Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Camera- Nikon D-90

Here's a photo of the new camera on order. If your watching AK Massey's blog that is a taste of the photo quality that this camera can produce.

Carrots and Flying

The strip is on the very top ridge in the upper left side of the photo

Here are a few photos of Chris' strip from today. Today i tried out a method for securing the airplane that I hadnt thought about till mike mentioned it. Sometimes when flying in the backcountry your away from your airplane for a long time, during which the wind can pick up pretty good. The solution is two squares of plywood with a hole in the center of each one. You put a knot in your tie down rope, pull it through, burry the flat piece of wood and your good to go. I picked the last of the carrots yesterday and also pulled the parsnips, garlic and shallots. The parsnips got nipped by bugs or worms so they are mostly a loss, but the shallots and garlic were a nice surprise.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chris' strip and Ptarmigan hunting

Ptarmigan are amazing birds, notice how well their heads blend in, however this time of year they are in the middle of changing over to their winter outfit (pure white) so they are easier to see now until it snows.
Coyote Tracks - doing the same thing that i was....

There is a story behind this post that goes back aways. The plane that i fly now used to belong to Chris, after he died I bought it from his wife Mary. She was kind enough to hold onto the plane till i could come up with a way to pay her for it. Chris loved to hunt out of this strip and he just loved to spend time up there, it's easy to see why. After Chris died Mike and Bill build a concrete memorial for him on the strip similar to mike's fathers at his cabin and since then it's always been known as Chris' strip. I had the chance to fly in there with mike in his plane when i was younger and this was my first trip in by myself in my plane, or Chris' plane as it were. It's so hard watching friends pass before their time, but it brought me great solace to bring Chris' plane back to his strip and have as much fun there as he would have had. His memorial is doing great, enduring the weather well. As I was roaming around below the strip looking for Ptarmigan it started to snow the slightest bit and the temperature never rose above 35. The fingers of clouds reached out just beyond the strip to the east and beyond that, the day was crystal clear. As i sat by Chris' memorial eating a late lunch and getting ready to take off, an eagle flew by, coming from the Chakachamna river valley, headed up toward Beluga lake. He rode the slight thermals rising off the end of the strip and dipped a wing down toward the valley, it's hard not to think Chris was flying by to check on his people and make sure I was treating his plane well. I hope to spend much more time there, but time seems to be running short with winter sneaking up on us. For those of you not up here, you're missing out on a great fall,

hope all is well

Hideout Hill

I think he needs to chew a little more.....
The tent growl

Here are a few pics of a fall tradition for Jordan and I. This mountain, officially named hideout hill was originally surveyed by a good friends father, they all call it bear mountain. Not many people know where the trail starts so not many people make it up. We saw a small black bear and were lucky to have an amazing second day. We stay the night at the lake then head all the way up the second day. The top of the mountain is used for Wildlife Refuge radio relays that use solar cells for power. You can get into the small huts and switch the radio gear to speaker and hear all the radio communication all over the refuge.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Upper McArthur tributary

Gregg Motonaga took me to this strip yesterday so i took the opportunity to take a friend over there today, we had another beautiful day today! This strip is on the right as you fly up the McArthur river valley and provides great views waterfalls and sharp valleys. I'll post photos of this weeks trip up hideout hill, and more photo's of our trip yesterday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Next Day

About a 56 inch bull

These photos are from the next day(monday the 22nd) when i flew over to meet mike and bill at the cabin where they had moved to after we had hauled the moose out of the upper strip. This is the cabin I flew to initially in my prior post to duck hunt. Mike and bill re-roofed half of the cabin and prep'd it for winter, removing all the water, perishible food etc.. I hope to make it back over this week to ptarmigan hunt and scout a few skiing areas for this winter. Rainy again today, i spent the morning in the hangar working on the wiring in the airplane. Included in these photos is a great shot of the mouth of the Kenai river on the way home. For those former kenai residents, you can see the new Lowe's at the bottom of photo, and the walmart area.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mike's moose

The mountains to the northwest of the cabin, hoping to maybe ski these this winter
The upper strip
Loading the front quarters of the moose

It was a busy week at work with a lot of paperwork and maintanence items to deal with so i didnt have much time to post, but i did do a lot of flying this week to help get mikes moose back across the inlet to this side. I got some great pictures, and had the chance to land at a spot where i havnt been yet. Ill post this trip in two posts; Sunday i flew over and retrieved the two front shoulders and shawn flew out the rest, while the second day i flew down to the cabin where mike and bill returned to the next night to work on the cabin. The weather broke over that sunday through tuesday period and we had a few days of great sun, but now we are back to the normal rain for now. There is snow in the forcast. Tonight i'm going to work on the wiring in the plane a bit, and tomorrow Jordan and I are headed up to hideout hill to spend the night; a fall tradition. Hope all is well, write me if you want pictures of anything else,


Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm still trying to figure out what these rascals are called.... i think i knew at one point.

A quick post before heading to work. Today is the first day of prolonged sun we have had here in about 2 weeks so i took took a few photos of what the rain has done for us. As usual during the wet fall i have mushrooms springing up everywhere, I didnt have time to identify those guys up top, but check it out here http://msafungi.org/. I'm cleaning up the garden, the parsnips are still in the ground but the rasberries are almost done, and the garlic and shallots are about to come out. I picked some rhubarb today to make my first attempt at a rasberry rhubarb pie, or maybe a strawberry one.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall Duck Trip

(That black dot is a black bear swimming the Kustatan. We caught him in the middle as we were first flying over the cabin on saturday. It is one of the largest black bears i have seen over there.)
Just got back from a trip over to the cabin on the Kustatan. I was over there for 3 days with mike; Shawn, Bill and Jackson all showed up yesterday and i took off back to soldotna to beat the weather so i could make it back to work tonight. We duck hunted a bit out of a canoe with an electric trolling motor on the back. The set up works pretty well but my shooting skills are the great equalizer.... It rained every day we were over there with a few breaks here and there. Mike and the gang should be out and about this morning looking for a moose over on the Mcarther river. He flew yesterday and saw two 60" plus bulls fighting close to the river. Raining again here today, i'm spending time cleaning up the garden and doing inside stuff before work tonight,


Friday, September 12, 2008

Tailwheel Incident

The Damage
Talk to me Goose

The Fix

Mike, Shawn, and I flew wood over to the cabin yesterday to rebuild the roof, and on Shawns second trip in he had a little incident with his tailwheel. This can be a fairly common problem but when the tailspring snaps (which is what happened) usually it will ding the tailfeathers (rudder, horizontal stabilizer etc..). Luckily shawn didnt ding anything and he had a spare assembly back at the hangar. This happens enough to mike that he carries an extra tail spring with him usually. After the fix, shawn flew home and mike and i tooled around the cabin the rest of the day putting in running water, storing the wood, and scouting for moose.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


tonight i pulled the last of the potatoes (yukon golds), and did the first round on the rasberries. a few photos of the berries are on here. Wednesday i'm thinking about pack rafting over on the chakachamna river. getting dropped off, then floating it out to a strip farther down river. I ran into Gary Cutsforth the other day and he said i may beable to snag a ride with him the in the turbine otter some time this fall, i'll take pictures if i get the chance! Hope all is well,


Friday, September 5, 2008

O's and P's

Last night I pulled the onions and tonight i dug up one bed of potatoes. Tonight were the reds and a variety of smaller whites. Tomorrow night should produce some larger potatoes. The onion harvest overall was pretty good with some nice sized onions. In the photo there is a veggie that looks like a garlic clove but it's actually a shallot, a similar critter, just a little more mild. I'm continuing to plow through the canned salmon, all the chipotle stuff is super good, the last batch had a chipotle pepper, half an onion from the garden and a few sundried tomotoes, way tasty. Hope all is well, more iceland to come. P.S. for a good fireweed honey recipe check alaska massey's blog.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Northern Iceland

The north half was actually a relief after the desolation of the south. We picked blueberries and chased sheep. Life in the north is supported by agriculture more so than the south and the countryside reflects it. Also in this group ive thrown in a few pics of the Blue Lagoon, a natural hot spring resort and spa. This place was really amazing and on the way to the airport so we stopped there before i dropped wally off. I can't really compare northern iceland to anywhere in the states. We hope to spend more time in the north next trip as there is a so much more to see.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Carter Lake to Cooper landing via Crescent lake

On friday we started out at Carter lake trail head and traversed over to the Crescent lake trail down to Cooper landing. We ran into a bunch of asian fisherman, and a load of salmon berries. On saturday I flew up to talkeetna to meet some friends and had great weather. I took Sunday off and then hiked up to lost lake on primrose trail and camped near the lake. It was super wet, but the way the summer is going if you dont get out in the rain, your not going to get out. Back to work tomorrow. I'll keep posting more iceland pictures periodically. More rain tonight.......


Monday, September 1, 2008

The south island

The southern coast of Iceland is much different from the northern parts. As you drive south out of Reykjavik you immediately notice the startling lack of trees or really any sort of green shrubs. There are large fields of volcanic rock covered by a moss type lichen. As you turn inland the hills and mountains are all volcanic rock piles with tons of scree and nothing for vegetation to grow in. Interspersed in the mountains and valleys are little hot springs, you can see them steaming from miles away. There are sheep everywhere, and all the southern coastal villages are fishing, or fish processing towns. The southern coast is really desolate with huge cliffs and really nothing but a village here and there, many describe it as what Mars would look like. hope all well,