Monday, September 3, 2007

Jake, Dave and Dawson

Jake and I took our bikes and went to Dawson for the weekend . It was a great trip and the weather in Dawson was great... for the most part. We rode all around, took our bikes on the ferry and rode around the campground, and generally had a nice time. It was nice to be able to have both bikes, a lot of stuff and get there in only 3 hours flight time.... I love the 180!

The first stop was Northway, 2 hours out of Palmer. We topped off on gas (took 100G into Canada hoping to save money...). Not much there, but we called Canpass for entry into Canada and checked with US Customs so we'd know the drill on the way back. All the Customs stops and contacts were just fine, but I did my homework and was prepared for it... and remembered to take the gun out of the plane, thank goodness. The FSS was great too - I can't believe the rest of the country lost the local flight Service Stations, I drop in at ours all the time and they're always a great help.

Some air taxi guy dropped all these seats in Northway so he could haul some cargo. I wonder if he puts paying passengers in the one held together with rope? We ran into some people in Northway - some from FBX that had mutual friends and 3 guys ferrying a 170 from Minnesota to Palmer.

No problem finding Dawson but we throttled back and went slow so we'd arrive at our exact time, which I don't think they really cared about. There is some waiting since it's only 1 hour flying Northway to Dawson but you're supposed to give 2 hours notice. The Canadian customs person didn't ask us much and seemed pleasantly surprised we had passports. Coming into the airport Jake took the shot of the dredge tailings on the Klondike.

We wandered around in the sun and heat (the weather was perfect) and Jake took this picture of me in the chair at Robert Service's cabin. We went to Jack Londons cabin and the train museum, too.

We stayed in town at Klondike Kate's cabins which was just fine. They gave us a ride to and from the airport and were very nice.

The next day we were leaving and the fog had rolled in which was worrisome (particularly after the recent Homer disaster...)

but it burned off fast and got warm and sunny again for the outhouse races. There were some loco folks racing the outhouses, but the Vikings were my favorite "we drink when we're thirsty, we drink when we're dry and if you don't like it you can bugger off and die..." it was morning but most of the contestants seemed to have the 'It's 5 o'clock somewhere" attitude. Queen Crapper and the Royal Flush were OK too... but they sang their ditty waaaay too much!

When we got out to the airport it was sunny and warm... again. The weather looked good for getting to Northway at least so we figured we'd go that far. There was a Hawker 748 loading up and taking off... real pretty plane and not common. It used almost all of the 5100 feet.

We made it back to Northway no problem, but used the last of their gas. I had to top off with some car gas (which is legal for me to do!). Of course we had way too much gas, but I wanted plenty in case we couldn't get through Mentasta pass (which was forecast crummy), or I got lost in the mountains since I'd never been there before. The Customs guy was very nice but DID ask for a lot of stuff including my pilots license. He filled the form out for us though, and when I called from Dawson to tell him when we'd be there, said it was fine to be early and we didn't have to wait in the plane so we showed up about 30 minutes early. Which, per the USCS instructions is a no-no.

We had to do some pilotage to find the way through Mentasta pass but made it OK, and on the other side of Duffy's it was wide open with just a few showers to dodge. Both times I went by Duffy's they were reporting 1000 and 2 miles or something equally bad when in reality it was 5000 broken both times. Maybe the reporting station "Duffys Tavern" is aptly named....?

It was fun trip I'd like to do again, except go through Eagle (which has Customs also) next time on one leg.