Sunday, May 14, 2017

Valdez Fly-In 2017

This was the year I finally made it to the annual premier Bush Flying event in Alaska, the Valdez Fly-In and Airshow. My son flew us to the event in my husband's Cessna 185. It was a gorgeous day for flying over mountains.

A view of the Turnagain Arm through the increasing elevation as we made our way out of Anchorage.

More snow-covered mountains...glaciers...and the water of Prince William Sound.

In the above photo there is a tiny sight-seeing boat viewing a glacier edge jutting into the water.

As we get closer to Valdez, there is more open water of Prince William Sound. 

Heading up the Valdez arm of Prince William Sound is the termination of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline which starts at Prudhoe Bay and traverses 800 miles to the Port of Valdez.

We made a hairpin turn over the turquoise water from the hidden Valdez Glacier.

Parked on the runway is our white with blue trim 185. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains.

We rode a shuttle into the town. The gorgeous views continued. We ate dinner outside at the "Fat Mermaid," which had this spectacular view. It was a bit chilly but we had on our coats.

The next day...

We woke up to a layer of marine clouds covering the mountains and blocking the sun.
 The weather forecast was dropping temperatures with snow expected in the evening.

This ancient looking aircraft, a C-46, is a major source of fuel for Bush communities in Alaska. It has been featured on Alaska reality television shows like, "Life Below Zero." 

The main part of the Fly-In is a bush pilot contest where planes vie for the shortest take-off and landing distances. By the time we got to the competitions it was windy and getting colder by the minute. We hung around as long as we could to watch two of my son's friends do their runs and then we loaded up our plane and skedaddled home. All the mountain passes were becoming shrouded in clouds so we had to take a longer route home. We had planned to stay a second night and leave Sunday morning but with snow in the forecast we could have been stuck for a few days. We had not brought our engine cover or flap covers to protect the plane from ice. We really didn't have room for our bags, four people and winter provisions for the plane! Darn it....winter weather was not in our plans!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

looks so beautiful - envy you those mountain views! (but not the cold weather)

Suz J said...

Amazing photos... so it must have been even more amazing in real life. Cannot even imagine... it's been about 30yrs since I last flew... now doesn't that make me sound old and crotchety!

SoCalGal said...

Thank you for posting those most beautiful pics. Alaska seems like a world away from where I live in So Cal.

Donna quilts said...

What a wonderful trip! The scenery is breathtaking.