August 2, 1990 -- Day 4

Dawson Creek BC to Fort Nelson BC

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Rainbow and Storms in Liard Mountains We tiptoed out of town under a low ceiling. A bearing of 300 degrees took us to the highway. Forty-seven miles up the highway, around Fort St. John, we encountered a scattered layer that made seeing the highway difficult. But we were soon out of it and flying towards high pressure. At our next stop, Fort Nelson (BC), a check with the weather office revealed that we might encounter some afternoon convective buildup around the Muncho Lake/Liard River area.

To reach Liard River, the highway snakes its way through some awesomely rugged mountains. A solid overcast kept us on eye-level with the mountains. In light misting rain we threaded our way through the maze of canyons, very aware of the peaks, some actually higher than the plane. When I could see the road on the left side of the plane, I would fly, and conversely, when Tom could see it from the right, he would fly. But about 15 miles past Muncho Lake the road totally disappeared in an opaque sheet of heavy rain. We concluded that it was time to do a 180 and head back to Fort Nelson.

The Esso people were great, lending us a courtesy car for the night. Tomorrow we will get an early start and try to beat the convective buildup in those rugged mountains.

Storms over Liard Mountains

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Linda Dowdy
Bethel, Minnesota
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