July 19, 2007
Everyone quickly packed up in the morning and brought everything down to the beach. Ian and Ron made a quick trip back to the marsh for more corings. Paul Claus flew in with the Otter for the first of three trips to Yakataga. It was quite amazing to see this plane fly in and out on a small grassy strip next to the river. However, Paul is well known as one of the top bush pilots in Alaska, and spends his time flying in and out of the Wrangell Mountains, landing on summits and glaciers. The helicopter flew back to Cordova with Peter and a load of rocks. I spent my final day loading the planes and cleaning the camp. On one walk down to the beach I spotted the camp bear in the clearing. I retreated to the cabin, and we grabbed a rifle. However, the bear evidently retreated back into the wooded area also.
I was the last one to leave the camp, flying out with Gayle Ranney in her fixed wing plane. Gayle also is a renowned pilot in Alaska, and runs a charter air service, Fishing and Flying, out of the Cordova airport. She also was just elected to the school board, and was quite interested in my experiences. I hope to share my experiences with the local science teachers - it is such a beautiful region!
One of the difficulties of flying this summer, and of flying out of small airports, is the chance of getting bumped from your flight. Luckily, Gayle and John of Fishing and Flying helped me get a ride and a place to stay in Cordova, and I was able to rebook a flight into Anchorage the next day.