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  1. #1

    (unknown)

    Well it's been a while, we are finally staying in a hotel that has highspeed internet.
    Last you all heard we were in Souix City.
    Well we made it to Rapid City for the Mt Rushmore/Crazy Horse fly over, we got a couple of good pictures, what a way to see it.
    We headed from there for Lethbridge Alberta to clear customs (quick and easy), storms put us into Billings Montana for the night and we headed for Lethbridge about 7 am.
    We continued on from there to Grande Prairie, Alberta we met a great guy Mike who owned the local Shell Aviation station, he let us camp out on his floor and loaned us his car to get breakfast, we stayed there until about noon again waiting for weather to clear.
    Off again we are on our way to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory. We got diverted to Whitecourt to go around around a storm and as I landed I did my first porpoise with my Sundowner, one bounce, two bounce, full power saved the landing, David and Bob had to do a go around to avoid me hanging out on the runway.
    Checked weather and off to Fort Nelson, put down to quickly fill with fuel and check weather, we met a Bonanza driver who headed out ahead of us and called back to us with pilot reports, we followed him across the top of the mountains and followed the Laird River to Watson Lake, YT.
    Watson Lake is a great airport used during WWII by the Russians suppling planes from the lease program for the war effort.
    It is sitting on the edge of Watson Lake, we camped on the water at the far end of the airport what a view, we spent two days here weathered in. We hitched a ride to town for breakfast and then toured the town, they have the largest number of stolen property hanging in town, about 54,000 signs from all over the world brought in by travelers.
    We met a couple of ladies working at the tourism Department who loaned us there car to go to the airport and pick up our clothes so we could come back to town to take a shower.
    We picked up some groceries and cooked steaks on the grill.
    Last year I was going to do this trip with Lets Fly Alaska out of Seattle, I met Dale Henniman as he came through Watson Lake with one of his groups.
    As they took off to scud run the passes that even the locals wouldn't attempt, one of his clients hydroplaned on take-off, pulled off onto the abandoned runway and then pulled back onto the main runway in front off 2 other planes on take off, we almost saw a real mess happen.
    Well we got out of Watson Lake on Wednseday about noon and headed for Dawson City, the pass to Whitehorse was still closed due to weather. I can not imagine that the trip to Whitehorse from Waston Lake could even compete with the trip to Dawson City. What a flight, the view is to die for.
    We will upload pictures later.
    We fueled checked weather called customs and were off for Northway, Alaska, FINALLY. We followed the Yukon and White rivers to Northway, they are having fires in Alaska and this trip we did at 4500' in a layer of smoke.
    We cleared customs and met a couple of interesting locals and then headed for Tok, Alaska for a late dinner and camped out at the airport, the weather to Tok from Northway was probably the worst we flew through so far on the trip. Just off the airport are 6 towers and a hill at about 3500' and in betwen the two was a rain storm that made it marginal VFR, very marginal, but we put down with no great event.
    We headed out for Fairbanks the following morning.
    Again a great view at 2500', You won't believe the campground at the airport, you pull your plane right up into a site like an RV and they have a grassed place for your tent, bathrooms, gazebo, wood stove, barbaque grill and bicycles for you to use to get down to the pilots lounge.
    I have stayed at worse campgrounds with my camper.
    We decided to rent a car and see the sites. We went to the North Pole and did our laundry, how many people can say they got cleaned up in the North Pole.
    The next day we drove down to Denali National Park, Mt McKinley was clouded in and all we say for wildlife was a Seagull and a Moose.
    On the drive back to Fairbanks, we came across another moose in the road.
    Today we headed for Nome, we flew for an hour to a small airport on a lake, there we saw an imature Bald Eagle and talked to a couple of folks that were camping there with a Cessna 206.
    We then headed for Flat, a ghost town in the middle of nowhere, we decided not to set down there, the wind was directly across the runway and it hadn't been used in years and was grown in.
    So we kept heading for Nome.
    Bob was flying with me today and we decided to take a good look at the country from about 200' AGL, I haven't looked at the film yet, but we got a good shot of a couple of moose hanging out in the tundra.
    Tonight we are in Nome, the weather doesn't look good for flying across the Berring Straight to Russia, so we will probably rent a car and see the local sites.
    We already know that there are approxamentky 4000 residents and about 10 bars in town, but we will see more tomorrow.
    Keep watching for updates.
    Brian Foote
    Lost in Alaska



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  2. #2

    (unknown)

    Well we made it back to Fairbanks at 12:30 this morning.
    We took off out of Nome and heading for Kotsobue, which is just north of the Artic Circle, it was amazing as we flew across into the Artic Circle there was actualy a current change in the water that you could see and pack ice floating under us.
    Myself and Bob flew most of the flight just above the deck and saw a couple Musox, although we did not see any polar bears, we did see tracks through the snow, yes snow it is astounishing how much snow is still on the ground.
    Kotsobue is at 11' above sea level and there is still snow on the ground, I'm not talking full coverage, but spotty, there was even ice still on one of the ponds.
    Kotsobue is a smaller village that could be walked in less than 1/2 hour.
    We checked the prices of food $7.19 for a gallon of milk
    Nome was only $5.49.
    100LL for the planes was the highest at $4.50 per gallon.
    After having lucnh we headed for Fairbanks via Galena, we stopped and fueled up and headed for the final leg towards Fairbanks, about 10 miles out we ran into the smoke from the wild fires in northern Alaska, pretty much from there out we flew IFRS (I Follow Rivers through heavy Smoke).
    Hopefully I will be able to get my VOR/ILS antenna fixed today at the local avionics shop, they are waiting for it to arrive via UPS.
    It was fine up until the Bald Eagle landed on it.
    So we should be heading towards home tomorrow. So far I have flown 67 hours since leaving Maine less than two weeks ago.
    I would recommend this trip to everyone, even though we have not done all of the touristy things, we have seen things that very few have from the sky above the view is fantastic.
    Parts of this trip we have covered at 200 AGL. What a trip.
    Well I will talk to you all soon.

    Brian Foote
    Lost in Alaska


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