To Wasilla via McGrath

McGrath Travel Blog

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Light rain showers
  

Unfortunately, I only spent one night at the Aniak Air Guides Lodge. Two weeks of its fine accommodations would have made a nice end to the season after the four months of tent-camps up north. But another of our helicopters arrived and mine would return to Wasilla, me with it. Matt remained in Aniak while 'Doc' and I proceeded toward our home base.

 

Bad weather to the east of Aniak forced us to dog-leg north to McGrath for fuel. We detoured around the heavier rains but passed through lighter showers to clean the splattered bugs off of the windshield. With warmer temperatures in the central part of the state, we were back into insects.  

 

We stopped in McGrath just long enough for fuel then continued southeast.

Into the Alaska Range
We picked up a river near  Farewell Lake and followed it into the Alaska Range about eighty mile east of Mount McKinley. As we  slowly climbed to about four thousand feet, the ground never fell more than two or three hundred feet below us. With steep hills and mountains on either side, we followed rivers and streams along the same route that the Iditarod Sled Dog Race uses on the race from Anchorage to Nome. Two northbound airplanes high above us and a pair of Dall Sheep were the only signs of life that we saw. Even the sprawling tent-camp at Rainy Pass did not stir as we thrashed toward home in a winding, gradual descent.

We landed on a rocky sandbar in a deep gorge to pour in our jugs of precious fuel and a family of four bald eagles watched us for a few moments before they flew away. We found sunny skies south of the range and reached our home base in Wasilla by early evening.

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Light rain showers
Light rain showers
Into the Alaska Range
Into the Alaska Range
Turning final to McGrath
Turning final to McGrath
Wrecked airplane parts at McGrath
Wrecked airplane parts at McGrath
Threatening skies
Threatening skies
Fall colors above the tree-line
Fall colors above the tree-line
Tundra and glaciers
Tundra and glaciers
Coming down the south side of Rain…
Coming down the south side of Rai…
An old Army helicopter which crash…
An old Army helicopter which cras…
Gorge on the south side of the Ala…
Gorge on the south side of the Al…
Back into sunny skies
Back into sunny skies
Home base outside Wasilla
Home base outside Wasilla
McGrath
photo by: rotorhead85