The following is my trip to Alaska diary.

I made these notes so that I could later go back and recap the happenings on this trip

as a result it will be rather sketchy in detail for some.

You will see abbreviations such as MO81 these are airport identifiers.  Should I get feedback from

our readers indicating an interest in knowing where these are I will add a listing of them and their respective names.

ALASKA DIARY 6-25 to 7-25/2005 

JUNE 25th

Sara:  We left MO81 (Dove airstrip our home base) and headed for Scribner, Nebraska for fuel.  Nobody was there.  It said on Air Nav. that it was self-service but when we got there the credit card machine only took a private credit card used by regular customers.  So we backtracked a few miles to Fremont, Nebraska.

When we got to the airport in Fremont, Nebraska we found out that all the motels were full because of a Swap Meet in town. There was a gas station across the street and when we told the girl working behind the counter there our despair she went to work and found us a place to sleep.  We spent the night at a Baptist Day Care in our sleeping bags on the floor. 

 

JUNE 26th

Sara:  We went to the Baptist Church next door and the people were very friendly and were very interested in what we were doing. The preachers name is Reverend Lee Foreman. The church wants us to contact them and let them know more about our mission trip.  Praise God!

     After church we were driven to the airport and we proceeded in getting things back in the airplane and went inside to pay for fuel.  As soon as we got to the counter a familiar voice said ďWell hello, Sara.Ē  It was Ted Forester.  Ted has been a friend to Lionel and I since Lionel was Commander of Civil Air Patrol in Mountain View.  Ted is from Fulton, Missouri and is a Colonel in Civil Air Patrol in Fulton. Ted has put many hours in helping restore our Cessna 180 we are using for this mission trip.

     We put in 41.4 gal. of fuel in the aircraft here.

     We then flew to Mandan, North Dakota and got 34.6 gal of fuel for $97.01

     We flew on to Dickenson, North Dakota and we stayed with Paul Belzer (a member of Cessna 180 club and a strong Catholic) and his wife, Heather, and his two daughters, Mary,4, and Bernadette, 7 months, and Heatherís sister, from Alaska, Callie.  Heather fed us two great meals and gave us a wonderful bed to sleep in.

JUNE 27th

     Sara:  When we left N.D we were told by flight service that we would have a 33 kt headwind.  We actually had 5-10 knot tailwind.  Praise God!  We flew to Cut Bank, Montana and got fuel. I, Sara, left my purse there.  I had all my identification, money, credit cards, and checkbook with me, but both of our cell phones were in my purse.

         We flew to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.  This is where we went through customs.  All went well but by the time we got through customs and got our clearance we got in the airplane and within 5 minutes before the airplane got warmed up we looked out and a low cloud came in and we called back in to flight service and the visibility went from 1,100 ft to 200 ft.  The weather is not scheduled to be good enough to fly out before Wednesday, 29th.  We met 3 other pilots (Bob, Mike, and Rod) and a teenager (Justin) Bobís son, at the Lethbridge Airport and we all stayed at a Super 8.

JUNE 28th

     The other pilots decided to rent a van and we agreed to help share the van rental.

     We called Cut Bank, Montana and the FBO told us he would mail my purse to Port Alsworth, Alaska to Myronís address. 

     Lionel and I walked about 2 city blocks to a family restaurant for supper.

We ate breakfast at the motel.   We kept calling flight service all day hoping to get out.  It looks like another night here!  The other pilots took Lionel and I to Dennyís for supper and they went to a steak house.  We walked about 3 city blocks back to our room.

     We have given several of our brochures to people we have met.  The Canadians we have met donít seem to be very excited about missions. Esso flight service is supposed to fuel our airplane and have it ready for a flight tomorrow.  (We pray that the weather will allow us to fly out tomorrow morning.)

 

JUNE 29TH

    Sara:   We left Lethbridge with 3 other aircraft and in about 1 Ĺ hours.  One of  the pilots in one of the airplanes decided he had to land to go to the bathroom and the other 2 airplanes landed and we decided to fly on.

     We had to fly in and around several storms but all in all it was a good flight. First there was a lot of cattle farms and then we saw a lot of rough ground.  Our first stop was at Fort St. John.  Then on to Watson Lake, we had planned on camping at Watson Lake, Yukon with the other pilots that we  left Lethbridge with but after checking with flight service we found that the other pilots canceled their flight plans and were not expected to come here tonight.  The mosquitoes were pretty bad here and with the others not coming anyway Sara and I decided to go on to Whitehorse Yukon.

     Our last stop in Canada, was at White Horse.  There was beautiful scenery and we walked to a restaurant where we had a great evening meal and just across the road from the restaurant we saw a DC-3 that was used as a wind T.  We saw a rainbow that was clear to the ground

 

 

 

JUNE 30

Lionel:  We got up walked to the airport terminal restaurant for breakfast then stopper by flight service which was next door to check the weather and file our flight plan to Northway, Alaska. At Northway we checked in with customs, I had expected to have to unload a lot of our stuff for the customs inspector. The inspector was a native American woman who was happy to just ask us what we had on board, such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and guns.  We told her that we didnít have any of the above on board except the guns, then she asked if we registered them in Canada, when we told her yes she told us that we had to pay a $ 25 annual customs fee and put our sticker on our plane and we could go. We had lunch at a small restaurant that was also operated by native Americans. After lunch, refueling the airplane, checking the weather and filing our flight plan we left for Anchorage.  On the way to Anchorage we flew through Mentasta pass, Indian pass, and Tahneta pass and I am not sure what else.  It was interesting to say the least.  During the time we were going through these passes we encountered clear weather with sunshine, good visibility with mountain tops obscured and high ceilings down to low ceilings rain and fog. There  were a lot of rain showers and one time we had to make a 360 degree turn to get to a lower altitude to get under the clouds.   We also saw a number of glaciers along the way.  We spent the night with Karen.? 

JULY 1ST

Sara:  We got up and went to a Christian Church in Anchorage to meet with the missions directors and then we went to Gwennies Restaurant (The restaurant in Anchorage).I ordered a half order of Biscuits and gravy and got a huge plate.   Lionel ordered Reindeer sausage, eggs, hash browns and toast.  Probably enough for at least 4 people.  Lionelís eyes were very big when he saw how much food was on the plate.  The Reindeer sausage was great.  After breakfast we went to Merrill airport, went to the pilot shop to pick up some more charts, service the plane file our flight plan and get in the air again.  We had some fairly complicated airspace to get through for awhile as there are several very busy airports there including the worlds busiest seaplane base, Lake Hood.  After getting out of the busy terminal area we were blessed with good weather along the West side of Cook Inlet.  The next thing we had to do was figure out where to enter Lake Clark Pass in order to get to Port Alsworth. Where we were planning to spend the night with Myron, Terry, and David Martin.  There are several areas that look like the entrance to Lake Clark pass so I figured different ways to identify the pass entrance.  We were fortunate to find the right place especially considering that it is getting late and the weather is deteriorating.  The mountain tops are obscured and we are encountering light rain as we enter the pass.  It must be fifty or sixty miles through the pass.  Along the way there are several areas that are rather narrow and several turns to make.  I suppose the places are not as tight as they appear to us common folk from the flat lands in the Midwest.  The ceilings were steadily lowering and the rain was increasing as the canyon wall were getting closer.  As we neared Lake Clark the canyon started getting wider and the rain eased off a bit.  In a short while after getting out of the canyon we  saw Port Alsworth airstrip and landed.  Myron, Teri, and David were all there to meet us and help tie the airplane down. PTL another great and very interesting day of flying in Alaska. 

July 2nd

Lionel:  Got up and enjoyed a great breakfast with the Martins

Then we went to the lodge for some pictures and to enjoy the view over the bay.  Later we went for about a one-mile walk to the post office to mail a letter to Montana.   Around noon Teri fixed us a lunch to take with us to eat while we fly on to Russian Mission AK.  We took off and headed West North West across Lake Clark, we had good visibility and for the most part low terrain, there were peaks up to around 4000, the clouds were above the peaks most of the way.  This leg of the trip was pretty uneventful but beautiful accented with light turbulence.  This is the longest trip I have ever been on in the U. S. that we have seen no roads. Sara and I were surprised that we were not seeing any animals anywhere.  As we were approaching Russian Mission Ak Sara did see a moose so I let down and turned around so she could get pictures of the moose only to find that there were two, a bull and a cow.      We landed at Russian Mission only to find out that we were at the wrong place. Just before we landed I noticed that KAKO was another dot on the map that was about six miles North of Russian Mission so I cranked the engine and took off to fly North looking for another airstrip.  We found a short crooked rutted, undulating, gravel and rock airstrip having a few muddy spots in it and sloping up a mountain side that I decided had to be the place we are looking for. After flying over the place I knew this is KAKO Retreat because of the pictures I had seen of it on the internet.  Dave called on the radio to see if it was us, then he came on his four wheeler to welcome us to Kako.  When Dave saw the stuff we had in the plane he said he would go get a wagon to haul it in.  His wagon was a two-wheel trailer like the one we pull with our lawn mowers at home.  It took two trips loading the trailer and the boxes on the four-wheeler to get every thing moved to our cabin.  Sara counted thirty-two swallow nests above our entry door.   So far we havenít been bombed.   Many have come to Dove airstrip to visit us and ended up landing at Bismark, Mo. City airport.   Landing at Dove is a very sedentary operation compared to landing at Kako. 

                                                July 3rd 

Lionel:  We are up early around 5:30 It seems that it is always light here with sunset coming after midnight and sun rise coming about three or four hours later and a bright twilight time in between.  We went to the dining room for breakfast and at 10:30 we went upstairs for Church.  We asked how we could mail things from here and the answer was to fly the mail to Russian Mission and mail it.  I was told that during the winter you could walk the river or ride a snowmobile down the river to get or send mail, there are no roads for hundreds of miles in any direction. The music was great at church.  It is like our gospel sings at home and at church.  We sang praise choruses and from hymnals.  There were only about 40 of us singing but the sound was awesome.  God was really there.  Sara sang God on the Mountain.  

                                                July 4th

Lionel:  Monday we will not be flying in campers today.  This morning after breakfast and some morning chores we all got together for a fourth of July parade.  Dave and Vera Penz were the Grand marshals of the parade.  Sara went to the kitchen early this morning to make cookies and do other kitchen chores and cooking.  Lola, a young lady from Africa that now lives in Tennessee, made Sara a necklace out of wood and wrote her name on it with a marker and drew butterflies on it. This evening the crew of volunteers were cleaning things up for a new week of camp to start tomorrow.   One of the men told the following joke:  the story goes like this.  In a dream Billy Graham and Lionel Smith had both died and gone to heaven.  Billy was admitted first and was given a small cabin in the corner of heaven and Lionel was given a large mansion in the middle of heaven.  Billy questioned St. Peter about this saying many souls were saved because of his crusades and Lionel was just a pilot.  St. Peter responded yes but people went to sleep during your crusades and when Lionel was flying everyone was praying {:>).  I discovered that my aircraft battery has apparently gone bad, I hope to get another one tomorrow I am going to call Bethel, airport in the morning to see if they have one.  I am going to pick up one of the campers there in the morning anyway. Jerry the maintenance man here had another battery that was the right type and size to fit my plane and he willingly traded it for my dead one, PTL. 

                                                July 5th

Lionel:  Tuesday we went to breakfast as usual but I knew today was to be different because today we were scheduled to start flying out to pick up campers and bring them to Kako, AK for Camp.  Thane took off early this morning, I think I heard someone say that he went to Hoopers Bay which is on the Bearing Strait which is something like 160 miles away.  I took off for my first load at 11:00 I flew in 6 loads today.  The strip here is short, sloping, rocky, rough, crooked, and bordered with muddy places on both sides of a narrow useable strip.  The weather was very good with sunshine and light winds.  

Sara spent another hard day in the kitchen.  Thane is taking Dave to Anchorage tomorrow. 

                                                July 6th 

Lionel:  Thane took Dave to Anchorage today,  Vera asked me to take Peter to Russian Mission to get the mail today, we got five large boxes one small one and lots of mail and two aircraft tires and tubes. George went with us to Russian Mission also.  The post master told me that the mail runs every day that the weather isnít too bad, and that an over night package would get there about the same as regular mail in about a week.  Russian Mission is a village of approx 360 people , this village has a post office and two stores. Part of today I welded on a hopper that is being built to handle concrete with. Sara spent another hard day in the kitchen.  I bought a 12 pack of coke for $9.50 there is no sales tax on it here. 

                                                July 7th 

Lionel:  It is 7:00 and Sara has already gone to the kitchen, she is getting pretty weary and worn down, I asked her to see about cutting her hours in the kitchen down a bit.  Sara is having a bad time with cold sores on her lips.  Dr. Art Angove is here and he thinks that stress might be causing the sores.  Dr. Angove is going to Bethel Ak today and is going to get some meds for Sara. As it worked out Dr. Angove was not able to get any meds for Sara as they would not recognize him as a Dr. in Alaska.   After breakfast I will be going to check  our C-180 to see that it is ready to go if needed.  Later I will go to the machinery service shop to help Jerry the mechanic for a while today.  I worked on a welding project yesterday and may work on it more today.  I spent several hours working on the concrete bucket today and it still isnít finished.  They need it done next week.  I went to Napakiak just a little past Bethel to pick up an Indian that wanted to come to Kako this week  Steven is his name.   Steven is a friend of George, George is a Yupik Eskimo, who is full time staff here. Sara was able to take some time between lunch and dinner and walk up the mountain.  It takes about 1 and a half hours to go to the top and back.  There were lots of ground blueberries.  They are not a sweet as the ones on bushes but the flavor is the same. They make great blueberry pancakes.  We had Spagetti, Jello, and cake for dinner and we were only allowed to eat with kitchen utensils.  Sara ate with a pie server and I ate with a------------. 

                                                July 8, 2005 

It is darker than usual outside because of clouds and fog. I havenít checked the weather for a few days so I donít know what to expect.  We are supposed to be taking the campers back home tomorrow.  I will be going to the lodge for breakfast this morning and then to check out the 180 to make sure it is ready to go if needed.  I have gotten several short notice calls to make flights already this week.  Flying here has a totally new meaning because it seems that most every thing and every body depends on it.  Few villages are connected by even a trail and most everything that comes or goes is flown.  During the summer some of the villages that are on a navigable river have the option to get large items via barge.  During the winter the bush planes are still busy carrying people and supplies about in Alaska, the wheels and floats give way to skis and wheel skis .  Snowmobiles, dog sleds, skis, crawler tractors, and snow shoes provide some of the transportation.  Sara is already gone to the kitchen to help get breakfast ready for the campers and staff.  Some of our new friends will be going home to Washington State tomorrow if the weather is good enough.  Another work team is coming in tomorrow or Sunday to work on building another house.  I have been told that bear, and moose are common here and that the moose may be a larger threat to people than bear.  We went to the chapel and heard three very touching testimonies and some guitar music played by Steven. 

July 9, 2005 

Lionel:  We are planning to fly the campers home today and to bring in a work crew to build another house.  The mountain tops are obscured and the valleys are foggy.   I flew David Kitchen, his daughter, and Fred to Bethel today so they could catch a flight to San Juan Island, Washington.  When I got back to Kako I picked up two campers and flew them to Marshall, then I took four campers to  Russian Mission, and brought back 13 workers from  Russian mission, Thane picked up the 14 th one. Later I picked up Elizabeth Paul, Stevens wife, at Russian Mission. Altogether I flew seven flights today. 

                                                July 10, 2005 

Sara:  Today is Sunday.  This morning we heard testimonies from George and Eunice Landlord and Steven who are Yupik Eskimos.  Joshua the camp director gave a testimony also, he shared several things with us including that the Eskimo and Indian kids kept pulling his red hair to see if it was real and kept asking if his blue eyes could actually see.   We also got to pan some gold today, Dave Penz the founder of Kako Retreat took us on this little expedition and I might add I enjoyed trying my hand at panning gold.  There are some tricks to the trade.  I panned some and thought there was no gold in the pan and Dave took the same pan contents and all and showed me there was gold in the pan, I obviously didnít know how to handle the pan. Vera Penz gave her testimony. They were missionaries in Alaska.  Her first husband drowned trying to get help for Vera and their two children and a young man that was with them.  They were in a boat and the motor quit and they were in fast moving water.  He put down anchors to hold the boat but the anchors did not hold and the boat got close enough to shore that the young man helped Vera and kids on to shore.  Vera had a 6 month old son and a 3 year old daughter.  She was not able to nurse and after 3 days her son died in her arms.  After 5 days they were discovered and rescued.  The testimonies are very touching.  Many of the Eskimos and Indians have come from homes of abuse and alcohol.  One talked about seeing his dad kill his mom and then later seeing someone kill his dad. (No connection with killing his mom.)

Lionel: I expect to be flying in campers tomorrow.  I am expecting to go to Aniak for two loads then to Bethel for three loads, Marshall for one camper and to Russian Mission for one camper.  We expect thirty campers tomorrow, with 41 of us here now the extra thirty will make it necessary for the kitchen to have two sittings to get every one fed.  

                                      July 11th 2005 

Lionel:  Monday this is the day we are supposed to go get campers and some workers and fly them in.  The weather was overcast with pretty good visibility here and rather windy.  I encountered some very low ceilings and visibilities, 200 and 1 mile or so, between Aniak and Kako.  I made two flights to Aniak today, one flight to Marshall, one flight to Bethel and one to Achiachak.  Today was quite windy with some severe turbulence near the mountain peaks.  Achiachak has an East West runway that is only 1600 feet long and about 40 feet wide, when I got near there I tuned in Bethel atis only to find out that the wind was from the South at 19 gusting to 24, I didnít know if the 180 and I were up to that situation or not.  God blessed this flight and I picked up three girls at that airport and flew them to Kako.  Arctic Barnabus Seneca III landed at Kako today and brought a young man to camp, I think he might have come to serve with staff.  The pilot was Joel?  Joel said his next stop was to be at Port Alsworth.  Sara as usual spent most of the day in the kitchen.  Sara is getting very worn out and refuses to take a break from it. I am scheduled to fly to St. Maryís tomorrow to deliver a letter and pick up a camper.  We are planning on doing a little fun flying with Gary, Margo, Sara and myself on Thursday this week.  We want to visit some  villages and maybe do a little shopping. I went to the 180 to add oil and mount a hook to hang cameras etc. on.  While I was there a Cherokee 6 attempted a landing and made a go around toward the mountain.  Later when I was inside it sounded like he made another pass, I donít know if he came in or not. 

                                                July 12th 

Lionel:  We started this morning a little different than usual.  Sara went to the kitchen and I went to the airstrip to check the 180 for flight as Cindy, one of the cooks needed a letter delivered to St. Mary, AK and a girl brought back.  Cindy was blessed with another grandson today.  A camp director landed at Russian Mission last night and needed a ride back to his plane this morning so I took him to Russian Mission then went on to St. Mary.  The weather was pretty good here by Alaska standards, the ceilings were around 500 overcast and the visibility was probably 10 miles, the mountain tops around the strip were still obscured.  The weather at St. Mary was 1200 overcast and 6 mile visibility.  Along the way the weather deteriorated to 300 and 1mile in light rain and fog in one of the passes that I had to travel to get to St. Mary. The ceiling was low for a while after the rain stopped so I stayed low and enjoyed the scenery that we usually donít get to see because we are too high.  As I neared St. Mary the weather improved to forecast conditions or better.

          The crew from Rockford was busy working on the new house for Kako when I got back.  I took the cowling off the 180 to see if I could find out why the alternator was making so much interference in the ADF.  I discovered that the alternator noise filter was not grounded to the case.   After moving the filter and tightening the nut that holds it on it was grounded and the ADF would work with the alternator on.  I made a local flight to check the ADF in flight and to make a little more video of flying in and out of Kako airstrip.

          Sara had a little better day today.  She has been putting more hours of work in the kitchen than the cooks and they told her to take a little more time off during the day.  She has been helping cook, bake cookies, and do dishes. They had noticed that she was wearing down. 

                                      July 13, 2005 

Lionel:  No flights scheduled today.  I worked on getting pictures from my camera on to quick drives and trying to find a program to run my cd writer mostly to no avail.  Sara spent another day in the kitchen.  I got more pictures today.  I found out today that Georges cousin drowned in the Yukon river day before yesterday.  Dr Angove went home today.  Dr. Angove had a death in his family this week and my Aunt Leota Campbell passed away this week, and Georges nephew drowned.  They all died the same day. They have a lot of drownings here in Alaska.  There is some kind of matter in the water that attaches to the clothing and weighs people down so that they can not stay above water.  Add very cold water and you have a real problem.  The internet went down today so I wasnít able to get the programs I needed or  check the weather on it.  Georges son Kevin is having a birthday party today, he will be eight years old.

           The sky was bright and sunny for a while this morning which is very unusual for this part of Alaska.  This evening it is getting dark and stormy,  looking.  We hope to get to do a fun flight tomorrow with Gary, Margo, Sara and I.  We want to fly out to some of the airports near villages to get a better feel for life styles and conditions here.  Gary and Margo are from Washington State. 

          Tonight we went to George and Eunice Landordís home for Kevinís birthday party.  We got to eat real Eskimo ice cream, wow it is good. We were advised by some people not to eat Eskimo ice cream.  Some places it is made with blubber and raw fish.  The fish was cooked in this ice cream.  It had boiled fish, dream whip, blueberries and I donít know the rest of the ingredients.  If the didnít tell you, you would not have known there was fish in it.   Dave and Vera Penz, Jerry and Deloris, Victor, Peter and Steven were there.  It was a great evening.  Peter brought a brown bear he had carved out of soap stone and he had carved an ivory fish to put in its mouth.  What a wonderful keepsake to bring home.  We, also, have a chime that when it is finished will say KAKO and have a cabin, and bear and trees on it.  Eunice made Sara heart shaped earrings made with beads. 

July 14, 2005 

Lionel:  Today we are going to make a fun flight to visit some villages.  We are planning on going to Grayling, Anvik, Holy Cross, Aniak, Kalskag, and back to Kako to see what differences in living conditions are there.  We left right after lunch and flew to  Grayling when we came in to the pattern a 207 called in it was an air carrier, a King Air was firing up as we landed and a 210 was there when we landed.  The small plane is indispensable in a place like this.  Hundreds of small planes are used as airliners up here.  I am thankful that I had a really good flight instructor that taught me how to safely operate from a short obstructed strip in a tail wheel airplane.  At Grayling we went to the mission house, which was unattended as the missionaries were away at church camp.  The Church next door was unlocked so we went in and took some pictures.  After a brief look at the church which had seating for around 25 people we went to the store which was nearby only to find it was closed because of no power, then we went on down the street to the tribal council office for awhile.  Later the store reopened and we  went in Gary bought us some ice cream bars that tasted good but by their look must have old.  I bought us two bottles of pop. The mosquitoes were really bad there so Sara and I put on our head nets.   The nets helped a lot.  We walked back to the airport which was a nice gravel strip with some  up slope to the South and about 2100 feet long.  We took off and headed South  to Aniak along the way we crossed Anvik and Holy Cross then on to Aniak.  We saw several moose along this route and took some pictures.  the sky was filled with smoke along here, we saw only one small fire and donít know how much of the area is on fire but we may hear about it when we get to Anchorage Tuesday.  At Ankak we refueled the airplane, it held 25.7 gallons of fuel and it cost 4.97 a gallon.  While there we got a ride with the boy that was working at the airport, he drove us to the store where we got some bottled water and other things that we wanted.  After a fairly short time we got back in the airplane and took off to the South West toward Kalskag, we flew over kalskag.  Another small plane which appeared to be another airliner was taking off there as we over flew the airport.  At this point I took a course direct to Kako.  Gary wanted to be home by six oclock and we arrived there five minutes past.  Overall it was a great day and we got to see more of Alaska and itís people.  The people at Grayling are Indian. 

July 15, 2005

Lionel:  Today again dawned bright and beautiful.  To start the day I took Keith (from Rockford) up and we did nearly and hour of pictures and video of Kako and the immediate area.  Thane went to Bethel to get five one hundred pound propane bottles filled and was back at 10:30 to take a load of campers.

At 10:30 I loaded up a load of campers one to go to Mountain Village and the other two to go to Hooper Bay. The weather became cloudy with some rain and more wind that when I started out.  The next flight was to take three campers to Aniak, I refueled the plane while there.  The next load was three girls from Anikchak. On the way home from Anikchak I encountered a line of small thunderstorms and had to fly through some moderate rain.  All in all it was another great day of flying in Alaska.  Sara spent another day in the kitchen.  This evening we had a real treat from the kitchen, it was some of the best pizza I have ever eaten, it was all made right there in the Kako kitchen.

Tomorrow we will be taking the crew from Rockford back to the airport in Russian Mission.  Thane will be taking Gary and Margo to Bethel to put them on a flight to Anchorage then on home in Washington, state.

 I tried to send Bryon another email with a picture attached tonight. 

July 16, 2005 

Lionel:  Saturday it is coming up on eight oíclock and still no power they usually start the generator around six thirty on week days and later on weekends.  They run the generator all day on week days and at different times on weekends.

We are planning on doing a mini presentation at the Anchorage Christian Church on Tuesday evening. We are planning on leaving Anchorage Wednesday morning  

I would like to go fishing for a little while this morning then I need to check the 180 and make sure it is ready to fly the crew from Rockford over to Russian Mission to catch a flight with MARC I think that stands for Mission Aviation Repair Center.

 MARC has at least two Piper Navajos that they fly people around in they serve a lot of small villages.  Arctic Barnabus operates a Seneca III.  Arctic Barnabus also serves missions all over Alaska. 

July 17 

Lionel:  Sunday We got up at 6:00 to finish loading the plane to go to Seldovia, Ak to visit Arnold Anderson, A friend of mine that I havenít seen since the late fifties.  I couldnít get fuel because the generator wasnít started yet so we finished loading the plane.  It started raining about the time the generator was started so I didnít want to add fuel as I  would also be adding water.   By now the mountain tops were obscured by fog and rain, the visibility went down to about a half mile and the ceiling was probably 200 feet.  We went to the house with Jerry and Deloris, we had a nice visit for a couple of hours and it rained the whole time. The rain was now slowing down so I decided to go and fuel the plane.  The weather forecast for surrounding airports was pretty good like 600 to 1400 overcast and 6 to 10 miles visibility.  We were up to over five miles and an estimated 200 overcast in light rain.  I felt like it might be going to deteriorate as the day went on so Sara and I took off to head for Seldovia.  I checked the forecast for Merrill pass and each time I checked they told me that there were no pilot reports and the weather caused them to believe the pass was closed.  Merrill pass would be our closer way to get on the other side of the mountains.  As we neared the pass the weather seemed to be getting worse and I started to turn and go to Lake Clark pass instead then I saw enough improvement in it to go a little farther.  I demonstrated to Sara that the 180 could turn around in less than half the width of the canyon.  I decided that I would go to where the canyon turned to the right to go through Merrill pass and take a look at it but that I really doubted that we would go through there today.  We had asked God to bless the day with good enough weather and with safety.  When we turned the corner into the pass that would take us to Merrill pass we were flying in rain and fog, as we turned the corner we saw some blue sky and sunshine PTL.  The required altitude is not show on the WAC chart that I had so I had to take a guess at it.  I climbed to 4000 as we approached the part of the pass that is known to some as the graveyard, this is a spot where the canyon is very narrow and makes a right angle turn.  It looks like there is no where to go until you get right there then you see you can make a pretty tight turn to the right and soon the canyon widens out and you will pass by some of the prettiest sights I have ever seen including glaciers, lakes, and rock formations.  After we got to the end of the pass we turned South along Cook Inlet.  We flew South to a narrow place in the inlet (name) to cross.  We crossed near Kenai, AK. Then on to the South West to Homer then on across another bay to Seldovia.  We arrived at Seldovia three hours and forty five minutes after leaving Kako.  We didnít get a chance to call Andy before we left as he had requested.  We found several small offices on the airport but no one in any of them so I just used one of their phones and called Ann answered just as Andy drove in so I got to tell him that we had arrived.  Andy seemed pleased that we were here.  Andy and Ann fixed us a fabulous meal of (fish?) and other side dishes.  After we ate Andy drove us around over a lot of the area around Seldovia and considering that there is only 44 miles on road in the area we used most of them.   When we got back I downloaded my camera to Andyís computer and burned pictures to a cd.   It is now midnight Alaska time and Three in the morning at home.  The tail wheel on the 180 didnít unlock to let me turn in to my parking place so I will have to take it apart and service it in the morning before we can go on.  I plan to stop at Homer to see if I can get in touch with either of the young men that contacted me about missionary pilot training.  I will also add fuel there. 

July 18, 2005 

Lionel:  I am going to the airport this morning to work on the tail wheel and do some other service on the airplane then I am going to come back and work on presentation material for the Anchorage Christian Church. The tail wheel job took over three hours for me to clean and grease it.  I also jacked up the main wheels and checked the bearings for slack and smoothness, they seemed ok I repositioned some of the weight in the airplane and checked the oil, I think the plane is ready to finish loading and going in the morning.  I am planning on stopping at Homer for fuel and to see if anyone there knows about a couple of missionary pilot wanna bees.   I also think the three pilot that we met at Lethbridge  AB might be there I canít remember for sure where they were going but I think it was Homer.

Sara spent several hours today trying to put together a slide presentation for the Church at Anchorage for tomorrow evening.  I hope to get a good start Thursday and get well on our was across Canada.

Sara and I had a very good time visiting with the Andersons, Arnold (Andy) Ann, and Westin, Westin Is Annís grandson. 

We got to run around in Seldovia a little while today.  The Aleuetian Islands were discovered in 1740 by a Russian expedition, which discovered abundant furs here, this brought about a fur rush in 1742.  The fur rush soon came the Southern Kenai Peninsula. This area soon became a major fur trading area by the Russians and later the Americans.  .  There were many Native Americans here then as well as now.  The Natives were pressed into hunting and trapping for the Russians and  the Americans.  The Indigenous people were unprepared for this type of work and the separation from families and tried to resist until a smallpox epidemic crushed their ability to resist.  In 1852 Russian captain Archimandritov observed the spring herring run and named the bay ĒSeldovoiĒ, Bay of Herring By the 1870ís the Russians and natives settled in Seldovia making it one of the oldest settlements in the Cook Inlet area.  Much of Seldovia was built on piling and had a board walk.  Many building are still on piling which makes it look like a setting in the late 1800s. Most of the board walk was destroyed by the 1964 earthquake. 

July 19, 2005 

Sara:  We stopped by the Police Station to say goodbye to Andy and left Seldovoia and headed for Homer, Alaska for fuel.  The weather was supposed to be good but by the time we fueled the weather deteriorated and we decided to eat an early lunch.  We had an appointment to be at the Christian Church of Anchorage at 6:00 p.m. The weather was so bad we were not able to fly out until 5:30 p.m.  And it was an hour flight to Anchorage.  We got to Anchorage at 6:30 and we were picked up by Karen  and got to the church at 6:40.  When we opened the church door we were met by Harry and Sue Judd.  What a wonderful surprise.

Karen rents a basement apartment from the church and we stayed with her and her cat again.  Karen was very hospitable to us.  We had a great stay again.

Deryl Titus, the preacher rescheduled our time for 8:30 pm and we were able to give a full presentation.

Lionel went to the church the next day and had coffee with Deryl, Harry, and Sue. Later we said our goodbyes and we all headed different directions.  Harry and Sue have been traveling since January and will not be headed for Texas until December.

We fueled up in Anchorage before we left and headed North to Gulkana, Alaska.  We stopped there to call Canadian customs to give them our required 2 hours notice.  When we arrived we checked our time and gave them 3 hours notice.  We then landed in Northway, Alaska for fuel for the airplane and passengers.  We left Northway and headed for customs at Beaver Creek, Canada.  When we arrived was no one there and when we called the 1-888 number they gave us our customs clearance on the phone.

We headed for White Horse but there was a lot of smoke from fires causing bad visibility so we stopped at a small airfield near Kulane Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada.

The airfield was on the map as an abandoned strip.  But when we landed we were greeted by a man named Lance.  Lance flies mountain climbers to glaciers so they can go  mountain climbing.. Lance took us to some new small cabins that a French family owned.  The owner of the cabins first name is Immanuel. We liked the atmosphere and decided we were going to stay in one of the cabins.  (Especially since the weather went south on us.) 

July 21, 2005

Sara:  It was foggy when we got up this morning.  It is 9:00 and still foggy.  We are going to go and get some breakfast in the home of the owners of the cabins.  Their home looks like an old very small motel but I think it was old military housing.  The airstrip used to be owned by the military as an extra strip.  (If needed).

Our cabin was nice and we had no heat but enough covers and body warmth to keep warm.  But we are used to that because we had no heat at Kako either.

We made a flight plan to Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada and had to deviate because of weather and flew South to Dease Lake, British Columbia, Canada.  We had to land at about 5: 00 pm due to weather and stayed at Northway Motel and ate at the Northway Restaurant across from the Motel. 

July 22, 2005

Sara:  We got up and the weather was down and had to wait so we ate Brunch  at the Northway Restaurant and the motel manager gave us a ride to the airport.  We fueled and was advised to follow the railroad levee (No rail for most of it but it was obvious what it was supposed to be) through a pass.  The weather East was not good.  So we went South.  The weather was low at the beginning of our flight but by going South we had the best weather we have seen on the trip. There were thunderstorms on both sides of us but we were able to fly between them. We were finally able to fly for several miles at 7500 ft.  Most of our flying has been at 2000 ft. or less.  Mostly less.

We landed at Kamloops, British Columbia,  Canada.  It is a beautiful place in the bottom of a valley.  We had to cross a ridge that is 6100 MSL ft to come in and land at 1100 ft and had to descend very fast.  We had no idea it was so quick a let down in to the valley but with a Cessna 180 you can climb or let down pretty quick.

We stayed at Fortune Motel in Kamloops.  We ate supper at a Chinese Restaurant.

 

July 23, 2005

 

Lionel: We got up to a bright and beautiful morning this morning, this is a very unusual thing on this trip as most of our mornings have been foggy and rainy.  The weather is very warm compared to what we have experienced.  Greg told us they have been having 100 plus temps at home, I think that Sara and I will probably go into thermal shock or perhaps thermal runaway {:>).  We are planning to go through customs at Scott airport in Washington state this morning.   After we get back to the U. S. I want to get a case of oil and change the oil on the 180 today if possible.  I want to visit some of the strips in Idaho then go on home.  The U. S. weather map looks good but hot for the rest of our trip.

Sara:  We had to redo the baggage in the airplane.  Needless to say that all the baggage compartment and all the back seat are full and needed to be reshuffled.  We probably spent 2 hours at that task.  We had our big suitcases buried and needed some clean clothes to put in our overnight bag.  Of course they were in the back on bottom.  We use most things in the back seat so they had to be neatened up.

         The weather was good we got through customs fine.  We fueled up there at Scott airport in Washington state the fuel price there was $3.34 a gallon, that is the cheapest gas we have gotten for a while.

          We went on to an airstrip in Idaho.  I wanted Lionel to beam me up after we did that trick.  We had to go into a long narrrrrrrow valley and twist and turn through narrrrrrow passes (about 2 miles)  and finally we came to the opening for the airfield. It really was beautiful there and I thought I might just want to live there rather than fly back out the very crooked narrrrrrow pass.  We had to stay for awhile because the winds came up and Lionel said it was too dangerous to fly out so we waited for the wind to die down.

          We flew on to Anaconda, Montana and it was getting dark and I made Lionel land because we were in mountains up to 12,000 feet.  I told him I do not do mountains after dark.  Sorry!  The field there was over 5,000 feet.

We decided to save money and sleep in our sleeping bags.  We was going to use our tent but it was wet from flying in the rain.  Apparently there is a leak in the back of the airplane.  Even though the airport was unattended the office was left unlocked so we slept in our sleeping bags on the floor.

         We have flown through mountains, mountains, mountains, and mountains . . . . . . .  And when they sing the song ďThe Bear went over the mountainĒ I donít believe it because I have not seen a bear on this trip.   Probably 7,000 miles.  And Lionel has flown a lot more miles than that. 

July 24th

         What a beautiful day.  There is not a cloud in the sky.  Paul Smith from Anaconda, Mt. came by the airport and he is a strong Baptist.  We read several chapters in Psalms and had prayer time with Paul.  He took Lionel to town to get coffee and donuts.  Paul is planning on going to Kentucky next June to help build a church and is planning on coming to CWW to get his Private License after he has finished his short term mission. Paul flies a Para glider.

          Lionel:  A boy who was on oxygen and his parents came to the airport to get the boy an airplane ride.  A pilot from Butte, Mt came to give him his ride.

          Another pilot, Art Lazzarini,  was there Art does mountain flying training.  Arts business name is Mountain Air Engineering, and is located in Halley, Idaho. 

          We loaded the airplane, filled it with fuel @$3.44 a gallon, started up taxied to runway 16 which was favored by a light wind.  With the temperature already at 70 the density altitude is high.  After a much longer than usual takeoff run we lifted off and turned more Easterly to go to West Yellowstone airport. There is a long valley going South East from the Anaconda airport.  We climbed to 12,000 to clear the ridges.  We had a good ride to WYS.  When we were about 25 miles out I started letting down, so that I wouldnít have to come down real fast later.  By letting down at this time I will have to fly some passes to get to the West Yellowstone airport.  WYS is at 6630 above sea level and has a runway that is 8400 feet long.  We rented a car from Avis so we could go to Yellowstone Park.  Sara and I have talked about going to Yellowstone Park for many years but couldnít for one reason or another, due to weather we were going to fly very near the park anyway.   After lunch at KFC we went to see Old Faithful and as much of the rest of the park as we could.   

          We met a young lady in the store at the park who knew Paul Dye.  I think her name is Ellin.  We also met several other people who seemed interested in CWW and gave out several cards.

          Wrong turns and late again so spending the night in a cabin at Wagon wheel RV park.

          Elk and Bison

July 25th 

Lionel:  Looking out the window this morning it looks clear, if it is we hope to get in the air in the next couple of hours.  We will be flying through the Absoroka Range in the Rockies, there is a pass that will let us fly over Old Faithful and then on East at reasonable altitudes, according to the chart relief marks the pass can be flown at less than nine thousand.  There are peaks in the area that go well above twelve thousand.  We have five hours of fuel on board this morning, which will get us past all the high terrain before we have to land and refuel again.

        Sara:   We flew over Old Faithful and headed for home. We landed in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska.  We got close to Lincoln, Nebraska and the weather started closing in on us.  We had to fly south and then West awhile.  We had to fly between several thunderstorms.  But God got us through.  Once we got through the storms it was good weather the rest of the way.  We flew about 10 hours in one day.   It was just getting dark when we arrived home at Dove Airfield. 

          Lionel:  I undertook to download the pictures from our camera and the computer saved 200 then stopped and gave an error message, there were 646 pictures.  The first 368 pictures had been burned to a cd and I got the last 200 but in between were the most important pictures of all.  Pictures of Sara holding a little Eskimo girl, pictures of Seldovia and my friend from the fifties Andy. Pictures of Harry and Sue Judd at the church in Anchorage and many more priceless pictures. 

Lionel: Since we left for Alaska and until we got back I made seventy six flights totaling over 110 hours depending on our average speed this will amount to around 13,000 miles. 

July 26th

Lionel :  We got up this morning and went to work on making a slide show for the VBS group at Mountain View Christian Church.  As has been pretty normal for a while things were not getting in place as we had hoped for.  Sara worked really hard at trying to locate pictures of our trip to AK to use in a power point presentation. 

July 27th

          Lionel:  Its is 1:30 in the morning and the presentation still isnít finished although Sara has it pretty well done I think we will proof it later this morning.  I am to do a presentation about CWW and our mission trip to AK. 

July 28th

Sara:  We spent some time with Kayla and the boys and had a great time in West Plains.

We had VBS and took lots of pictures and lost most of our pictures.  Our camera chip seems to be bad.  It shows pictures but you canít take them off the chip and it winds up deleting them when you try to load them into the computer.  Kayla and I made 70 candy airplanes to give to the kids. 

July 29th 

Lionel:  Sara and I went to share with the Eminence Christian Church this evening.  They had around 40 kids there.  It was a good evening and we had a good crowd. We ate with the folks at what used to be the old Rock Garden Kitchen.  They have remodeled it into a very nice kitchen and dining hall.  Sara cooked there several years when it needed a lot of things done. 

July 30, 2005

Lionel: Sara went with Kayla to go to yard sales and have fellowship time.  I am taking it easy this morning as I am pretty worn out from all the travel and I have been having a lot of pain in my right knee, hip, and shoulder, I donít know what caused the pain as I havenít fallen or anything like that.

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