Galena Fuel Stop
Galena Travel Blog› entry 8 of 38 › view all entries
An entire season at Colorado Creek could prove quite lucrative with its high-yield stream and ample time to pan it but we had another job to do further north. Besides our personal gear, Gray and I loaded the 500 to the hilt with three cargo nets and the long lines and nylon straps for slinging them, my toolbox, an electric pump for fueling from barrels, a spare parts container, and our shotguns. Engine oil and other lubricants, paper towels, and a wide assortment of loose items were tucked into every nook and cranny.
There seems to be no such thing as traveling light in Alaska, at least by helicopter.
A tailwind pushed us north across the Yukon Flats. Mile after mile of the wide valley showed naked spruce trees that had burned during the state-wide wildfires of 2002.
We landed in Galena, a fishing village on the Yukon River, to top off our main tank with jet-fuel and fill the torpedo-shaped external tank mounted on the belly - its 30 gallon capacity would extend our range by an extra hour of flight time should we encounter bad weather and have to deviate too far off our intended course. The torpedo tank eliminated the need for us to haul five or six plastic 5-gallon fuel jugs like we did last summer. You can never carry too much precious fuel in traversing Alaska.
Gray and I wanted to get to the AC Store (which are found in just about every remote Alaskan town) but it was two miles distant from the airport - too far to walk. There was no food or cold soft drinks at the airport.