A Journal, with Pictures

Alaska Trip Ketchican and then North

by on Jul.26, 2010, under Flying

June 30, July 1

We get up ear­ly and dis­cov­er that the weath­er has changed again and our orig­i­nal plan looks fea­si­ble, so we scrap plan “B” and head for Ketchikan. We climb out over beau­ti­ful Van­cou­ver Island and the waters of British Colum­bia, but soon are above the clouds. Not much flight see­ing, but we are on our way to Alas­ka. The clouds came up to meet us, and we start­ed pick­ing up ice so we climb high­er. When we near Ketchikan, we pre­pare for an instru­ment approach but see a hole in the clouds and dive through. This turns out to have a good result, but in ret­ro­spect, we should have done the approach because of the high ter­rain and tons of sea plane traf­fic. We tie down at a very inter­est­ing air­port, take the fer­ry across the chan­nel and check into the hotel. We rent a car and dri­ve to an area where bears can be seen fish­ing for salmon. We see lots of salmon and eagles, but no bears. We then vis­it the old area of town that once was the red light dis­trict, then off to a totem park.

The next morn­ing, we fly to Yaku­tat avoid­ing the ice and then again fly­ing above the clouds. No flight see­ing. We make a instru­ment approach into Yaku­tat in a light driz­zle. Yaku­tat is a fish­ing lodge, with self ser­vice fuel on a big air­port, which was most like­ly built in WWII. The lodge is rus­tic but the food is good, so we fuel up and are on our way to Seward. We find that Anchor­age radar can’t let us down to get into Seward, so we head for our alter­nate, Anchor­age Inter­na­tion­al. We fly on top of clouds and soon start to see big moun­tains ris­ing above the cloud lev­el. We land, rent a car and enjoy the dri­ve to Seward along a very scenic highway.

We check into our motel, a real dump, but with the hol­i­day week­end the best avail­able and get ready to explore Seward tomorrow.

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