I haven’t even been home in Alaska for 24 hours yet and I’ve already accomplished one of the things I’ve been dying to do: Go flying!
I’d been asking Dave-Dad to take me flying for a while, but because renting airplanes is so expensive, it wasn’t going to happen this trip. Fortunately, our next-door-neighbor Ed was flying out to his homestead on Red Shirt Lake where he and two friends are clearing land to build a new cabin. He was flying out to deliver a new part for the air compressor, which they were using to drive pipes 20 feet down into the ground to start building a foundation. Pretty awesome stuff.
Red Shirt Lake would take 5-1/2 hours in a car, plus a 3-mile hike. There’s no road to get to the cabins, so in the winter they pull supplies and equipment over using snow machines (snowmobiles to all you Outsiders) and sleds across the frozen lake. In the summer you have to fly supplies in, hence the airplane.
The plane is on floats and is parked on Lake Spenard in Anchorage, a gorgeous spot. It only took 20 minutes to get from Anchorage to Red Shirt Lake—much more efficient.
We stayed out until about 9:00pm and then flew back to Anchorage. On the way back, Ed actually let me take control of the plane. It was my first time flying and only fueled my excitement to take my introductory lesson, which I’m hoping to do in Princeton, New Jersey at the end of the July.
By the time I went to bed at midnight Alaska time, the sun had just bumped the horizon and I put my old arm-over-eyes sleep position back into effect, one I haven’t had to employee at night in five years. My head finally hit the pillow with me having been awake for just over 26 hours, taking into account the time change from the east (four hours). I’d gotten up at 2am in New York the day before and finally went to sleep at 4am. Today I woke up at 7am Alaska time–the perfect way to adapt to the time change.
There’s so much more coming on this trip. I can’t wait to see what happens next!