Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gregg and Hans Tour Alaska

This is the last photo from the trip on the way through Ptarmagin Pass. The weather was terrible the rest of the way home. Rainy Pass was basically IMC and we picked our way towards Skwentna. No chance for photos because I was busy flying the plane. Hans landed in Anchorage at Lake Hood strip, and I decided to continue on to Soldotna. Visibilities improved just outside of Anchorage, and I relaxed for a pleasant ride home. That was when I experienced the worst turbulence of the trip crossing Turnagain Arm. I was in continuous moderate with occasional severe turbulence. Again, no photos. I was happy to land safely in Soldotna. I put the 6-pack of Beer on my shelf in the hangar where it still sits. Someday I will drink it.

The flight through Farewell was marginal due to smoke from the fires around Fairbanks. Once past Farewell, the visibility improved, but the winds were brutal. We had to fly through Ptarmagin pass to get back to the Mat-Su valley. We were in continuous moderate turbulence the entire way.

We were planning on staying the night in Farewell for our last night on the trip. We found a store in McGrath and bought a 6-pack of Alaskan Amber for $15. This was clearly a good deal compared against the $11 glass of Alaskan White in Bettles. We dragged the newly acquired beer to the Flight Service Station to check the weather before heading to Farewell. The weather briefer told us that bad weather was moving in from the Bethel area and it might affect the passes to the Mat-Su valley for the next couple of days. Hans and I decided to cut the trip short and fly directly back to Anchorage. So I loaded the $15 6-pack into the plane and shipped the beer back to where it probably originated when it cost $7.

Old rusted barrels line the main street along the Kuskokwim River.

We landed in McGrath and walked around the town. The town was surprisingly friendly and relatively clean.

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