May June Newsletter

Don spent the month of May trying to get ahead of all the flying coming in June and July, MARC’s maximum flying months. Both previous schedulers have expounded the need for a person to be at MAR full time during the busy summer flying season so Don has decided to take himself off the flying schedule starting in May. He was just about there when son Join called about his motorcycle accident that had him in the hospital with a broken elbow, separated shoulder and five broken ribs. Don & Cat boarded and airplane and were in San Francisco for two weeks helping Jon & Jen as he recovered. Unfortunately when he got back he was two weeks behind the power curve and has still not been able to catch up.
Weather in May and June has been pretty good so far with a few days in the seventies during May.
And to top it off the mosquitoes seem to have forgotten to come to Alaska this year.

We were even able to get in a ball game (in the rain) with Arctic Barnabas Ministries, an organization that we fly for quite a bit. Their mission is to provide individual and group support for missionaries and pastors in the villages. I played catcher and was splashed with mud when an early pitch was fouled off into a puddle just behind home plate – I looked quite the sight. The kids played first (in the rain) after which we had a great Bar B Q under protection. After waiting as long as we could the adults played (in the rain). As the game went on the infield became more and more sloppy.

Click on picture to see more photos ..................................Ball Game Against Arctic Brnabas Ministries

Eventually we had almost to walk between the bases as we had little or no accelerate/decelerate capability. Everyone had fun though playing a game many of us had not engaged in for quite some time. Just like riding a bike though – it comes back.

Tom, the other guy who works in scheduling finally said enough is enough and forced me to take a flight. On Monday, 21 June Bob Widman and I took off into cloudless sky and flew to Anchorage where we picked up two teenagers bound for Mekoryuk for several weeks to work with the kids and a staff member for the Covenant Camp at Unalakleet. The weather was just beautiful all over Alaska and we enjoyed a great view of the Alaska Range on our way to Bethel where we picked up a camper and some gas.

Click on picture to see more photos ....................Flying for CYAK to Mekoryuk and Cov Camp at Unalakleet

On to Mekoryuk, that has bad weather 80% of the time but was sunny today, to drop two people and pick up five campers. There we picked up a Luke & Sarah Stewart, their two kids and four campers and flew them to Kobuk. They recently moved to Kobuk to pastor the church there. Sara is the daughter of Grant Funk, the Hooper Bay pastor. I went to their wedding at midnight on the beach at Hooper Bay three years ago. All the kids asked us if we could take them back to Unalakleet. It was heart-breaking to see those kids walking into the village with their heads down cast. Kobuk is 400 miles north of Soldotna and in an arid area of Alaska. There is a large area sand dunes that we saw and beautiful sand beaches on the inside of river bends (without tar balls). And it was hot, 75 degrees. There was a very interesting painting on the side of the machine shed at the airport. We were able to really enjoy the environment because there were no bugs. Because we had no passengers on the flight home to Soldotna we were able to climb up to 19,000 feet and get a great view of Mount McKinley pocking up through the low clouds. After travelling 1300 nautical miles (1500 statute miles) we arrived home about 6 PM with the sun still high in the sky. It sets about midnight. Everything had gone so smoothly that we arrived within 5 minutes of our scheduled time after an 11 hour day – not too shabby for a couple of olde duffers..