(bottom of page)
We were delighted to find blue sky and bright sunshine this morning. We breakfasted on homemade cinnamon rolls (with fresh blueberries), sitting around a large table with a group of local pilots. Instead of individual tables the local coffee shop featured several large tables. Food was served family style and refills of coffee were free -- provided you helped yourself. Conversation with the local pilots that fly the McKinley- Denali area was fascinating.
Also "visiting" at the table was a young couple going on a two-week back-packing trip. They would be flown in by the local air service. Later, while waiting outside for their plane, the young man unpacked a viola and played for us.
When we took off from Talkeetna, Mt. McKinley was in full view, glistening in the bright sunshine. The immensity of the mountain, in spite of the distance, was quite overwhelming. Everyone had cameras out -- and occasionally one of us remembered to fly the plane! Photographs do not accurately portray the size and presence of the mountain.
After a short and uneventful flight down the beautiful Matanuska valley, we landed at Anchorage International, sandwiched in between hordes of arriving and departing jumbo jets. Anchorage International is an extremely busy hub. Next time I will definitely use Merrill Field, which appears to be restricted to general aviation aircraft and is more centrally located. Anchorage International is out on a peninsula in Cook Inlet.
There are two lakes near the International field, Lake Hood and Lake Spenard. These two lakes are connected by a natural channel and are used as a float plane base. I don't think I have ever seen so many float planes in one place. There must be hundreds of them, tied down, all the way around the edges of both lakes.
Dad registered this evening for his reunion of the 11th Air Force. He principally flew PBY sea planes in his search and rescue work. I hope some of his former crewmates will be here.
The breathtaking flowers of Anchorage
Glossary of aviation terms or Map of the trip
Shortcut to any specific day or location
Previous day or next day or
Seize the Sky home page
Copyright © 2003 Linda Dowdy, last revision 030210