Johnson Creek, Day 3 and 4

26 06 2010

Well, day 3  at Johnson Creek was a bit of a bust for flying.  My wingman Joey had an issue with his throttle cable, so he jumped in my plane, and we headed into “town” – McCall to get a part.  Ended up on the ground a good part of the day, waiting for a new cable to be made.  Got breakfast at The Pancake House (great place) and then watched the weather deteriorate rapidly.  By the time we got his cable, it was raining pretty good and pretty dark.  We waited about an hour and a half, until we saw a super cub come in, and the rain was localized to McCall, and the mountains were high overcast, so blasted off for JC, and made it back without issue.  It was a wet afternoon, hanging out under wings, swapping stories.

Day 4 – couldn’t have been more different.  Don’t know how to describe it other than “epic”.  Probably one of, if not the best flying experiences of my life.  After waking early to a cloudless, cool sky, we all kind of stood around as it seemed as though every where was fogged in except Johnson Creek.  After the sun had crested and warmed a bit, Steve in his Just Highlander (the famous Deadstick Take-Off Guy from youtube), Ty Ferkin also in a Rans S-7S, Joey and I launched for the Soldier Bar, with the intent to work our way back up Big Creek.  Steve and Tye made a quick landing and take-off at Simonds on the way.

It was really cool to fly with Steve.  Couldn’t find a nicer guy, and what he can do with his plane is nothing short of astonishing.  It was great to be able to have him as a guide.

We hit Soldier Bar, then back up river to Cabin Creek.  Steve landed the “wrong way” on both.  We then headed to Vines before heading back to Mile Hi to play around a bit.  Steve lands across the top, spins around, then takes off, off the back side of Mile Hi.  The rest of us were just happy to each shoot several landings at such a famous – and beautiful – spot.  I love Mile Hi.  Not because its hard to land (it’s actually really pretty straight forward), but because it’s just so picturesque.

We launched out of Mile Hi for Dewey Moore.  The approach to Dewey is really cool, as you just get down low in the canyon, and just fly up river.  You don’t see the strip until you are about 8-10 seconds from landing.  Its a pretty long strip (700ft I think) and the uphill grade slows you down quick – and gets you back in the air quick.

It was starting to warm up, so we departed Dewey for the trip back to Johnson Creek.

Today, I feel really thankful and lucky.  Thankful to be able to pursue my passion of aviation, in such a breathtaking place, and lucky to have gotten to meet – and fly – with people like Steve, Tye and Joey.  It was just an amazing day of flying.

Potluck with the whole Backcountrypilot.org group tonight, then headed for home at first light tomorrow.

An amazing finish to an amazing trip.

Here are some pictures on my picasa album site.

We got some great video I will post later.  Few pics below.

E

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One response

30 06 2010
Greg

Great photos and stuff man. I love it!

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