Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thunderbird Falls (Fall version)

Mom and I revisited Thunderbird Falls. Andi and I had been here earlier in the summer. This time, most of the leaves were on the ground and I had fun taking some photos of them.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Flying - Bears & Volcanos

Once the summer rains broke it seemed like the whole state jumped in their planes and took off. I was no exception. A friend from work took his Citabria and I took our Scout out exploring the west side of the Cook Inlet. We stopped and looked around the McArthur River and then down to Tuxedni Bay. This was my first time landing on a beach, but was no problem. When we landed there was a group of 7 Brown bears a few hundred yards away fishing in the surf. We sat and watched them for an hour or so then jumped in the planes and took off. A fun afternoon.

Photos here

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chuck's Trips - Burlington & Tadoussac

After enjoying a week of actual summer back in Alaska after the Oregon trip, Chuck got back on Delta and headed east for a conference (http://www.geog.umontreal.ca/gbr7/) in northern Quebec.
Flying through Montreal over Labor Day weekend presented a great chance to visit friends (the Tumilowicz's and Graber's) for a long weekend. It was a relaxing weekend involving hiking and eating. Tumor and Jen even took little 3-month-old Luke Tumilowicz along on our all-day journey up Mt. Mansfield (to the chin, for you locals).
After a weekend in Vermont (photos), it was back to Montreal and then 6 hours up the north bank of the St. Lawrence to the small village of Tadoussac (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/quebec/tadoussac). The conference was a great chance to rub elbows with an international crowd of geomorphologists and experience Quebec (which in the countryside isn't really bilingual).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chuck's Trips - Oregon (for the 'last' time)

In August, Chuck went back to the Sandy River, Oregon where he has been doing fieldwork for his dissertation over the past four years. It all relates to studying the changes in the Sandy River following the October 2007 removal of the Marmot Dam. The last three summers meant one month camping in the field and running a crew of interns collecting data. The winters have involved last-minute trips to measure the river during large storms. This August was a 'toned down' version of the summer field data collection - i.e. no interns. The end of the data collection was capped off with a visit by Chuck's adviser (Peter Wilcock, Johns Hopkins), and three fellow grad students all studying gravel bars as well (The Barflies - Susannah Erwin, Christian Braudrick, and Andreas Krause). Photos here

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flying - Knick Glacier

One of the best places to take people on a short flightseeing tour is the Knick Glacier - only a few minutes of flying time outside the Anchorage area, but one gets to see a huge glacier, a large braided river, and a glacial lake. There are plenty of opportunities for off-airport landings, and it is past the range of 4-wheelers - so it remains pretty much just open to pilots.
When dad and his friend Troy were visiting, we (Troy & I) were headed up to the glacier for a quick trip. It turns out another 'quick trip' was turning not so quick up on the top of the glacier. We received word that a plane had crashed up there and headed up to see what we could do. The weather was too poor to see the crash site, but we established communications, passed word back to the rescue controllers, and made the initial coordination with the rescue forces. As we left the area, it seemed like everything was under control - but it was not. The newspaper story recounts the next few days: http://www.adn.com/2010/08/11/1405574/guard-launches-new-attempt-to.html

Troy's photos here

A few weeks later the pilot of the crashed Piper Cherokee held a celebratory BBQ at his house and invited everyone involved. It was pretty cool to sit around and tell hear the stories - especially by the rescue PJs who hiked up the glacier for 20+ hours. And we discovered that there were 4 USAFA grads involved in that '91, '93, '95, and '98.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Flying - Visit to Fairbanks

With a new plane in hand, the travel time between Anchorage and Fairbanks was cut way down. So with a clear day and a long weekend, Chuck headed north to visit friends at Eielson AFB. There was barely a cloud in the sky so after a quick stop for gas in Talkeetna, there was a quick spin through Denali N.P. Photos
A great friend of ours Mongo Monberg, has a hangar on an airpark (group of houses sharing a private 'runway') in North Pole. There really is something about parking your plane in your yard.
It was a low key weekend with great long visits with Beth Sumner (& boys), the Hoovers, and Mongo. Cristen, Stephanie, and Sprocket Hoover all went for quick flights around the North Pole & Tanana River area. Chuck & Mongo got to take a two-ship of Scouts out as well - their first 2-ship in 7 years.
All in all, a fun weekend or flying, mountains, and friends.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chuck's Trips - Las Vegas & the Colorado River

As part of this crazy travel year, Chuck signed up for yet another professional conference. This time for a week in Las Vegas. This was the first post-Air Force trip to Vegas, which was a bit odd.

Prior to the meeting, there was a 4-day field trip along the Colorado river to learn about the geologic history and the current issues regarding the usage of the Colorado River water. The trip (photos) took us to both the Hoover and Glenn Canyon dams, along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, down the Colorado River through Glenn Canyon, and through Zion National Park.