Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lake Clark trip

I took off Sunday on a mission to expand my range in ragtag. I often get stuck in a rut and tend to stick close to home but with fuel prices steadily rising, i figured now is the time to get some distance flying under my belt before they get too out of control. I had never been on the other side of the Alaska range by myself or in my own plane actually so this was going to be a big move for me. The weather was perfect so I took off out of Soldotna and climbed to 8k feet direct for Kalgin island and then direct for lake Clark. On the way over I was able to take a good look at Lake Clark pass and get a feel for what the layout is. Having never been this far west before I was concentrating on learning the nuances of the mountains and learning the local points of reference to call on the radio for position reports. After busting over the mountains I dropped down into Lake Clark with perfect weather and cruised down past port Alsworth and landed down on the west end of the lake as the lake surface was smoother down there. After a leg stretching break and a quick snack I loaded up and took off for Twin lakes. What is really impressive about western Alaska is the size and expanse. Once over the mountains the state opens up as far as you can see and a pilot puttering around in a super cub starts to feel pretty small and insignificant. After about a 30 to 40 minute flight I was circling upper and lower twin lakes looking for critters and signs of life. Not much was out and about so I climbed out and pointed ragtag north of Mt. Redoubt and headed for mikes cabin on the kustatan. About 20 minutes before mike place I remembered mike and bill would be over shoveling the roof on the upper cabin. I turned north and dropped in on the pair as they were snowshoeing up river to the cabin. We spent the rest of the day flying around the area and enjoying the good weather with a warm lunch at the cabin. After cleaning up the cabin we headed back east with a beautiful Alaska sun setting behind us. Spring is finally here. If the pictures don't load I'll repost later