winter where are you?

Two days of 45° F has turned what little snow we had, into a couple inches of meltwater. We still have bout 19 inches of ice on the lake, so no fear of falling thru.

Crazy warm spell

Crazy warm spell

Today is February 23, 2015. Which is towards the end of our winter, with spring ski flying usually starting in March and extending thru beginning of May.

This winter has been the warmest and least snowiest I’ve experienced in Southcentral Alaska. Normally 16° F is the historical average February temperature here in Eagle River. It’ll be interesting to read our snow and temperature averages for this winter.

I’m expecting (well, praying for) a super dump of snow to extend winter ski flying another month or two.

Thinking of repurposing my snow skis into water skis.

Thinking of repurposing my snow skis into water skis.

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Dragon Fruit

Our family enjoys trying new foods. Especially the Asian variety. So when Sagaya’s had Dragon Fruit in stock, I figgered the girls would like to try some. And they liked it. Made for a delicious breakfast along with mango, banana and star fruit.

The taste is similar to Kiwi Fruit. Texture’s like a Kiwi also. We’ll eat Dragon Fruit again when available.

The funky looking, but edible Dragon Fruit

The funky looking, but edible Dragon Fruit

Scoop the fruit out of the pink rind. The seeds are edible too.

Scoop the fruit out of the pink rind. The seeds are edible too.

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shadow skiing

We love new snow. Bout 5 inches of new powder fell Saturday. So we blew dust offa the cross country skis and skied around the lake. Sunshine, new powder, and 5°F makes for perfect skiing.

two folks and a dog

two folks and a dog

Even our lab enjoys new snow over the 3 inches of crusted,icy snow which has been on the ground for two months.  At least if you judge by the way she bounds across the lake, as opposed to gingerly picking her way old lady like.

And I do believe most of the old packed white stuff was hoar frost, not snow.

skinny skis

skinny skis

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playin hooky

Logbook: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2015. Another beautiful day in Southcentral Alaska to play hooky.

Eagle River 'burbs

Eagle River ‘burbs

Tide is out while crossing Knik Arm

Tide is out while crossing Knik Arm

Landing at WIllow for av-gas

Landing at WIllow for av-gas

Perfect conditions for flying low n slow: low temperature, no wind, sunshine.

Perfect conditions for flying low n slow: low temperature, no wind, sunshine.

Looking for critters tracks along the Big Su

Looking for critters tracks along the Big Su

Still lookin

Still lookin

Maybe another mile up the Susitna River will show critters or their tracks

Maybe another mile up the Susitna River will show critters or their tracks

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three positive checks on the three item Super Cub check list

Cub is plugged in and warmed up, check. Survival gear is packed in the cub, check. I’m sober, check.

But the fog……just…won’t…burn…off.

Foggy day, Jan 19, 2015

Foggy today, Jan 19, 2015

According to the almighty FAA WeatherCams, there’s sunny n clear weather surrounding Anchorage and Eagle River. Unfortunately, right here at Fire Lake, the fog is clinging tight.

I can see the fog stops a couple hunert feet up, and even if I was foolish enough to take off, returning home to land on the lake would be…, well, likely wouldn’t happen.

Luckily, I have many chores to work on. Sunny weather is forecast for tomorrow too.

Sunny n clear day, Feb 7, 2012

Compare to sunny n clear, Feb 7, 2012

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mid winter flight

I hear it’s healthy to get out and relax occasionally. Flying low and slow while seeing the sights can relax a guy, so…

Coffee while heading to Willow

Coffee while heading to Willow

I flew to the Big Su for some slow flight practice along the river. See how many moose and snowmobilers are about. Then over to Willow for some landing practice.

The slow flying was fun. Nice n calm over the river. Lots of open water, so not many snowmobilers out on the river. Or I was there at the wrong time. Ditto moose, only saw a handful – beaucoup tracks on the river tho.

On my first landing at Willow, I taxied off the runway to check fuel levels. The tanks were quarter full, so decided to make a few more take off and landings, then head home. While taxing for a take off on 31, I heard a guy two miles out of Willow, saying he was going to land on 31. So I waited, then heard him call an engine out and he was landing on 13. I was facing the opposite way, and immediately he called down and clear of the strip. So I turned the cub around and taxied over his way to help if needed. There were other planes flying nearby calling and asking if he was OK or needed help. I radioed them that he was down and OK. Then called him on the radio letting him know I was taxing over to help push him further off the strip. He had pulled off enough so the strip wasn’t blocked, but still nice to move out of the way more. I don’t like judging or second guessing folks, so when he started the nervous and/or in shock routine of “the gauges showed enough gas” and “I checked for water” and “could’ve been ice in the fuel lines”, I let him talk and just checked to see if he needed anything. He was OK, just shook up a little. After introductions and pushing his plane out of the way, I told him I saw someone down at Eddie’s a few minutes earlier if he wanted mechanical help. I took off for home without additional landing practice, as that was enough excitement for today.

Slow flyin up the Big Su

Slow flyin up the Big Su

Slowing down to get below the tree top height. River elevation is 75 feet above mean sea level here, and I’m at 182’ MSL.

Slowing down to get below the tree top height. River elevation is 75 feet above mean sea level here, and I’m at 182’ MSL.

Very little snowfall this winter

Very little snowfall this winter

About to cross Knik Arm on the return leg

About to cross Knik Arm on the return leg

Thin fog over Knik Arm at bout three o’clock in the afternoon

Thin fog over Knik Arm at bout three o’clock in the afternoon

On final for Fire Lake and home

On final for Fire Lake and home

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low sun angle in winter

Only during those winter days when there’s bout four hours between sun up and sun down, and the sun barely rises above the horizon, do you witness animals change from their normal appearance, to a form which best suites the situation.

From begging dog

From begging dog

To jumping frog

To jumping frog

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