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


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,