Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heading for AK

Jake and I will be taking off for Alaska in a day or two.  We're planning a different route than we came down, but last time the "plan" fell apart in less than two days so we'll see... weather could push us east again.

We're planning to visit friends and relatives (that are friends TOO!) in CA, tour Evergreen State College in Olympia, visit Seattle (on the bus from Oly) and a friend on Bainbridge and then pretty straight home via the trench (Mackenzie to Watson Lake). We're not going to camp out unless forced to and probably fly more hours per day than last time. We're also bringing winter gear - The Yukon and AK will probably be fine, but anything can happen in early May.

The SPOT tracker link on top left of this page and will work. We'll probably post on this blog ( links to here too), more often if I can figure out how to get Blogger mobile to post photos that aren't blurry.

Also, do you realize that we have to file with Customs and Border Protection to LEAVE the US?  Doesn't that seem wrong?  When I was a kid I remember thinking that was one of the things wrong with Eastern bloc countries... "They have to get Permission to leave!".  And to get back in, we have to file electronically, 90 day password changes, 24 hours in advance, with threats of 5000 dollar fines if we miss our arrival window.  But to get into Canada?  A phone call. "Land of the free" my ass.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Coolidge airport

We are at a really cool airport between Phoenix and Tuscon  It's a WWII airport and they are still using (and improving) this neat hanger.

Lots of fun transient aircraft, this AN-2 is registered in Valdez.

The hangers have everything from warbirds and homebuilts to Citations in them.  The owners are real nice, opening up their hanger doors and showing us around when we drop in.

This DC-7 is airworthy.

There are a few C-130's in various states of repair, some used for spraying fire retardant and oil dispersant.

Some of the locals gave me some surplus 757 (I think) chairs I'm putting to good use...

We had a tailwheel shimmy problem pretty much the entire way down.  The tailspring was bent a little (the old one is on top of the new one here).

We've replaced every tailwheel part from the bellcranks back so hopefully we have it fixed for the trip home.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cochran Ovens

Jake and I went looking for the Cochran Coke Ovens. We'd heard they were nearby, alternately called furnaces, ovens and smelters by the local pilots we talked to, they turn out to be kilns that made coke from mesquite for use in smelters...  I presume for Copper since I think it was next to the Copper Basin Railway.

We found them by searching the internet - it's a popular 4X4 trip to the ovens up this river bed.

Lots of nice scenery.

We finally found the ovens after a couple false passes.  They weren't exactly where my GPS said and I strafed some likely looking rock formations first... but once they appeared it was obvious :-)

There are smelters and a ghost town somewhere that go with these... we'll try to find them some other time.