andrew burke





Flying to Flaxman Island - Part 7

Posted on: 2010-12-28

This is part 6 of a series of blog posts describing my trip from Fairbanks Alaska to my great-grandfather's research cabin on Flaxman Island.

The whole set can be found here - check out map, where I've managed to figure out where most of the pictures were taken. Don't forget to use the arrows near the bottom of the map page to page through the picture sets.

We passed through the last of the Brooks Range and stopped off again in Arctic Village to refuel - and had another great sharp-angled landing.

Crossing back over the Yukon Flats we saw another herd of caribou, and Kirk even flew lower so we could get a closer look.

Caribou on Tundra

The sun was out at this point and the neon yellow of the ground cover was even more evident. All I could think of all along this part was "great desktop image!"

Lake in Yukon Flats

Green Landscape

As we flew through patches of rain, I even saw a double rainbow. I wanted to shout out "Double Rainbow All The Way!" but I figured nobody else in the plane would have understood what I was talking about.

Double Rainbow!

We passed by a forest fire. Supposedly out here they don't usually bother trying to put them out if they're not endangering anybody's property - they're just part of the natural process.

Forest Fire in Alaska

We even saw a solitary caribou (it might have been a moose - it's hard to tell) in one of the lakes.

Bathing Caribou

We eventually returned to the Fairbanks area. Just north of town we passed over the Alaska pipeline - with a good view of how it crosses the rivers, by going under them, with lots of space to spare, reducing the risk of getting oil in the rivers.

Pipeline going under river near Fairbanks Alaska

Soon we saw roads and buildings, and then the Fairbanks airport in the distance - and then we were on the ground. In the same amount of time as a regular business day, I had seen a lifetime worth of spectacular scenery and stood on the same island as my great-grandfather had a century ago.

I had one last treat, though: just over from our Cessna's parking spot was a classic vintage T-28 Trojan.

T-28 Trojan at Fairbanks Airport

We went back to the hotel and I went straight to bed. What a day this had been, a spectacular finish to a month of extraordinary sights.

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