Thanks to everyone's advice we had a great trip to Alaska. We ended up spending 12 days in mid-June. Even though it wasn't a "flying vacation" we tried our best to get some flying when we could. Though we really didn't get off the beaten path and see rural Alaska, it was definitively an experience and we can't wait to get back and see more of the state hopefully do some more flying.
Upon arriving in Anchorage we drove up to Talkeetna and spend four days staying with Don Lee and crew and Alaska Float and Skis. We did a lot of hiking and checked out the Denali area as much as we could. Talkeetna was pretty cool, except a little busy for our taste. The town strip was fun, along with some pretty neat flightseeing aircraft flying in and out of the Talkeetna Airport. I had a chance brush up on my floatplane skills with Valerie in a few of the area lakes. However the best part was flying the Ruth Glacier with Rick Reisman in their Pacer. A Pacer is slow, but it allowed us to spend a lot of time in the mountains. The pics hardly do the area justice.
Assorted glacier shots:
We kinda adopted Don Lee's dog Boomer.
Next we headed to Seward for a night, went on one of those wildlife cruised and then headed for Ninilchik. My wife found a groupon deal for four nights lodging with several days of fishing. Salmon fishing was shut down due to poor returns, but since we live on the Columbia River we weren't worried about no salmon. We spent one day trout fishing on the Kenai and then three days of halibut fishing our of Ninilchik. Fishing was great, no monster fish but plenty of chickens so we were happy. The folks in Ninilchik were awesome. The tractor launch at Deep Creek was pretty wild. Links to some cool tractor launch videos if you have never seen it before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MeVGBE0QTQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nT9sXg3Wsk
Our homestead in Ninilchik:
Dinner, less then two hours since it came out of the ocean:
While on one of the halibut charters we met an older couple from Homer. He had a C170 he keeps down there and offered to take us up since he doesn't fly as much as he used to. We went for a fun flight around Kachemak Bay, we dropped my wife off to shop in Homer and we did some more flying around the south Kenai Peninsula. I will post some pics from that flight soon as we got to see some critters. Going into a real FSS was fun, had a long discussion with the Flight Service Specialist about how screwed up the lower 48 FAA is.
We couldn't stay forever and headed back for a night in Anchorage before we flew home to PDX. Lake Hood and the Alaska Aviation Museum were amazing, pretty much plane porn to me. Dinner at the Mooses Tooth wasn't bad either. We actually saw more moose in Anchorage then the whole rest of our trip. Can't wait to be back, but I suppose that is easy to say since we weren't here in the winter and it was sunny our entire trip.