Sunday, October 2, 2011

August On





















Now that we are in October and it's 35 degrees and raining, it's easier to sit inside and create a few posts! This summer we were faced with a mission of trying to help control the black bear population in unit 16B which encompasses the area around the cabin. ADF&G issues predator control permits that allow us to fly and hunt black bears the same day over there so Wally, I and others took advantage of that and harvested a healthy amount of black bears this year. Here are a few pictures from my time spent black bear hunting this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coho



I'm still working on getting caught up, as I type, i'm making dinner after getting back from a great couple days at the cabin. Life has been hectic with little sleep. I hope to post a few catch up pics as it slows down. Here's one from today





Josh

Monday, August 8, 2011

GoPro Images from fishing yesterday




































This camera is amazing. Took a couple trips across to the cabin fishing yesterday and strapped the GoPro on the wing. Great images all day, here are a few... I'll catch up on the blog here as soon as things slow down.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A short video

Here is some footage of landing at the cabin to the south. I picked up a Gopro camera last week and strapped it on the plane for the ride over this week. A big three days were had over there this week and i'll update the blog with some pretty great pictures! back later,
Josh

video

Saturday, June 25, 2011

More Alaska summer































I took off around 10am yesterday and flew across with great conditions planning on fishing and hunting most of the day. I ate lunch at the cabin and landed at a nice little strip just north of where we usually fish for kings. I was the only plane on the strip and had a whole clear creek full of reds to myself. After a few hours and a limit of reds I flew back to the cabin, watered the garden and ate a bit of dinner. Life is hard up here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back on the scene





















I have flown every day this week, sometimes twice a day. I can't stop thinking about it, and it's all I want to do. The cub has been amazing so far, and it's everything that I wanted and expected. It effortlessly takes off with large loads, and lands super gracefully as long as I do it right. This plane is a life changer. Here are some shots from this weeks evening flights. I would often take off from across the inlet around midnight and start making my way home by moonlight and the lingering summer daylight. I am a lucky one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Supercub 4104Z "Ragtag"































Today was my first solo flight in the Cub after a couple of hours training with Doctor Russell. I have been signed off in both my airplanes so far by Dr. Russell and each flight with him is a joy. He is calm when I screw up, and always offers gentle advice to help me get back on course. He is a master of the Supercub and claims to have just plain wore out about 4 of them. Before our first flight he told me the story of wearing out the first one. I agree, it was fully worn out..... Yesterday after finishing up my last check ride with Alex I called Gregg to see if he would be up for flying the next day and he was all in. Today Gregg and I lifted off around ten, and after a few touch and go's in the pattern we winged our way north over Turnagain Arm and in into the mountains toward Knik glacier. The glacier has carved out a huge valley with abundant rocky moraine fields, perfect training ground for a new cub pilot. The flight up was super bumpy, but by the time we dropped down into the valley, there was a perfect smooth wind that made for nice, short landings and take-off's. After an hour or so of practicing landings, checking out sheep, and taking a few photographs we headed out the valley toward Palmer/Wasilla, turned left, and headed over Fire Island and back to Soldotna. Thanks go to Gregg for a great first day, and a wealth of practical knowledge. On a side note: I rarely name my vehicles, but have decided to name my plane after the cub that piqued my interest in flying as a child. Ragtag was a close family friend's Cub that spent many years flying slow over most of Alaska. I'm not sure where that airplane is now, but hopefully I can do the name justice as I begin my career as an Alaskan Supercub pilot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Setting sail out of Seward































I was lucky enough to get an email from John Baker out of Anchorage inviting a group of us out for a weekend of sailing in the Seward area. John's Boat is a 44 foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey sloop that will comfortably sleep 5, but handled 7 of us just fine. The yacht is immaculate and John's cooking was even better. I'll throw up a few photo's tonight, and give a little more description tomorrow. It was a beautiful weekend for sailing and if you wish, you can follow the history of our trip on my SPOT page.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fossil point for different reasons....































Flew over to fossil point with Mike last Tuesday not looking for fossils, but looking for snow. This time of year if wheel skis are not an option, beaches are all you have left for skiing. We landed just west of the point by the two cabins, come-a-longed the plane up on the ice to avoid the high tide, and had a great day on the snow. Perfect weather last week made for ideal Alaska spring conditions. I love this state.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pete's North
















Dante and Mike had been working on coordinating a trip for Saturday somewhere in the pass, but I had a dilemma, I would be working friday night. I have found that one the best ways to transition off of working nights is to just stay up straight through the next day, and skiing is a great way to do that. The decision was made to try Pete's North, accessed via the Johnson Pass trail head parking lot. I went straight from work to Kaladi Bros. and fueled up with a cup of coffee and went home to grab my gear. Driving is the hardest part of the equation here so I ended up taking naps at the skyline parking lot, and the quartz creek airport, but eventually made it up to meet the guys. Joining Dante, Mike and I were Dan and John. Dante didn't have a problem claiming the flashiest name award. The bottom was treacherous, but was worth it as the top and middle trees were way above average. We had a great day with laps both in the trees and on the top, with John's dog Annie in tow.





We finally have some semi-normal temperatures around here, and people are getting restless for a warm, sunny spring. Or maybe it's just me......

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Boring.....

Ok. I'm sure many of you have lost interest in this thing. Let me explain my absence.

Question 1 - Why doesn't Josh post any cool pictures any more?
Answer 1 - Josh sold his airplane.

That pretty much explains it. So here is a little more. Selling my plane was a long and arduous process that was spurred on by my realization that they cost a butt load of money. How much is a "Butt Load" you ask? A lot After replacing the cylinders on my engine, I decided to say screw it and work on paying off my student loans. So, lets just say selling your airplane is not like selling your old car on craigslist. It's alot harder.
I filled up this summer with running, hiking and a little fishing on the Kenai, all of which were great. A ran my first competitive races in a long time and had a great time. Not having a plane forced me into a few new activities and I met some very interesting friends. This winter so far has been sort of a bust; not much snow, super cold temps, and too much darkness. I have been out in the mountains a few times, but for the most part I have retreated into the gym spending hours and hours on the stationary bike, and treadmill training for our upcoming Hunter/Denali expedition in the spring. I can honestly tell you that none of these activities can fill the void that selling the plane has left in my life. A typical day for me used to start with a quick weather check, a cup of coffee at Kaladi brothers, a full thermos, a stop at the fuel pumps and 30 minutes later I would be winging over pristine lakes and rivers, touching my tires down on white sand and hiking off into wilderness that bears frequent more than humans. I miss flying bad. I miss hearing the starter engage the flywheel and watching my prop slowly spin to life, that first scent of exhaust hitting my nose. 100LL exhaust is a unique smell, one i'll never forget because it signals the start of great adventures. I love flying with people. I like watching people who have never flown take the yoke and pedals and fly for the first time. Every time I have handed the plane over to my passenger they immediately smile, often ear to ear as they form a death grip on the controls as if the thing is going to go spiraling out of control. Some of my best co-pilots have been women, they tend to be a bit more relaxed, and less likely to try and impress.
So this break from flying has really opened my eyes as to how I will prioritize things in my future. I'm thankful that I have been able to log so many hours in my twenties, and with a few years left, I am looking for a new plane to carry me past the big looming 30. I'll probably start looking seriously after we get back from the Alaska range, potentially buying in the fall.
Hope all is well,

Josh