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Thread: The Trench made easy.

  1. #1
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    The Trench made easy.

    Or at least easier!

    I just got home from Alaska, and since boredom sets in flying the same route over and over again (Alaska Highway to/from Fort St. John), decided to try the Trench on the way home this year, since at Watson Lake weather looked pretty good down that way.

    Well, as you know one primary challenge of the Trench is the lack of fuel stops. It is about 450 NM from Watson Lake to Prince George (MacKenzie was out of gas). Sometimes, maybe, you can get autogas at certain villages at extortionist prices (and exorbitant landing fees charged for the privilege).

    For someone flying a slow, 150 HP cub that goes only 85-90 mph I need to find gas, even with my 23 gal Dakota tanks, especially with headwinds.

    The good news is that I ran across a great stopover for cubs that has a comfortable lodge and which will sell autogas! I was getting tired and the sun was getting low in the mountains when I flew over the Fort Graham, B.C. gravel strip, with a lodge located at the end of it. I was looking for a place to set up my tent for the night, and thought maybe it wouldn't be a problem to taxi to the other end and do it.

    What a surprise to me when I found out that master hunting guide and veteran cub pilot Jordy McAuley, who I had met in Haines Junction, Yukon on my flight to Alaska two years earlier, now owned this lodge! Jordy and his staff provided wonderful accommodations, hospitality, great food, and autogas for my cub! I'm glad I stopped because the next day was terrible weather, with heavy rain and fog preventing any flying. If I didn't stop there I would have been stuck on some other gravel strip getting flooded in my tent while cooking freeze-dried meals in the non-stop rain.

    I highly recommend this stop to anyone who flies the Trench. They will sell you autogas for your plane, and Jordy is eager to host other cubs needing a comfortable stopover on this long route. Fort Graham is about 260 NM south of Watson Lake.

    One note - before you land, check for horses and grizzly bears, which frequent the gravel strip... you may need to do a low pass first to shoe them away, or land further down beyond them.

    Here is a picture of the "Cub Corral" at Fort Graham (fuel tanks for autogas refueling on right side of picture).

    Thanks Colorado-Cub thanked for this post

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young
    Or at least easier!

    I just got home from Alaska, and since boredom sets in flying the same route over and over again (Alaska Highway to/from Fort St. John), decided to try the Trench on the way home this year, since at Watson Lake weather looked pretty good down that way.

    Well, as you know one primary challenge of the Trench is the lack of fuel stops. It is about 450 NM from Watson Lake to Prince George (MacKenzie was out of gas). Sometimes, maybe, you can get autogas at certain villages at extortionist prices (and exorbitant landing fees charged for the privilege).

    For someone flying a slow, 150 HP cub that goes only 85-90 mph I need to find gas, even with my 23 gal Dakota tanks, especially with headwinds.

    The good news is that I ran across a great stopover for cubs that has a comfortable lodge and which will sell autogas! I was getting tired and the sun was getting low in the mountains when I flew over the Fort Graham, B.C. gravel strip, with a lodge located at the end of it. I was looking for a place to set up my tent for the night, and thought maybe it wouldn't be a problem to taxi to the other end and do it.

    What a surprise to me when I found out that master hunting guide and veteran cub pilot Jordy McAuley, who I had met in Haines Junction, Yukon on my flight to Alaska two years earlier, now owned this lodge! Jordy and his staff provided wonderful accommodations, hospitality, great food, and autogas for my cub! I'm glad I stopped because the next day was terrible weather, with heavy rain and fog preventing any flying. If I didn't stop there I would have been stuck on some other gravel strip getting flooded in my tent while cooking freeze-dried meals in the non-stop rain.

    I highly recommend this stop to anyone who flies the Trench. They will sell you autogas for your plane, and Jordy is eager to host other cubs needing a comfortable stopover on this long route. Fort Graham is about 260 NM south of Watson Lake.

    One note - before you land, check for horses and grizzly bears, which frequent the gravel strip... you may need to do a low pass first to shoe them away, or land further down beyond them.

    Here is a picture of the "Cub Corral" at Fort Graham (fuel tanks for autogas refueling on right side of picture).

    You fly around Alaska for 2+ weeks and you only post one picture?

  3. #3
    DW's Avatar
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    Christina
    Thanks for sharing that with everyone, I fly the trench every year when I'm on wheels (coast on floats) although I Carry plenty of fuel on board for that leg of the trip it's always good to have backup stop for bad weather, I'll make a stop there next trip just to meet the new owners. Here is a typical July day in the Trench.
    DW

  4. #4
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers
    You fly around Alaska for 2+ weeks and you only post one picture?
    Give me a break. I just get home from Alaska, not even unpacked yet, and you expect that I would have already gone through the 900 pictures taken, edited them and posted???????? I'm sorry, but I've been away for a month and have other, more important stuff to catch up on first before I cater to your viewing desires. Take a hike!

    I only posted this right away because it may help someone who is flying the Trench in the near-future. I know that I would have appreciated it if someone told me I could get gas / food / lodging at Fort Graham before I left Watson Lake!

  5. #5
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young
    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers
    You fly around Alaska for 2+ weeks and you only post one picture?
    Give me a break. I just get home from Alaska, not even unpacked yet, and you expect that I would have already gone through the 900 pictures taken, edited them and posted???????? I'm sorry, but I've been away for a month and have other, more important stuff to catch up on first before I cater to your viewing desires. Take a hike!

    I only posted this right away because it may help someone who is flying the Trench in the near-future. I know that I would have appreciated it if someone told me I could get gas / food / lodging at Fort Graham before I left Watson Lake!
    Didn't you go to Alaska last year?

  6. #6
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers
    Didn't you go to Alaska last year?
    Look, if you don't like the pictures I posted, then why don't you badger someone who lives up in Alaska and flies around there all the time to post their pictures????

    I don't see you making the trip and posting pictures. Maybe if you need to see it that badly and aren't satisfied with my pictures you should put your money where your mouth is and do it yourself.

  7. #7
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young
    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers
    Didn't you go to Alaska last year?
    Look, if you don't like the pictures I posted, then why don't you badger someone who lives up in Alaska and flies around there all the time to post their pictures????

    I don't see you making the trip and posting pictures. Maybe if you need to see it that badly and aren't satisfied with my pictures you should put your money where your mouth is and do it yourself.
    Hey I just want to see some pics

    I enjoy pictures from an outsiders view (like yours going to AK), just like Shaun Lunts pictures. I did post a bunch of pics of when I went to New Hampshire a couple of years ago. Unfortunately my XD pic card is messed up and a friend that works at bestbuy is trying to get them off of it for me so I can post the NH pics.

    Although the gas is expensive...it is more of a time problem for myself. I think I could scrounge up the $$ if I could get the time to go.

  8. #8
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    Tim
    You are a true gentleman. At my advanced age I don't have the patience to put up with anyone screaming at me...even here.

    It was good to see you at NH. Hope our paths cross again soon.

    Lou

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    Re: The Trench made easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young

    Give me a break. I Take a hike!
    Christina- Come on… play nice. There is enough sand in the sand box for all of us. More pictures would be nice…

    Lippy

  10. #10
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    And you guys call this playing nice??? :

    behindpropellers wrote:
    You fly around Alaska for 2+ weeks and you only post one picture?
    I am tired of being chastised on this site (like this example above) for not posting my presentations or pictures of my Alaska trips soon enough.... and this is exactly the wrong way to ask to see pictures. Behindprops only said it this way to stir things up, and take away from the message of a new, useful stopover for those flying in the Trench.

    The right way to request pictures would have been as follows.

    Behindprops: Sounds like a great place for someone to stop. I would appreciate seeing some more pictures of your trip, Christina!

    Christina: I just got back home and have a lot of catching up to do. I will try to post some as soon as I can.

    It is easy to see why so many people have dropped off of this site or have stopped posting. I made this post with the hope of helping people out that may fly that route, and in return I get chastised for not posting pictures right away and then for defending myself from the chastising. What a double standard!

    Maybe I will just drop off too, it's simply not worth the aggravation.

  11. #11

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    I didn't read his message as chastising, but, I can see where you definitely did. The way that you worded the proper request would have been better, but then we are guys and don't always type with the same mentality as the ladies. Please stay, your messages are appreciated.

    I have flown the trench twice, both times because the weather on the east side was not as good, plus I wanted to see the trench. I was in a T210 with 90 gallons the first time and a C180 with 60 gallons the second time. Both had ample range, but the thought of no where to stop was not comfortable. I appreciate the location that you have shown to all of us. I will be in my Husky on the next trip. If I use the trench I will definitely stop at this place that you found.

    I have not posted one picture of either trip that I made to Alaska in my airplanes. Nor have I posted pictures from the multiple trips that I have made in the past 21 years in other peoples airplanes. I will try to figure it out now that I know they are in "High Demand" and get some pictures posted.

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    Christina,

    Thanks for the picture and the post. I would not have taken offense to the request for more pictures, even worded the way it was.

    But it seems like there is some history, in which case ignoring it may have been a better response?

    Aerodon

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    Thank you very much for the tip. I am right now in Gnader Newfoundland and relax a bit from my big canadian round trip. In a few days I turn my propeller back to Alaska and wanted to try the trench anyway.
    The wandering raven

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    Crash's Avatar
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    Alaska flying 2008

    Here's a typical day of flying during the trip with Christina.



    The weather up here this summer has been less then "ideal".

    Take care.

    Crash

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    Ruidoso Ron's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report Christina. You didn't tell me you were going to take my airplane!

  16. #16
    CaptFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruidoso Ron
    You didn't tell me you were going to take my airplane!


    Ron... Did you forget where you left your plane????

    Christina,

    Having flown the trench a few times and not knowing that there good stop midway if needed, that makes this great info. As in a cub that can be a long stretch. and unknown / unpredictable weather in the middle.

    Thanks.

    David.

  17. #17
    SJ's Avatar
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    Christina, Cool picture! Sounds like a great trip. A someday over the rainbow trip for me, until I can remotely access the computers at work with a FindMeSpot, it will be awhile

    Tim, you just got yourself a new airplane to zip around in you would THINK that you could put down the little devils pitchfork you have been poking people around here with lately and go release some of that pent up aggression in the Ohio class G. Why I haven't heard as much as a meow from Cajun Joe since you tortured him with his avatar, he may be in therapy! (yes, I checked the litter box as well.)

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  18. #18
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska flying 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash
    Here's a typical day of flying during the trip with Christina.



    The weather up here this summer has been less then "ideal".

    Take care.

    Crash
    Crash... I have a great picture of your plane against a (similar) background of white while we were flying through the mountains that I will post!

  19. #19
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruidoso Ron
    Thanks for the report Christina. You didn't tell me you were going to take my airplane!
    Yes, and your airplane loved it all the way!

  20. #20
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve
    Christina, Cool picture! Sounds like a great trip. A someday over the rainbow trip for me, until I can remotely access the computers at work with a FindMeSpot, it will be awhile
    Actually, if Corvis Migrans can convince flight service to let him access the internet from their computers to post his stuff, maybe you can too? Wouldn't it be great to have the Supercub.org gathering in someplace like Chisana or something for a change?

  21. #21
    SJ's Avatar
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    Christina, it would, but it is really hard to get catering service - just kidding!

    I think someone should organize it! All the other fly ins (except New Holstein) are done by individuals. I'd love to attend, sadly, it would probably be by smoker for the next 10 years, unless the 40" bushwheels will really be speed mod.

    sj
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  22. #22
    DW's Avatar
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    Everyone take a deep breath----- know isn't that better, Christina I would love to see more of your pics to (after you have time to unpack) it's always great to see other cubbers trips and get info on new places to land and people to meet, I hope we can meet-up some time as well maybe in the far north.

    DW

  23. #23
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    I know Tim and I really doubt he intended to offend in any way. In fact I think it was meant to be a compliment, ie "I love your pictures and would like to see more."

    Thank you for posting your info Christina. That is the stuff that definitely makes this site so good. Well done.

    Bill

  24. #24
    CubLite's Avatar
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    Christina;

    Thanks for the picture, but man you need to step back and take a breath or take a pill! If I've learned anything about open forums on the Internet, it's if you can't take a little joke or a little ribbin' you should not be posting anything, anywhere. I am only jealous cause you made the trip and I didn't. Guess I NEEDED to work and you don't! Oh damn, jealous again!.

    LOL, Pat

  25. #25
    85Mike's Avatar
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    Christina
    I took "Behindpropellers post as a tongue in cheek comment. Sry you didn't see it that way. Anyway I'm leaving next week for a 3 week trip to AK. Flying a smoker up as my 185 and my partner went up last Sat. 12 hrs flying time PDX to Anch. I'm gonna' spend 3 weeks on the Talkeetna and try to find a Bullwinkle. I doubt I'll post any pictures as I'm not savy enough to do it.
    Mike

  26. #26
    Christina Young's Avatar
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    Re: Alaska flying 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina Young
    Crash... I have a great picture of your plane against a (similar) background of white while we were flying through the mountains that I will post!
    Here it is... this is flying w/ Crash trying to make our way over the Kaiyuh mtns to McGrath... better visibility than we had much of the time actually.


  27. #27
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Hi Christina,
    Make SURE you get Fort Graham posted on the "Fuel Availability" list. You DID do that, didn't you Steve?

    That corral was a really good find, & we're looking forward to some more of your pix/info. Folks like you & Corvus make great contributions here!!

  28. #28
    cafi19's Avatar
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    Christina,

    I wanted to get down to NJ to see your AK presentation a couple years ago but as usual....life got in the way.

    I hope you will take the time and post some of your picts. It is a dream of mine to do what you have done....but until Jr grows up and gets out in the world in a self sufficient manner...I will have to live that dream through the picts of others.

    cafi

  29. #29
    FdxLou's Avatar
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    VL....

    Does that mean you won't be going with SJ and all of us next year?

    Lou

  30. #30
    AntiCub's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip Christina, I'm planning to make that trip the other direction in 2010. And the buck fifty has short legs, so any fuel stop info is greatly appreciated.

    Phil

  31. #31
    cafi19's Avatar
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    Hi Lou!

    I'm trying to figure out right now...next year is just too far for me to even think about at this point! Maybe I can go in a "virtual" sense again.

    cafi

  32. #32
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    I updated the Trench route on http://fly2ak.com to include at least 5 airstrips not shown in the original Trench pamphlet (author?) or on other links that I've seen. I found these strips via searching satellite images and laboriously scanning topo maps.


    Link to new Trench page: https://fly2ak.com/?page_id=250


    Link to new Trench detailed map (note: 3mb download): http://fly2ak.com/Trench/NewTrench/TrenchHugeTest.jpg


    If you want to review a custom topo of the route, which I created, here is that link: https://caltopo.com/m/VEUJ


    Here is a PDF listing all the strips, with embedded links to satellite images of each airstrip: https://fly2ak.com/Trench/NewTrench/TrenchDataLinks.pdf
    Enjoy!


    Please email me with any corrections or additional information! Thank you! ted@fly2ak.com
    Last edited by tedwaltman1; 07-01-2021 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Add punctuation
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  33. #33
    spinner2's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	56515There are a lot more places to land in the Trench than it would appear. This old road was mostly flooded by Mica dam but I used to wait out a big thunderstorm that had the valley plugged up. And quite a few old logging camps and outfitters strips like Scoop Lake that you’ve got on your list.
    "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." Wyatt Earp
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  34. #34
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Thank you Ted. I know it takes a lot of work to put that stuff together, and I (and I’m sure many others), really appreciate the work you put into it.


    Thank you
    Bill
    Very Blessed. "It's not an obsession, it's a passion"
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