Dave's Great Adventure
|Day 1: Denver - Driggs - Livingston
Flew to Driggs, Idaho for a little soaring over the Tetons. First I needed a check ride because it has been a while since I was in a glider. Of course one glider was down with a bad brake and the one we were supposed to go up in had a broken canopy hinge. Bummer. But, we swapped out the good canopy from the broken glider with ours and all was well. Got in about an hour and a quarter with two climbs to 14k. Circled above the Grand and spotted four climbers that had just summitted. Continued on to Livingston for a few days of work before heading north. (8/5/05)
|Days 2 - 4 Livingston, MT
Spent 3 days working around my park up here. Lots to do but nothing exciting. I seem to be in a never ending battle with Knapweed. Can't wait to get back in the air. (8/6,7,8/05)
This is a vacation so there will be no work pictures.
|Day 5 Livingston - Glacier NP- Kalispell
It was a very frustrating day in the air. The weather was perfect in Montana but there was a cloud bank on the Canadian border that was supposed to lift by noon. No such luck. I did get to fly all over the northern part of the state trying to find another route and by the time I got to Kalispell and the western route cleared, there was not enough daylight left. Tomorrow I try again. (8/9/05) PS - I raised hell with the FBO and they got my memory stick back - and here are the picts.
|Day 6 Kalispell - Penticton -
Prince George - Fort Nelson
Today was a very long day. Weather along the Rocky Mountain front was lousy again today so I headed west into central BC. I cleared customs at Penticton then headed north to Prince George then Fort Nelson. Fort Nelson is a booming little oil town in northern BC. Tomorrow I head for the Yukon then Alaska (uug - Customs again). (8/10/05)
|Day 7 Fort
Nelson - Whitehorse - Northway
I started out with overcast skies but by Watson Lake was in the clear. Most all of today was in hazy but clear weather. I stopped in Whitehorse and bought new memory for my camera. That means lots of pictures when I got to the Alaskan mountains. Whitehorse is a wonderful little town with a great airport. (8/11/05)
|Day 7 Northway
This was truly a beautiful day in Alaska. There is a ridge of high pressure over the state with record high temperatures. This also means clear skies for most of the state. From Northway, I flew down the Copper River Canyon on my way to Cordova and eventually Valdez. The canyon is only accessible by air and is bordered by many glaciers. Tomorrow will be another Glacier day. Oh, yeah, the fish up here is phenomenal. The Silver Salmon are in now and Valdez is full of Salmon fisherpersons. (8/11/05)
|Day 8 Valdez,
Cordova, Yakutat, Wrangell-St Elias NP
Today was a serious sightseeing day. I started out bicycling to the terminus of the Valdez Glacier. That puppy is in rapid retreat. Next I flew over the terrain we skied last winter at Valdez-Heli Camp. From there I headed over the glaciers of Wrangell-St Elias National Park on my way to Yakutat. After lunch and gas at Yakutat, I headed for Cordova City Airport. What a wild place. It was the busiest airport I have stopped at on this trip. (8/12/05)
|Day 9 Chugach
- Kenai Fjords NP - Seward - Denali NP
I left Valdez this morning toward Seward and the Kenai Fjords National Park passing the Columbia Glacier and the Chugach Mountains on the way. I stopped in Seward for fuel and a pit stop and heard about bears feeding on Salmon on the Russian River. My photos are not that great but the bears were huge and so were the fish. From there I headed north to Denali National Park and Mount McKinley. What a spectacular sight, there was not a cloud in the sky. I did a loop around the peak at 17,500 feet and saw track toward the summit. Tonight I am in Talkeetna and may have to stay tomorrow because of dense smoke up north. (8/13/05)
|Day 10 Talkeetna
Not much to report today. I awoke to foggy skies and cooler temps. Yesterday was down right hot up here; even at night. Today was much better. It did clear somewhat midday, but I will wait for clearer skies before continuing. I had hoped to head north to the Brooks Range and beyond but the smoke from massive forest fires has the visibility in central Alaska down to less than a mile for hundreds of mile around with no clearing is site. Looks like I might head east tomorrow. (8/14/05)
|Day 11 Talkeetna - Northway
I spent most of the day in the fog in Talkeetna. Boy is this town getting boring. It is too small to even have a car rental so I am stuck here. As the day went on, the skies to the south lightened so I checked internet weather and the forecast I had gotten from flight service was completely wrong. My only chance to get out was today so I packed up and left at 7pm. Luckily it stays light till after 10.
|Day 12 Northway - Whitehorse -
Flying today started in thick smoke. I sure was glad the highway was there to follow. It was really thick. After Whitehorse it was clear flying most of the way down the Rocky Mountain Trench. By Mackenzie it conditions were deteriorating but improved as I approached Prince George.
|Day 13 Prince George - Penticton
The weather at Prince George was beautiful but unfortunately, just south of of us it went downhill fast. I waited to 1pm for conditions to improve then headed south to Penticton. Conditions were improving all the way to Kalispell but customs closes at 5 and I could not get there in time so I got to spend the night in Penticton.
|No photos today, I was too busy dodging clouds.|
|Day 14 Penticton
- Kalispell -
It will be another slow day. I am still following the same weather system that has plagued me for the past two days and it is moving slowly. At least I don't have to get up early.
|Day 15 Livingston - HOME
It has been a long hard trip but boy was it worth the effort.