A Cold Day an’ Hell

Posted by on Jun 17, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on A Cold Day an’ Hell

Last night, a group of heat seeking pilots gathered around my campfire to share the warmth and a generous helping of smoke, most of which was generated by the participants. Dawson, JJ, Toby, Canyon and a couple others kept us all going until midnight. The skies had cleared and the temperature plummeted once the sun slipped below the west ridge. By the time I zipped up the tent, I had decided long underwear, wool socks and a fleece overshirt would be required bedtime apparel in addition to the sleeping bag. By this morning, the mercury was bouncing off 30 degrees and the airplanes had acquired a heavy covering of frost which lasted until around 9:00 AM. As the sun burned off the ice, five Super Cubs including N9496D, launched on a grand tour. We began with a
short jump to Elk City for breakfast. It seems a stretch to call it a city, but the cafe/general store was appropriately funky and the food was good. We climbed the hill back to the airport to visit with the retired San Diego cop and his lady carpenter. They have built an amazing shop/man cave beside the Elk City airport. The runway is a dogleg downhill dirt track of 2600 foot length and sits on a bench overlooking the town which has some of the best elk hunting in Idaho. It is situated in the Nez Perce National Forest surrounded by millions of acres of forest. There are somewhere around 400 residents, most of whom work in the timber or mining industry. The town was established in 1861 when miners discovered gold, pushing the population to over 1000.

Then, we moved to the Snake River Valley and Hell’s Canyon which is deeper than the Grand Canyon, for some more landings at some of the remote strips. I will post photos later.


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