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  #51  
Old 08-28-2016, 07:37 AM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is online now
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Default Day 7. Barrow to Kotzebue.

Off Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial and I am a bit geographically confused. Is it pure Arctic Ocean coastline or it's Chukchi Sea? Surely not Beaufort.





A dead whale and no polar bears. Not Beaufort Sea definitely.





Unintentionally I flushed the whole haulout of walruses off their beach. The cloud layer was kind of low and it was too late to divert. The ocean looked boiling I reduced the power and quietly flew away. Sorry walruses. Wasn't my intent.





Skies finally cleared and temperature raised to mid sixties after I passed Wainwright PAWI.





Time for lunch.





After lunch I picked up 163rd meridian and slid down cutting western corner of treeless Brooks Range.








Red Dog mine.





Noatak River.





A bit short of 3 hours flight time I am in Kotzebue PAOT.





Topped off by Bering Air at $9 per gallon had a little talk with staff and up for the next even more exciting leg...
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Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-28-2016 at 07:37 PM.
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  #52  
Old 08-28-2016, 07:38 AM
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Vlad Vlad is online now
 
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Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Default Day 7. Serpentine Hot Spring.

It was a perfect afternoon. After Kotzebue I followed Norton Sound coast southbound. An island of puffins thousands of them live here. Don't come close.





My next stop was Serpentine Hot Springs which is very close to CIVED intersection. Forest Service leveled a decent landing spot in the heart of Bering Land Bridge Preserve. They also built a bunkhouse and a toilet. The strip is kind of short but there are unobstructed approaches and its surface is quite hard. After aerial inspection and a roll on mains I slammed my trusty girl against the planet and she stopped on a dime.





The bunkhouse was occupied but I didn't see any hikers just their belongings.








The water in the springs was mighty hot! How the heck anybody wants to dip in nearly boiling water? I couldn't even hold my hand there.





Tasty wild blueberries. Larger and sweeter then Walmart's...





Surreal landscape I hiked for 30 minutes remembering a memo about grizzlies.





Inspected the runway and flew out.








Shishmarev Island is my next stop...

Last edited by Vlad : 08-29-2016 at 04:33 PM.
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  #53  
Old 08-28-2016, 07:39 AM
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Vlad Vlad is online now
 
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Talking Day 7. From Shishmarev to Palin's Backyard

... on the way from Serpentine Hot Springs to Shishmarev Island I spotted a herd of animals.





I got a bit closer. Muskoxen! First I thought they are totally indifferent they didn't run and they didn't move much. But when I looked closer at the picture and read a bit about them I see they are in a defensive position. They just don't know where this whistling is coming from...






Shishmarev Island was just for the logbook. I "collect" islands visited. This island has a huge airport and they are expanding it even more. Nothing is listed as an attraction here and I don't know anybody. In-n-out.





Next waypoint was Little Diomede a tiny island in Bering Strait a fraction of a mile from Russian border.





This is the Little Diomede to my right.




To my left is Ratmanova Island there is a cross on top of the island. Farther away you can see Dezhneva Cape and Uelen on continental Russia. Now I can brag I've been in Sarah Palin's backyard can I get another free beer?





I wondered around the island a bit quite an interesting place. There are emergency landing sites all over you can even plop it on top of the arctic mesa if motor quits.








I crossed Bering Strait eastbound then flew by Tin City LRSS.




That thing has some power.


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Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-29-2016 at 06:23 PM.
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  #54  
Old 08-28-2016, 07:39 AM
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Vlad Vlad is online now
 
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Talking Night by the cemetery on Day 7.

Next stop planned to be Nome and I hoped there will be a room at a hotel for me. Three days ago was nothing and two ago was all booked. I had a backup plan in case I am out of luck at Nome.




The greatest daily run was ending or so I thought.





Nome a beautiful place no wonder everybody goes there.











I landed, FSS called fuel truck for me and I run all hotels' numbers again. No vacancies and I am pretty fatigued. To take off and follow plan B was a mistake I should have just stayed at Nome and figure out where to have some rest. Anyway, I head to Unalakleet PAUN. Good weather has come to an end a gusty winds picked up and by the time I reached Unalakleet it was howling. The airport has two intersecting runways and it wasn't a big deal to plant the plane on the ground. It wasn't Tampa. The only hotel in town was unattended I spoke to the owner days ago and was told they always have rooms.





I walked to town doors locked nobody around. Neighbors unaware where the owner is. A lot of activity is going there. Tons of ATVs, cars, not so sober indigenous population. No phone service. The only safe place was the airport but all buildings were locked tight. So I tied down, unloaded most of my gear, wrapped it up with plastic and secured under the plane. I leveled off the floor under the rudder pedals with my bags, assumed nearly fetal position and slept in my airplane.
In two-three hours when I got cold I cranked the engine run it for 10-15 minutes to produce some heat and snoozed again. There wasn't a good sleep in that spooky place near the cemetery.


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Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 08-30-2016 at 03:35 PM.
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  #55  
Old 08-28-2016, 06:13 PM
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Kevin Horton Kevin Horton is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
Now I can brag I've been above 71st parallel can I get a free beer?
What's up for next year? Alert (CYLT)? It is at 82.5?N, and is the northern-most airport in the world.
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  #56  
Old 08-28-2016, 06:19 PM
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zilik zilik is offline
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Vlad,

Any brand, anytime. You are always welcome at my house for a free beer or two, or .....
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RV-6A N99PZ S/N 22993 SOLD
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  #57  
Old 08-29-2016, 05:14 AM
humptybump humptybump is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Vlad, You are always welcome at my house for a free beer or two, or .....
Beer is fine but Russian runs funny after being fueled with tequila.
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  #58  
Old 08-29-2016, 08:34 AM
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Default What an Adventure!

I am enjoying this blog. A couple posts have gotten my heart rate up! So glad you were able to complete this trip safely. Looking forward to the rest of the story
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  #59  
Old 08-29-2016, 09:26 AM
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Rob Erdos Rob Erdos is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Horton View Post
What's up for next year? Alert (CYLT)? It is at 82.5?N, and is the northern-most airport in the world.
You know, he's likely to take the bait. Incredible stories! Thanks Vlad!
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  #60  
Old 08-29-2016, 01:25 PM
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Stitch462 Stitch462 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humptybump View Post
Beer is fine but Russian runs funny after being fueled with tequila.
But what about vodka?
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