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Thread: Alaska trip 2015

  1. #1
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Alaska trip 2015

    Left Carcross this am with decent ceilings above the local mountains. White Pass was socked in but we got above between layers and had an uneventful flight into Skagway.

    Carcross is a neat little "town." Absolutely superb Bistro there with six Yukon Brewery beers on tap and world class food. Nice small museum covering the gold rush of 1898. Outs ding hiking and mountain biking trails within a 1/4mile of town. Mountain bike rentals available too. Worlds smallest desert is a 2 kilometer walk from the airstrip. Ed and Dorothy own the hangar and house at the gravel airstrip. Wonderful folks. Ed has many fascinating historical stories of the area to tell. Dorothy works in the local tourist information centre. She has probably 50 or more suggestions of local and nearby activities to keep one occupied for days. Plus she is also fun to talk to. The locals in the local bistro shared their favorite hiking trails with us--we had a wonderful time exploring them!


    We're now enjoying the town of Skagway. Plan is to fly around the corner to Haines and meet up with another wonderful member of this Forum to share local lore and flights into strips that are not on the map.Click image for larger version. 

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    I'll try to attach some pictures here or post a link as I did yesterday.


  2. #2
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Approach into Skagway
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  3. #3
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Coming in from the water...
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  4. #4
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Short flight from Skagway to Haines. Winds were light (with light rain) leaving Skagway but blowing 20+ landing in Haines with moderate rain. Met by AKTANGO58 at Haines who gave us a wonderful tour of the Haines area. Then we went out to the Chilkoot River area where we saw a sow Grizzly and two cubs! George is a heck of a super guy.
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  5. #5

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    Cool. Whats involved in clearing customs at Skagway? I didnt know it could be done in an airplane.

  6. #6
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Same as any airport of entry in Alaska. File eApis. Call no more than 24 hours in advance but at least 2 hours in advance. No flight plan or discrete transponder code required. CBP guy asked for our passports and looked in our baggage area.

    CBP guy was all absorbed with Customs having some computer glitch as they never got my eApis, even though I had proof that I filed it. They will probably have ten meetings and twenty conference calls on this. Just think of the jobs I probably created for the CBP programmers! ����

  7. #7
    little wing's Avatar
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    Hey Ted, congrats on the trip. Just a quick note, maybe you mean for it to be that way, but sometimes it looks like your iPhone (if thats what you're using) has an effect on the camera called 'Process." I got mine stuck for a while and didn't notice until I had missed some great shots without the effect. With the camera app open, hit the 3 overlapping circles in the bottom RH corner and that brings up the effects available. The one in the middle gets it back to normal.

    Thanks for taking the time to document and please keep the pics coming!

    Why did you and Eddy split?

  8. #8
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Thank you for the iPhone camera tip. I did not know about that "feature." I set it back to "None" but I couldn't tell what it was on when I did.

    i will post a link to a picture slideshow when home. I'm going to start shooting video today if we fly (low ceiling still). George has graciously offered to take me over to a local beach with an abandoned forest service cabin the perhaps show me some other local uncharted strips. If anyone stops in here at Haines please look up aktango58.

    We've been lucky to meet wonderful folks at coffee shops, airstrips and just around. All one has to do is smile, reach out and engage people.

  9. #9
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Low ceilings around Haines this morning. Headed to backcountry S of Yakutat if weather breaks (after flying with aktango58 some around here). No Internet access for a couple days unless weather remains socked in here.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tedwaltman1 View Post
    Low ceilings around Haines this morning. Headed to backcountry S of Yakutat if weather breaks (after flying with aktango58 some around here). No Internet access for a couple days unless weather remains socked in here.
    Looks like that picture was shot from beautiful downtown Haines. I was there a number of years ago. A friend of mine lived there he was working on an old boat when I was there trying to get it ready to fish again. Jon

  11. #11
    little wing's Avatar
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    Ted, one more thing, when you add a picture to the thread, once it's uploaded, before you hit the "post" button, you can then click on the picture and you'll have an option to make it larger. Looks much better that way and then we don't have to click each one to see the beautiful details you're bringing all of us.

    Thanks again,

  12. #12
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I think he made it out to Yakutat today. We did a quick recon, showed him my little slice of heaven up river, and must have scared him off. Next thing I know he went and played up there then headed west!

    Hope he comes back, that SQ2 is a fantastic ride. Wish I could really try it for a few days to learn how it performs.

    Thank you for letting me fly that Ted!!!!


    George
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  13. #13
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    George was a wonderful host today. He and I flew up the Chilkat River today With George pointing out what seemed like a hundred landmarks. He gave me local condition tips on bears, gravel bar conditions and commonly used landing spots. The hour tour was definitely a trip highlight. Thank you George!

    George and I returned to Haines and then I loaded up on some fuel as well as all of our trip gear. With my friend Joe in back we headed back to the very remote areas that George earlier pointed out. We landed on a short (for me) gravel bar by a cabin and shot video of take offs and landings.

    Tomorrow morning early we head to Tanis Mesa S of Yakutat. We're going to land on some beaches and strips near Icy Bay and the Alsek River. Weather is supposed to be good.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I can't figure out how to resize pictures as suggested in a previous post. I'll get pictures and video up Ina couple of weeks from home.

  14. #14
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    George is supposed to be working this time of year, not playing tour guide.

  15. #15
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Yea yea yea, but the next class is in two weeks
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  16. #16
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Class? We here in SE have no class!

  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    And the fight begins!

    I should give you a call.

    Look for that yellow and red cub, it is quite the machine!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Yesterday flew from Haines, Alaska over Glacier Bay Nat'l Park then up the coast to Cordova. Long flight but absolutely spectacular weather. The view of the glaciers all along the route was world class--beyond words. At the suggestion of a Haines local pilot, we landed on the beach at the terminous of the Perouse Glacier. The view there of Mt Fairweather and other peaks & glaciers made this a truly memorable experience.
    From the Perouse Glacier it was on to Tanis Mesa, a Forest Service strip near the Alsek river just S of Yakutat. Neat place but no where to hike without major bushwacking.


    Over to Yakutat or lunch at the airport diner. Met a bunch of Coast Guard pilots and crew in there for area familiarization (boondoogle in other words <g>). Fuel and off to Yakutaga where we met the only full time resident (Richard) and his two dogs. While there for a few minutes the FAA flew in, so we decided to takeoff <g>.


    Just N of Yakatage is the shipwreck on the beach that has been in a few SuperCub.org calendars. Had to land on the beach and get a picture of my cub there of course!


    Then on into Cordova. Along the way we saw perhaps 8 grizzlies and cubs. The salmon run is in full swing. Both bears and people are all over fishing.


    Here is a link to many pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did taking them!


    https://goo.gl/photos/BCzAf6mNfepw7uDc9




    Thank you for reading my trip notes...


    Ted

  19. #19
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    The last picture in the previous post link is from today. We wanted to land some beaches and gravel bars, but the weather closed in. Rain for a day or so now.


    Met a number of local pilots here in Cordova. One invited us to dinner and to stay with him tonight so we don't have to hang out in the rain. What a neat pilot community we have!

  20. #20
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Full on rain here in Cordova today. Local charter pilots think this 50' ceiling is great VFR <g>. We're waiting until things clear tomorrow to fly over the McCarthy area. Plan is to visit many of the strips that aren't on the charts that I researched before leaving Denver. Probably go for a hike today and see if bears are out <g>.

  21. #21
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    The weather is not optimal but the beer is GREAT!
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    Last edited by tedwaltman1; 08-28-2015 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Fix picture

  22. #22
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    I swear the picture was right side up when I sent it!

  23. #23
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Oh boy, they have gotten so much beer they think they are in the land 'Down Under' and are 'right side up'!

    Ted, just to confirm, your picture is upside down, but if you drink enough beer it won't matter!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  24. #24
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    Beer? I thought you were looking for bear today? Keep the pictures coming, even if they are upside down

    Bill

  25. #25
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Picture perfect day today...but the wind is blowing 40+ in the Copper River delta. Wanted to fly over to McCarthy area. Talked to about six local pilots who all said "Don't even think about it." So after more coffee went for an awesome hike. Light winds forecast tomorrow. Plan to land Bremer mine, Tee Bay Lakes and other strips on the way to McCarthy.
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  26. #26
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Lots of salmon in the streams. Very few eagles and zero bears. Locals say the bear population is way down (why?).
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  27. #27
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Trails have hundreds of yards of elevated planking covered with stapled on parachute cord to keep one out of the bogs. Must have taken a small army to build these trails!
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  28. #28
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Flew from Cordova to McCarthy a few days ago. No Internet in McCarthy area (that I could find). I should have done my homework on fuel better--we arrived on Saturday morning only to learn while there is fuel there, one has to set up an account first. Couldn't get a hold of the fuel folks until Monday morning. But no worries as I still had about 2 hours on board.

    Flew over to a very short strip called "The Fosse" which is up the Kennicott Glacier. Picture attached. Way Cool place!!!


    Flew over to Jakes Bar strip at the recommendation of a local pilot. Couple of small cabins there; One to stay in and one smaller one that looks to be a sauna (?). Jakes Bar is on the Chitina River just South of McCarthy. Very cool place. Remote, but neat. We have like 4 cameras and two GoPro cams. Will build a website with all the photos and video when I get home.


    Over to McCarthy on Sunday to walk to "town" and to hike up to the Root Glacier. Met Shannon who made us hot chocolate at the Kennecott Mine and later her husband Austin who is a pilot for Wrangall Air (a very busy charter operation by the way). Saw a Moose while walking back to the plane. It was too windy to fly. Wrangall Air cancelled their afternoon flights and even the very experienced local pilot Paul Claus turned back from the area. So we stayed on the ground. As another pilot told us, "It seems as if winter has arrived."



    Monday morning, with fuel in hand, we tried to go up the Chitistone River to land at some of the strips up there. While in flight we were talking to several Wrangall Air pilots on the radio. They were in the same area and turning back due to severe wind and turbulence. We went back to McCarthy, fueled up and headed toward the coast through the mountains.


    Wind was blowing 40+ over the Bagley Icefield (huge beyond words--pictures later). Down the coast landed on a beach at Icy Bay. Picture attached.


    The wind was brutal out of the mountains (off of our left wing) at every river/glacier we passed. Weather turned quite bad flying to Gustavus. Found out the fuel pump hasn't worked at Gustavus for 3 months (of course after we landed). Over to Juneau for fuel. With us on 1 mile final to runway 08 the tower told us to "expediate" as there was a 737 on a 6 mile final behind us!


    Finally up to Skagway at dark to hit the Skagway Brewpub. 8.4 hours of flying. Passed a cruise ship leaving Skagway just at dusk. Pretty neat to see camera flashes from the ship taking our picture as we passed.

    Internet connection too slow to upload photos here...



  29. #29
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    "The Fosse" strip
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  30. #30
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    Icy Bay beach. Saw some huge bear tracks here.
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  31. #31
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    This trip was unlike others when I've flown North. Previously I think I never had more than a day or two of bad weather in an entire trip. This year we had days and days of rain--and even snow! For the last 9 days of flying, we had almost constant rain--that's why there are few pictures from the way home.

    Joe and I spent this afternoon going through almost 2,000 pictures from 5 cameras to create this "Best of the favorites" slide show. There are quite a few pictures; We trust you will enjoy them as much as we did taking them.

    We have a bunch of videos too from several cameras, including a GoPro mounted on the Cub. I'll go through those and edit them over the next week or so. I'll post them as I go thru them.

    If you click on an individual thumbnail image, you will see a larger version of the picture. Note that each picture has a caption at the bottom (you might have to scroll down to view the caption).

    Here's the link to our pictures: http://eaerofab.com/Alaska2015a/index.html

    Thank you for viewing them!

  32. #32
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    We certainly have a wonderful flying community of generous pilots.

    At one fuel stop in Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada we couldn't figure out where the instructions were for the locked pump. Within a short while there were four pilots there who all drove out from the nearby town to help us out.

    Ed and Dorothy met us at our plane in Carcross and shared their private aircraft parking area with tie-downs. The picked us up the next morning and drove us the short distance to town for coffee and to--of course--share flying stories.

    George met us in Haines and gave us the best tour of the town and local history imaginable. Then George took us out to the end of a local road where we saw a sow and cubs. The next day George and I flew my Cub up some remote valleys to scope out gravel bars. Wonderful!

    Bruce met us camped at our plane in Cordova and graciously invited us to stay at his house and have multiple dinners with he and his family--saving us the next two nights in the tent in rain. Simply awesome hospitality and much appreciated generosity.

    Jory (Innisfall) & Guy (Red Deer) invited us to a BBQ and also welcomed us to stay at Jory's house (if I recall correctly) in Alberta. We couldn't make our mutual schedules work this trip, but visiting each of them on the next trip North is on our agenda.

    According to my SPOT track, we flew a total of 8,374 miles! Great trip!

  33. #33
    gntw's Avatar
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    Was wondering the other day if you made it back home yet as the weather has not been the most cooperative for flying the last little while. Sounds like you had a good time despite the weather.

  34. #34
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    My brain must be addled. In my previous post I forgot to thank Dieter and his wife for picking us up for breakfast at Ft Saint John...and to thank Cliff Nelson for buying everyone breakfast. I'm sure there are others that I'm spacing out too...again, just an awesome group of people that we have on this website and forums!

  35. #35
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Honored to have been part of your trip, and made the photo albums!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  36. #36
    Barnstormer's Avatar
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    I'm not buying that days and days of rain and snow story. Looking at your great pictures I think you guys were goofing off all that time.
    Awesome photos, thanks.
    Phil Whittemore

  37. #37
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    A sincere "Thank You" to everyone for looking at the pictures and commenting!

  38. #38
    aktango58's Avatar
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    They had some mist, and a couple days of rain. But if we say 'rain', it is rain up here. Good to wash aircraft!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  39. #39
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
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    We were on short final into Skagway in the "rain." One of the local charter pilots had landed in front of us. I commented about the "rain." The charter pilot said it was a "great day for flying up here!" Heck, if it's not 50 miles visibility here in Colorado we file IFR .

  40. #40
    aktango58's Avatar
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    We don't have enough roads for 'IFR' 'round here.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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