Monday, July 18, 2005

Day 9 Summary

Day 9 of the Great Alaska Flying Ice Cream Adventure dawned early -- and with a pronounced "ugh." Weather was really, really crummy. I'm talking rain, clounds on top of the surrouning mountains, etc., etc., etc. The IFR Pilot and Dadster were pretty much set to hunker down in Whitehorse for an entire day. At least we had a decent room and -- best of all -- CLEAN LAUNDRY! I got a chance to catch up on some badly needed sleep and started reading one of the three paperbacks that I brought along.

As morning dragged on into early afternoon, things still weren't looking so hot. Judge for yourself:

Lunchtime dawned, and the IFR Pilot dragged Dad to the Whitehorse Airport restaurant for some grub, with the promise that "Everything looks better after lunch."

Truisms being what they are, the weather had, in fact, started to lift after lunch. We bolted around 2:00 p.m. local time, hoping to make it to Watson Lake. We knew there was cheap (i.e., free) lodging there, and it would chop a couple of hours off our itinerary.

As you know from the description of the route up, the route between Whitehorse and Watson Lake requires travelling through two passes. Here's what it looked like as we neared the first pass:

As you would expect, this one proved to be no challenge. The other pass, however, located at 3300 MSL proved another story. Clouds were lowering, and pushed the IFR Pilot down to about 4500 MSL, barely 1200 AGL. The IFR Pilot definately prefers flying higher, but you gotta do what you gotta do. So, for your pleasure, here's the pass from 4500 MSL with clouds all around:

Shortly after we finished all that nonsense, Watson Lake appeared on the horizon. For the sake of practice, the IFR Pilot flew (but didn't log) the ILS.

A mere 1.7 hours later, we were tied down and fully fueled in anticipation of Day 10.

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