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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
3rd Jun 2014 - Alaska 2014
Day 5-June 3, 2014-Floatplane to Redoubt Bay

Day 5-June3, 2014-Floatplane to Redoubt Bay

Oh Boy, up at 4:30 again!  We were picked up by Rust’s Flying Service and taken to the largest floatplane harbor in Alaska, where we were greeted by Charlie, the resident dog who was totally bored with it all. We know floatplanes as seaplanes, small planes (this one a 6-seater) with pontoons or floats which makes them buoyant so they can land on water.  Planes are not a luxury in Alaska, but like pick up trucks because there aren’t many roads to get you anyplace.  The capital, Juneau, is only accessible by plane or boat.  One in every 60 Alaskans is a licensed pilot and one in every 78 Alaskans own his own plane, many of them parked behind their homes.

Peter, our pilot, flew us from Lake Hood over Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean telling us there was about 150 mile visibility, the best in months and we were very lucky to see Mt. McKinley and nesting trumpeter swans below.  After about an hour in the air we landed at a lodge in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, accessible only by plane.  We walked up a ramp to the encampment consisting of three cabins, three outhouses and a hand hewn lodge for meals.  Only 10 employees who do a little bit of everything.  Jim was our guide in the morning and after lunch he helped unload a weekly supply boat.  His wife served lunch.  They have their own herb garden and are quite self sufficient.  After cookies and coffee we took two pontoon boats out on the lake for a 3-hour tour of the lake which is known to have the most concentrated and viewable   population of black and brown bears in Alaska because of the salmon swimming upstream in it.  There were only 4 people in our boat and about 10 in the other.  We were about a week too early so there weren’t too many salmon and therefore not many bears and everybody but me saw a black bear.  There were plenty of bald eagles and a great waterfall, though, and the whole trip was wonderful.  Back to the lodge for a great lunch of potato soup, salmon, salad and cookies.  Pete picked us up for the return floatplane trip to Anchorage and the shuttle back to the hotel.  On the way we saw a lone moose standing in the water.  Quite a sight to see from the air.  The whole trip was about 7 hours and was certainly a highlight of our trip and even if we weren’t expecting to see bears it was a great experience. 

Back in the hotel Harry took a nap while I confirmed reservations for tomorrow.  We walked back into town for dinner at McGinley’s Pub.  There’s a 5K run through town every Tuesday ending at this pub for a raffle.  We got there just in time to be seated before the place became a mad house.  There were two girls looking for a spot to sit, we had 2 extra seats at our table so we invited them to sit with us and we had a nice chat with them.  They really wanted to win the running shoes (or anything, for that matter) but their numbers didn’t come up.  Picked some lilacs on the way back.  Weather is much nicer now and we changed our winter coats for fleece jackets.  Early to bed again, another early day tomorrow.



Next: Day 6-June 4, 2014-Denali National Park
Previous: Day 4-June 2, 2014-Kenai Fjord National Park Cruise & Holgate Glacier


Diary Photos

Outhouses at lodge

Walkway to planes and boats

Planes at Lodge

View of Lodge and planes

Waterfall

Eagle in treetop

View from pontoon boat

Dining room at Redoubt Bay Lodge

Beer at Redoubt Bay Lodge

Redoubt Bay Lodge from floatplane

Harry in floatplane

Our floatplane

View of airport from floatplane

Harry as co pilot

Me on pontoon boat

Planes in back yard

Us at Waterfall

Me at Redoubt Bay Lodge

Us in Floatplane

View from floatplane1

View from floatplane2

View from floatplane

Our pilot and co pilot

View of Mts. from plane

Diary Movies

Pontoon Boat & Waterfall at Redoubt Bay


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