over the house (all electric of course).

    I ordered and assembled all the kitchen cabinets from Sears, sanded and varnished them. I did order through Wien a special seamless kitchen counter top that was probably 20 foot long. Needless to say, all appliances and bath fixtures came from Sears too. I used copper tubing for all water lines so I could keep them away from the walls and near the eaves to keep them from freezing in the winter (60 below zero out side). I chose heating by two space heaters which didn't take any electricity to operate other than the built in fan although I did install electric fan stack robbers (what a heat saver) in the stove pipes which gave us back some of the heat going up the stove pipes. At all times, we had kerosene lamps just in case we lost our generator. Lots of candles for my wife and I though after the kids went to bed. Under the floor, I put 2" of styrofoam sheets between the 4" by 6" joists on 4' centers to help keep the floor warm and did the same thing on the roof under the aluminum sheeting. I installed a Sears 4 foot diameter round fireplace open all the way around in the middle of the living room floor and as a present to my wife, I built her a local jade hearth around it. We lived in Jade country at Dahl Creek so that was easy to do and free. Charcoal steaks all winter long. Cook the steaks, dump the coals and throw on a couple of logs and by the time dinner was over, the fire was burning. For me (us), I built a padded bar in one corner of the living room. Since we didn't have TV and all those wasteful things, we all made our own fun. Every night after dark, it was always family time since we didn't need runway lights and lots of power available.
    Actually, that was the second house I built out of the Sears catalogue. I also built a home in Barrow in the middle of the winter when it was dark all the time since the sun never came up for 3 months. Sears and I became very good friends in the 60s.

    Our good friend, the project manager for Kennicott Copper, sent down a crew and equipment to drill us a water well but they couldn't get down deep enough and through the permafrost so it was back to hauling water but this time it came out of Dahl Creek which ran year around under the ice and snow. He had a 1200 gal water storage tank built for us that fit through the back door into the utility room and I built up a complete pressure water system. I ordered all the pressure system and installed it so we actually had running water. I built a log septic tank to finish that out. Talk about a modern home north of the Arctic Circle.

    Once the home was finished, I ordered 55 gal of Liquid Rawhide wood preservative for the cedar. As I recall, that was like $25 per gal at the time in the mid 60s. Talk about beautiful. Just because you live in the bush doesn't mean you have to rough it, right? The logs needed the preservative of course but when I put it on, I lost all the wonderful aroma of the cedar logs.

    Total cost "on paper" for the building including labor other than my wife and myself was $13,000. Unbelievable really. It also did not include flying in the home with a company
    C-46A.

    I suspect the crown on the west end of the house was over 14 foot high and in the winter, a snow drift was clear up to the crown. The second winter there, there was over 15 foot of snow. Along the sides, the drifts were up to the eaves and I would have to climb out an east window to shovel the snow away from the doors and windows to get in and out and for an emergency exit. The local martins and white weasels really liked to live under the house and would come up and look in the windows just as the moose and caribou did. Would the kids feed them? Not that we saw because it was a no no. What a life for a young married couple that made life what we wanted it to be.

    My boss told me that the company couldn't afford to furnish me any ground equipment either. I had been turning around all flights with my snow machine the first winter. He agreed to fly in my Jeep at no cost though. That time he even had a smile on his face. Reminded me of the Bush smile. Actually, when I left, I sold the Jeep for twice what I paid for it.
    Still, I had to haul water out of Dahl Creek by snow machine in the winter in 5 gal cans, even at 50 below zero. Does anyone know what cold really is?

    Again a smile from my boss. He was going to give us a new generator, a Whitte 6.5 KW. Really sounded great but by that time I knew there was a catch. They couldn't afford to build a shed for it. Ok, there I go again. I will build the shed but large enough for my Jeep so we would always have emergency transportation. Also large enough to age home made beer but he didn't know that. Agreed so I bought the material of my choice and the company flew it in. They flew in the new generator but I insisted that I would install it the way I wanted to and to keep the mechanics away. I wanted it done right??? Would you believe I won? Sure did.

    It was really great to have that much power too. We had an electric dryer, I even installed a complete runway lighting system (no labor costs) that the generator would carry if we didn't have too much power being used in the house and the weather bureau equipment and our radios didn't really take that much power. I did try overload the generator a few times each month in the summer when it was not being used to full capacity and would load it up to 100 percent overload (13 KW) for an hour or two just to blow the carbon out. Only a Cat generator would do that I thought. I have a lot of respect for those single cylinder Whitte generators. Very definite putt, putt, putt at about 600 rpm.

    After everything was done, I sent in copies of receipts for reimbursement but no answer or check from my boss as promised. After repeated short wave radio calls, I jumped on a flight and flew to Fairbanks. It was so great having a wife that you felt comfortable with leaving alone in the middle of nowhere with no help near by other than a short wave radio. I was not able to see him that day but was allowed to the next day. I got my check within 2 hours with no problems. I never did that with him again. By the way, he got fired by the owner later but not for that and that is one story I probably shouldn't tell and it is not included in his book.

    Because of the very remote area, we had to really consider our food supplies. At any time when a company flight went mechanical or weather, we had to feed every one of course. Come to think of it, the company never repaid us for that either but what the heck, the passengers were friends anyway and had we been in their home, they would have done the same thing. We always ordered everything by case lots and beef by the half or quarter from Fairbanks. Want a can of peas, order a case. Bread by the case and eggs by the half case. Always had to be ahead 30 to 60 days. I always used the same grocery supplier in Fairbanks, Lindys, the best ever. Meat came from a shop in North Pole. On every order, I would always authorize them to send some $20 of new products they thought we might enjoy. Come Christmas time, a special present from them: a huge bottle of very special Italian wine which stood some four foot high. We usually ordered imported French wine for our use and for our Kennicott friends. We often were invited to Lindy's place for drinks when we were in Fairbanks but that was back in the days when everyone were friends regardless.

    When we were assigned to Umiat, I took my family back to Nebraska for a vacation and to meet my parents. I had a very good friend that worked for a general merchandise company, Gambles, in my home town so we worked out a plan for publicity for him.
    His company agreed to sell us a freezer at cost and give us a gas cook stove free and that I would pay all shipping charges. The airline costs were free to me. Sounded great since the airline transportation was free for us anyway. The local newspaper was notified of the salesman's dream, selling a freezer to an Eskimo. It hit the front page of course.
    Now comes the fun part again (gee, I have a lot of those don't I?) Somehow, there was an error in shipping. One set, freezer and stove, was shipped out of a warehouse in Minn and another from a different warehouse I believe in Nebr. So we got two of each at Umiat. When we got to Dahl Creek, we sure put them to good use. I agreed with Gambles that I would pay freight charges but not for the extra units which they agreed with right away so we got them free. Boy, can two huge freezers hold a lot of frozen food. We immediately sold one kitchen stove to a teacher in Kobuk for almost nothing (she wasn't paid that much anyway) and gave another one to a very good friend from Shungnak. Those from that area will remember the Cleveland name.

    Did my wife work hard at Dahl Creek outside of company work? I had hired a live in house keeper/baby sitter and basically just a great family friend who became our oldest daughter in a way and she could always beat me at poker. On one trip to Hawaii, we almost took her with us but too old to pass off as a daughter because she was not much younger than my wife and besides, it would have been illegal.

    I can tell you one thing, you had better have a great wife that loves you and that enjoys living in the bush if you are going to live in God's Back Yard. I was so very lucky, I had the best of both.
    _________________

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    Re: Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV
    By the way, he got fired by the owner later but not for that and that is one story I probably shouldn't tell and it is not included in his book.
    Come on Ernie, tell us the straight scoop about old Andy! Funny how books leave out some details. By the way, great story of 1960's Alaska. I'm afraid the days of doing business based on word and good faith are mostly over with up here, especially in southcentral AK.

    Bruce

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    Re: Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by N3243A
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV
    By the way, he got fired by the owner later but not for that and that is one story I probably shouldn't tell and it is not included in his book.
    Come on Ernie, tell us the straight scoop about old Andy! Funny how books leave out some details. By the way, great story of 1960's Alaska. I'm afraid the days of doing business based on word and good faith are mostly over with up here, especially in southcentral AK.

    Bruce
    Thanks for the comment Bruce.
    Even back in 1963, my wife promised forever but that didn't work either.

    Sorry, Lita and I agreed all of our stories would never degrade anyone and never use a name other than Wien Air Alaska unless in a positive manor. The person you mentioned has a very interesting book out, Arctic Bush Pilot by Anderson/Rearden and well worth reading about bush flying in the 50s in Alaska, especially out of Bettles. The rest of the story would not add anything really.

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    Ernie,
    Great story, you brought back memories for me. You built a fantastic cabin out there at Dahl Creek.
    I was on a survey crew working for BLM in 1977 and we used the cabin for the summer. The BLM leased it (I thought they said that someone in Kotzebue, Harold-can't remember last name, owned it at that time.) Anyways, thanks for building such a nice cabin that I was able to enjoy while in the bush.
    It really is a small world, while I was working out of Dahl Creek a green and white 7GCBC came in one day and I recognized the tail number as the plane that I received my tail wheel endorsement in years before at Pat's Flying Service on Merrill Field. It's not like you see a lot of air traffic out there in the first place, let alone see a plane that you recognize.
    I turned 21 out in your cabin that summer. The other boys brewed up a big batch of fermented Welches grape juice and we proceeded to get drunk and sick-- what a way to say hello to adulthood.
    In the years since I have been all over this State, and it is my opinion that Dahl Creek is one of the most beautiful that I have had the good fortune to visit.
    Thanks again for the memories, now I'll have to go and dig up my old photos so I can reminisce.
    Rock

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Rock
    Ernie,
    Great story, you brought back memories for me. You built a fantastic cabin out there at Dahl Creek.
    I was on a survey crew working for BLM in 1977 and we used the cabin for the summer. The BLM leased it (I thought they said that someone in Kotzebue, Harold-can't remember last name, owned it at that time.) Anyways, thanks for building such a nice cabin that I was able to enjoy while in the bush.
    It really is a small world, while I was working out of Dahl Creek a green and white 7GCBC came in one day and I recognized the tail number as the plane that I received my tail wheel endorsement in years before at Pat's Flying Service on Merrill Field. It's not like you see a lot of air traffic out there in the first place, let alone see a plane that you recognize.
    I turned 21 out in your cabin that summer. The other boys brewed up a big batch of fermented Welches grape juice and we proceeded to get drunk and sick-- what a way to say hello to adulthood.
    In the years since I have been all over this State, and it is my opinion that Dahl Creek is one of the most beautiful that I have had the good fortune to visit.
    Thanks again for the memories, now I'll have to go and dig up my old photos so I can reminisce.
    Rock
    Rock
    If you can find those photos, I would love to get a copy. We lost all of our early photos in the early 70s in a flood on the Yukon River at Galena. That was fun building that home, panning for gold in Dahl Creek, Cutting Jade from Dahl Creek and talking to guys like Bill Munz, Al Stout, and of course Tony Burnhardt from Kobuk.
    Harold bought the log home from Wien when we shut down our operation.

    As I said before Rock, Dahl Creek and the Kobuk Valley is truly God's Back Yard.

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    Re: Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV
    The person you mentioned has a very interesting book out, Arctic Bush Pilot by Anderson/Rearden and well worth reading about bush flying in the 50s in Alaska, especially out of Bettles. The rest of the story would not add anything really.
    I read the book, that's why I wanted the rest of the story... but Okay maybe that story is better untold, although why hide the truth. The book story of his departure from Wien sounded a little weak even as I read it a year ago.

    Are you familiar with the homestead on the Mauneluk River about 2 miles upstream from the mouth at the Kobuk? There's a 1500' strip and several cabins. Looks like it might date back to the 60's.

    Bruce

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    Re: Living/building in the bush, Dahl Creek, in the mid 60s.

    Quote Originally Posted by N3243A
    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaAV
    The person you mentioned has a very interesting book out, Arctic Bush Pilot by Anderson/Rearden and well worth reading about bush flying in the 50s in Alaska, especially out of Bettles. The rest of the story would not add anything really.
    I read the book, that's why I wanted the rest of the story... but Okay maybe that story is better untold, although why hide the truth. The book story of his departure from Wien sounded a little weak even as I read it a year ago.

    Are you familiar with the homestead on the Mauneluk River about 2 miles upstream from the mouth at the Kobuk? There's a 1500' strip and several cabins. Looks like it might date back to the 60's.

    Bruce
    Seems like I may have seen it but never landed there. If it is the one I am thinking about, there were a lot of hunting parties that flew into there. Just a little further northeast was where we made a pickup of a hunting party with a Porter without landing. It was over kind of a bog and not suitable to land, even with a Porer.
    The winds were rather strong that day so after dragging the area where the hunters were, he finally brought it in and just hovered in one place while the hunters loaded the meat and boarded the aircraft and off they go back to Kotzebue. The pilot said he never actually touched down but I suspect he may have touched a wheel once in a while as they were loading. What an aircraft to fly.

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    Rock
    If you can find those photos, I would love to get a copy. We lost all of our early photos in the early 70s in a flood on the Yukon River at Galena.



    Ernie,
    I'll make a search this weekend and see what I can find. Unfortunately I have moved many times since then, but I do have an apple box of photos in the garage. I hope they are in there.
    PM me your address and if I come up with some I'll send copies.
    Rock

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    Dahl Creek

    I was up around Kobuk the other day (again). It must surely have changed. The greater Kobuk Airport is being upgraded again. Dahl Creek is almost a ghost town, along with Bornite.

    Maybe somethings have not changed. Winter is starting to set in, -5 below, people still venture out to the airport to see who is on the airplane.

    I will be up in the area in the morning, I will try to get a picture or two.

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    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Re: Dahl Creek

    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    I was up around Kobuk the other day (again). It must surely have changed. The greater Kobuk Airport is being upgraded again. Dahl Creek is almost a ghost town, along with Bornite.

    Maybe somethings have not changed. Winter is starting to set in, -5 below, people still venture out to the airport to see who is on the airplane.

    I will be up in the area in the morning, I will try to get a picture or two.
    I would really appreciate any photos and thanks for the latest news from my old home town.
    When I lived at Dahl Creek, there was nothing else there except my family. No tents, no BLM, no environmentalists. Lots of animals of course.

    Bornite was quite an operation when I was there. We based a C-185 or Beaver there for Kennicott as their emergency aircraft (and fishing trips) and for scheduled local flights out of Dahl Creek to Kobuk, Shungnak and Ambler. Wien would let me use it to fly from Bornite to Dahl Creek to pick up my wife and fly her back across the mountain to do her laundry at Kennicott.

    Talk about a fun place to live and work.

    What do the sand dunes look like now days? People still living in caves there?

    Thanks a million for the news.

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    Well the Dunes are still there, I don't know about cave dwellers. I ask around. I try to get some pictures, not this morning though the plane is down for parts, waiting on a part (oil cooler sprang a leak) as we speak. Somethings really never change huh? Maybe I will be flying by noon.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Well the Dunes are still there, I don't know about cave dwellers. I ask around. I try to get some pictures, not this morning though the plane is down for parts, waiting on a part (oil cooler sprang a leak) as we speak. Somethings really never change huh? Maybe I will be flying by noon.

    Mike
    Mike
    Between you and Rock, I just might be able to catch up on God's Back Yard.
    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the news. Time I posted a story about how Dahl Creek actually became a "town" and not just an airport and what put the name on the maps in 1966. Watch for it.

    Did you know Tony Bernhardt at Kobuk, Bernhardt Air Service? He later went to fly in Hawai'i, Kaua I believe and in Twin Otters, but I never did get to see him over there. Does his family still have the store in Kobuk? Tony had a really beautiful C-170B, green and metal, in perfect condition that I understood he sold to someone in Kotzebue. After he sold it, he bought a Helio Courier, small engine, that turned out to be a lemon for his operation. I think he sold his Super Cub at the same time and tried to do the work of both the Cub and the C-170 with just one aircraft. Didn't work in that area.

    Later....

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    Bernhardt? I know of some folks with that name. Billy Bernhardht I believe.
    The 170 is gone, There was a helio being operated here 4 years ago maybe. That since has been sold and moved on. The operator is still here, kind of. Arctic Air Guides, Baker Aviation and Northwestern Aviation are here in one form or the other. The big players are now are Cape Smythe, Bering Air and Hagelund's. The mail service has changed eliminating some of the smaller operators or require them to pull out and concentrate in other parts of the state.
    Boy so much to catch up on and I live here still.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Bernhardt? I know of some folks with that name. Billy Bernhardht I believe.
    The 170 is gone, There was a helio being operated here 4 years ago maybe. That since has been sold and moved on. The operator is still here, kind of. Arctic Air Guides, Baker Aviation and Northwestern Aviation are here in one form or the other. The big players are now are Cape Smythe, Bering Air and Hagelund's. The mail service has changed eliminating some of the smaller operators or require them to pull out and concentrate in other parts of the state.
    Boy so much to catch up on and I live here still.
    I have read that the mail system has changed, especially for the big carriers.
    When the bypass mail system was tried, I was working as director of cargo in Fairbanks for Wien. Between us and the Postal Service, we tried many different ways to get that system off the ground. It was one of the best operations we ever put into effect. Having a series of big rigs back up to our dock, fill a cargo container (igloo) for our 737s, weigh net and tare and sign one slip for postage sure beat putting stamps on each box, especially when you are talking about maybe 120,000 pounds of mail at a time. On the other end, the igloos were taken directly to the store the mail was going to. No work for the postal service and our airline really liked it. It was tried first from Fairbanks to Barrow to a store called Schontz.
    I sure hated to see how it got screwed up now days. Since I am way down here now, I have to assume there was lots of politics involved to screw it up so much. Lots of good small carriers sure got burned.

    I really appreciate the news though Mike and am sure others enjoy reading about the old days.

    Did you ever run into any of the "cave dwellers" at the sand dunes? They used to go through Dahl Creek once in a while. Strange people.

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    No. never did meet a cave dweller. Floated the Kobuk a couple of times
    and have not seen sign of anyone like that, some skiffs with people traveling between Kiana and up-river.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    No. never did meet a cave dweller. Floated the Kobuk a couple of times
    and have not seen sign of anyone like that, some skiffs with people traveling between Kiana and up-river.
    How far upriver did you go to start the float? What a beautiful sight that must have been. I sure invy you for that. Did you ever float the Noatak?
    That would be something outstanding with all the white water.

    Every fly over Walker Lake and see the lodge built on the island? What a location and a great site. One of my pilots dropped down real low to check on it on a flight to Fairbanks that I was on. That was one great thing about Wien. They didn't mind all the fuel used just to check on someone living in the bush and the passengers didn't mind the time since they got to see more.

    Tony had a really rustic log cabin near the south end of Selby lake near where the lodge is now. I spent many a night there in the 60s just below that multi thousand foot waterfall. If you have seen the lodge photos on the Internet, just picture a yellow Super Cub tied up in front of a hand hewn, one room, log cabin, 7 foot eaves and maybe 12 foot by 14 foot. Talk about big fish in that lake.

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    Two summers ago I put in at Ambler and floated through the park to Kiana, that took 36 hours. This past summer three of us did the same trip during really low water, about three days. Did the Noatak from the Kelly to Noatak hunting bear, or a wild goose ( did not see one living animal, other than one bear way to far to stalk it turned out we tried though). No rapids on that trip, low water in mid sept. Some time on the squirrel (one float, and a camp on the north fork looking for caribou hunt)
    I would be lucky to see a squirrel at a zoo it seems. Have zipped around the Noatak a little never had the luck to put boots to gravel yet. Everything is where I can get me and gear in for free(the power of the non-rev)

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    P.S.

    Never been up the Kobuk river from Kobuk much. I think that camp is still up, There seem to be a few around there. Haven't even flown up that way but for a couple of times in the last few years.
    P.M. a e-mail and I zip off a few pictures.

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    It would be nothing to look out the window and see a large herd of caribou walking by just a few yards to the north. One morning, a big bull moose was standing right outside looking in. He was close enough I was worried a horn spike might get a window pane. Martins used to live under the house and one night, a white weasel got inside. Another day, a porcupine started chewing a tire off my jeep. Upriver from Kobuk, there was a large population of mink. One night driving from Dahl Creek to Bornite in my Jeep, I ran into a pack of maybe 10 to 15 wolves.
    Durring the day, I would often head up on the side of the mountain just north of the runway and cut trail through the trees. By the time it was dark, the trail would be set up enough that we could have walked home on it if need be (the powder snow was probably 10 foot deep in some places) so we would take off for a ride.
    The wildlife found that out of course so we always ran into all kinds of animals. I always carried my 30.06 on the snow machine and if my wife had the other machine, she would carry the .357. We never left the airport without some kind of weapon, even when hauling water on the snow machine at 50 below zero.

    One afternoon, I decided to drive my snow machine up the side of that mountain just north of the runway. What a sight. There were 4 layers of scattered clouds below and at almost sunset and there I was with no camera. It was rather scary coming down though for fear of rolling the machine. That was a steep slope.
    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_pho...Dahl_Creek_ipg

    I was at Umiat in 1965 when the big caribou herd was migrating through. According to fish and game at the time, they estimated the heard to be 70,000 to 80,000 animals. What a sight and strange noise and it took 3 or 4 days for them to get through. I walked up on the bluff just north of the runway where there was a producing oil well and set under the deck to watch them. My the way, my first wife owns the land where that well is now. The caribou is a very inquisitive animal really so I found a piece of cloth and tied it to a board and started waving it. Sure enough, several animals walked clear up to me maybe 5 foot away.
    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_pho...5&id=umt_b_bmp

    An interesting note again:
    While at Prudhoe Bay operating my tour program, I trained a few ground rodents that we called parka squirrels in Alaska. They are about half the size of a prairie dog and a little bigger than a chip monk. Upon call, there would be hundreds that came running to my bus and than when I got out, 3 or 4 would come over and jump up on my knee. I was always very careful to keep the tourists away from them for fear of rabies but they sure took a lot of pictures. One lady from Georgia actually mailed me back an enlarged photo of one sitting on my knee.

  20. #20

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    Goodmorning,

    Did you receive the pictures okay? I have a few more somewhere.

    Is there a way to post to the gallery so everyone can see?

    Mike

  21. #21
    Torch's Avatar
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    Mike,

    You have the day off? Get out there and fly some. I am not busy enough today.


  22. #22

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    Hey,

    I am partaking in the new FAA "Safe Skies Program" and not flying today.

  23. #23
    Torch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Hey,

    I am partaking in the new FAA "Safe Skies Program" and not flying today.
    Translation. I am joking and drinking coffee on the job.

  24. #24
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Goodmorning,

    Did you receive the pictures okay? I have a few more somewhere.

    Is there a way to post to the gallery so everyone can see?

    Mike
    Got them OK Mike and sent you an e-mail. Thanks much
    Ernie

  25. #25
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Goodmorning,

    Did you receive the pictures okay? I have a few more somewhere.

    Is there a way to post to the gallery so everyone can see?

    Mike
    Mike
    Check e-mail about posting photos. It is easy to do and software will resize the photos.
    Ernie

  26. #26

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    Hello again,

    Thanks I'll check, and give it a try.

  27. #27
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Hello again,

    Thanks I'll check, and give it a try.
    I know how you feel Mike. I have been trying for 3 hours now to upload three of your photos and it has taken over one hour just to resize your Kiana photo and that was a small one but it has not been resized yet. I did resize the three before I tried to upload. If it keeps working, just picture how long it will take for your Diamede photo which I consider probably the best photo I have ever seen of the island. You must have one fantastic camera or you are far above average in knowing how to use what you do have. I will keep trying because I believe the members would like to see what you have sent me.

    For those reading, I highly suggest sending a PM to Mike and he just might send you the 2 MB photo of Diamede, 21 miles from Russia. He has one fantastic photo that he took inbound in the winter.

  28. #28
    AlaskaAV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mghallen
    Hello again,

    Thanks I'll check, and give it a try.
    I am really sorry Mike. After 6 hours, your photos have not yet been added. Maybe I am not allowed to post photos anymore.
    I really hope readers will PM you direct to get what you sent me, they are fantastic.

    Ernie

  29. #29
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    By now, everyone knows I have this special feeling about Dahl Creek and all of the Kobuk Valley from Walker and Selby Lakes on the east to Kotzebue to the west. I always refer to it as God's Back Yard where He rested on Sunday so He made it very special.

    Mike (mghallen) has sent me some photos which I have uploaded in the Gallery at the end of page 6 and on page 7. Really good detail.
    Maybe Sgt.Rock will find some of his old photos when he stayed in the log home I built at Dahl Creek when he spent a summer there in 1977. Happy 21st birthday Rock, at least my place went to good use.

    Mike sent the following photo which shows a feature called The Kobuk Sand Dunes located just down river from Ambler. The photo is rather large and covers lots of area in very good detail. Just like sand dunes in a desert, they are constantly on the move because of the wind and are just like the white sand on any beach.

    At one point and maybe even today, there was a group of people living in caves dug back in the banks along the Kobuk River. Most had collage degrees from doctors on down. Once in a while if our flights were running on time, our pilots would drop down just over the ice or water just to check if everything was OK with them and to watch for hand signals. One of the unwritten rules for any bush pilot at the time was to keep track of people with no radio communication or transportation. Once in a while, one of the group would come through Dahl Creek to connect with our mainline flight and they were really interesting to talk to.

    Mike, open up the photo and please add your comments about the trip, area or anything else you would like to. I really appreciate you sharing them with us.

    http://supercub.org/gallery/view_pho...2_DSC00121_004

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