On a beautiful sunny day we hop in the 172 and take off from the Valdez headed out to Hook Point. This is a beach landing on an amazing Alaskan rugged coastline. The shores are filled with tall pine trees and jagged rock formations. The beach at low tide has more than enough room for landing. A tidbit of information for those of you unaccustomed to beach landings. You want to put the plane down on the dark colored sand. This is the part of the beach that still is fairly damp which allows the sand to be very firm. If you land on the light colored dry sand you can easily flip your plane onto its nose. Just a disclaimer here.. Never attempt landings like this unless you receive some training first.
This beach happens to be give you acces to a cabin put up by the forest service for fly-in stays. Its a nice little A-Frame structure with a wood stove a little loft and a couple of bunks. A great little weekend getaway. Make sure you sign the guest book if you do end up visiting.
I woke up this morning to a snow globe outside. The flakes were falling pretty steady, but were light enough to float around through the trees. There had been some talk a week ago about going out for a flight with Bill Conger today. The forecast has a big snow storm rolling in around midnight tonight which is supposed to dump 5 -8 inches of snow on us through Monday morning. Based on this information and the current skies I saw out the window it didn’t look very promising.
I got a call from Bill asking if I wanted to just go and check out the plane even if we couldn’t fly. I was game and he said he’d swing by and pick me up in about an hour. During that time the skies parted and the sun took command of the skies. What was a snow globe turned into a bright blue skied day. We headed out to the hanger and after a preflight we were up in the air.
Our flight took us North toward Orr and then we looped back by Elbow Lake and then the length of Vermilion to Tower flying over Fortune Bay and then back to the Cook airport. Along the way we saw many snowmachiners out riding and quite a few people out ice fishing. It sure was a great day to be outside. I got a little big of flying in from the right seat. Bill was patient enough with my turns and difficulties keeping at a steady altitude. Sure was nice to be up in the air. I can’t wait until my flight instruction begins and I can start doing some of this from the left seat and start to work on my landings.