McKenzie to Watson Lake

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Alaska 2013 | Comments Off on McKenzie to Watson Lake

It is 10:30 PM in Watson Lake. We are “camping in the airline terminal so we don’t have to sleep outside tonight. Another day filled with overwhelming scenery, dramatic weather shifts, wonderful camraderie and events that will take time to fully blossom into indelible memories of this amazing journey. As we fly along for hours, we share sightings of waterfalls and wildlife. We discuss and reflect on how lucky we are to be together in this adventure. I can feel all of us becoming friends who will have an uncommon bond forged from having shared this time. Just when I thought nothing could top yesterday, today’s journey up the Alaska Trench has easily surpassed it. McKenzie was our first stop where we filled the tanks and fuel bags for the flight through the “Trench”. We got ice cream and hugs from Vickie. She is the attendant and resident “character” who has found her calling and lost a couple of husbands along the way. We made a stop at a native village, Fort Ware, to empty the fuel bags into the main tanks. The weather is deteriorating and we may have difficulty getting to Watson Lake. After a couple hours of dodging rain showers through the valley, and with worse weather ahead, we decide to land at an outfitter’s strip at Scoop Lake. Sam, who is a resident guide and caretaker, invites us in for coffee and cookies. His friend and fellow guide, Charlie keep us entertained with stories of hunts and bears. A 14 day sheep hunt costs $35,000.00. The season begins in late summer so things are quiet now and I think they enjoy the company.

I have attached a few photos. The picture of the turquoise pond is special. Look closely at the moose tracks along the bottom. In another you can see the extra fuel bags we fill to provide the needed range when weather and distance can make a joke of flight planning. We stopped and filled the tanks from the bags at unattended gravel strips.

I wish I could share more, but it is late and we launch early tomorrow.





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