Note from JD: Part 1 of this trip is here.
Friday dawned cool, cloudy, and wet. We launched as early as possible to start our exploring adventure but there just wasn’t enough cloud clearance to get very far.
When the clouds are sitting at mountain top level, it is pretty easy to fly up and down drainages but crossing them is pretty tough. We could not even get over to Cascade or McCall for food. However; Landmark (south of Johnson Creek) was accessible so we stopped there.
Landmark is a odd experience. From the air, it doesn’t look like much. Once you land, it is an entirely different place. It is BEAUTIFUL! There is a meandering stream with lots of marshy ground around it, tall grass, flowers, and, of course, trees. I would bet that most pilots see it from the air and pass on by. Land and take a look next time – it is worth it! The runway was in pretty good shape so no worries there.
After walking around at Landmark for an hour or so, we departed.
The weather was still poor so we returned to Johnson Creek. We almost felt defeated but remembering how sweet Landmark was perked up our attitudes!
While sitting on the ground pouting about our poor fortune, the weather suddenly opened up! It didn’t take us long to prep the planes and launch.
This time we headed north to Chamberlin Basin. Another beautiful backcountry airstrip at which there are no services of any kind. However; it is a very neat place.
A stream runs along the south side of the airstrip but with a couple hundred foot drop down to it. This makes for some fantastic views. I could imagine returning here and spending a few nights.
We then headed towards Moose Creek. This airstrip is quite a ways north so is a haul but well worth it. It is located at the confluence of Moose Creek and the Selway River. A breathtaking site. There are a couple of wooden bridges and some nice hiking trails. We hiked for about an hour exploring the area and the sites were well worth the effort.
We took off out of Moose Creek downhill and to the west. The departure is also breathtaking. I thought, for a moment, about where I would end up if I had an engine problem, the options are such that it is best to not even think about such things.
We overflew snow covered peaks and mountain lakes – both frozen and thawed on our way to McCall for fuel.
The SuperCub.org group hosting the fly-in puts on a nice dinner on Friday night – roasted chicken and fixings. I’ve forgotten who actually sponsored the foot – I apologize to you but thank your for dinner!! Dinner isn’t one of those things that generally gets a lot of attention from me. This one does.
It amazes me how far this airstrip is from anything (I’m told it is a five hour drive to McCall) and yet here is a host of people fixing a whole smash of food! For me!! Amazing.