Watch Vorticity here.
Says the wife of the guy who shot this great video "Vorticity." Not exactly flying weather but very cool to watch anyway. Thanks to Paul Hollowell for the tip!
Watch Vorticity here.
I so enjoy being in touch with all of you outside of tour time, as it helps bridge the gap until we see you again live. I am able to keep tabs on many of the Parkwest family via by personal email, Facebook and Flight Aware. I thought you might want to read what some of your pals are up to.
While Robin and Shane are enduring the first-hand aftermath of the Brexit vote in England, Piet and Nelly are getting used to retired life and a new home in Holland. Paul and Marilyn continue to astound us with their cross-country flying stamina. I mean, come on, Seattle to Venice in two days?!
Bob and Leslie are enduring a summer of aircraft maintenance, while Mark and Kathie compete in an epic sandcastle-building competition. (Their "kid" Ranger Kathie, by the way, is saving her pennies for another Parkwest tour this fall.) Richard and Kay are winging off to the California wine country--with appropriate, lowest-cost fuel stops--and Kris and Ernie are riding the rails on the Skunk Train.
Mike and Ginny are the social butterflies, getting together with Charles and Diane for a hospice fundraiser one evening, then later spending time with Ed and Laura for a weekend of fun and flowers.
The biggest newsmakers must be those folks at Alpine Airpark. Stan and Sharon along with Jack and Marion have appeared in various posts about Alpine. You can read up on them in AOPA's article here or Aviat's blog story.
Collin continues to build Pilatus time "Outside" while I work out the tour details for 2016 and beyond. In a couple weeks I'll go to Michigan for a weeklong visit where, among other things, I'll have some time to see Carl and Barbara.
So let's hear from the rest of you. Feel free to post your news in the Comments section of this blog post!
(Below are photos from the Borners. Glad to see Charles looking so good! Laura served as one of the judges for this flower show they attended.)
Just back from a road trip to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the country's largest. Even with a Fairbanks start, it's still a 9-hour haul to get to that crazy-beautiful spot on the planet.
For another take on visiting National Parks by road, read the recent New York Times article Ten Months, 45 National Parks, 11 Rules by Jeremy Cronon.
Tis the season of new life and regeneration and all that jazz, and Parkwest is no exception. Among other news:
Nothing to complain about here; life is good.
Parkwest pilot and pal Dan Kruse just sent this article to me about his high school chum, Jim Lanier. Coincidentally, Collin and I helped launch Jim and his team in last year's Iditarod. Read on for an honest look at the life, aches and pains of a competitive musher.
MUSHING INJURIES: A CASE STUDY::Mushing.com - The Online Magazine of Dog-Powered Sports
Much has been written about preventing and treating sled dog injuries. Less is written about injuries to mushers. This article is a slightly graphic, and perhaps somewhat jocular, look at the mushing injuries of a perennial Iditarod racer, Jim Lanier (pictured).
Jim is 66-years-old. He began mushing in 1977 and ran his first race of any kind, the Iditarod, in 1979. Since then Jim has run and completed ten more Iditarods, the Hope Race in Russia, and numerous other mid-distance races. Underlying all of Jim’s mushing accomplishments is the fact that in his early 20s, he was diagnosed and has been treated ever since for ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritic condition commonly know as “poker spine.”
Agony of De Feet
In the 1999 Iditarod Jim left the Rohn checkpoint after dark setting out on the 90 mile trek to Nikolai. Though Jim did not know it, the temperature had plunged to -40° F that night. “We crossed an open creek. It was almost knee deep,” recalls Lanier. “After wading through the creek, I was going to stop to change my boot liners, but my feet didn’t feel cold so I just kept going.”
The next morning, about ten hours later, Jim and his team arrived in Nikolai. He fed his dogs and went about his customary dog chores. Inside the checkpoint, Jim pulled off his boots to put on fresh socks. “Oh my God!” Jim exclaimed. His feet looked burnt, horribly blistered and red. The big toe on his right foot was in particularly bad shape. “As soon as I saw that foot, I knew that big toe was no longer a part of me,” recalls Jim. Despite his frostbitten feet, Jim pressed on and completed the Iditarod in just over 13 days. Continued...click READ MORE below.
I'm still unpacking and filing receipts from the Mexico trip (see photos here). The fall Desert Safari already has me back in the hot seat, signing contracts, confirming head counts, etc. Meanwhile, the Arctic Quest trip from January lingers on, as it's getting close to time to start monitoring "the tripod."
Every year, people in Alaska and beyond try to guess the exact date and time of the breakup of the Tanana River. One ticket/guess costs $2.50 and the pot is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The tiny village of Nenana places a tripod on the river which is connected electrically to a digital clock. When the ice breaks up, the tripod tips over, moves downstream, and yanks the cord thereby determining the official date and time.
Admittedly, this is one example of how Alaskans' creative minds survive the cold, dark winter months: inventing stuff like this! But there are two important things to note:
1) There was originally a practical reason to know when breakup would occur. Before the bridge was built over the raging Tanana, the railroad laid tracks over the ice during winter months. It became prudent to know just when they needed to stop driving trains over the ice.
2) Half the jackpot goes to local charity, the other gets split amongst the winning ticket holders.
Since Cat Herder made everyone get out snowshoeing on the Tanana River, she felt it was only fair to let them all participate in the opportunity to win big. We made a pact to pool our tickets, and the winnings, should any of us guess correctly. You can watch the status of the tripod by clicking on this link. Scroll down to see the webcam, updated every 30 seconds.
More photos and details to come, but we're safely back in the USA after a great trip. The weather was perfect for flying, whale watching and enjoying the Copper Canyon. The pilots behaved, and we had no intestinal bugs. Okay, there were some BITING bugs in El Fuerte, but other than that, no complaints!!
Our last night in Tucson included the tour movie set to great Latino music, and special guests Rick and Pam Kelty joined in on the fun.
An unexpected day of rain and cool temps did little to damper the spirit of our Parkwest travelers today. The food, drink and camaraderie of this Pilot Reunion (not to mention the exquisite accommodations) have elicited many promises of "I'll be back!" In fact, Mike wants to keep us here an extra night, or an extra month! It might just be Cat Herder and Collin at the finale dinner and slideshow on Friday in Tucson. Stay tuned...
Cat Herder (aka Marisa) has been guiding pilot tours in the American West for over a sixteen years. Keep tabs on your Parkwest pilot friends, National Park news and other tidbits here!