Alaska 2007 travel blog

Float Planes on Chena Marina Lake

This Is the Plane We Will Take Fishing Tomorrow!

On the Way to Bettles--Only Bridge to Cross the Yukon River

Beautiful Views On the Way to Bettles

On Final Approach to Bettles, Alaska--No Roads Lead to Bettles!

Susan at The Bettles Lodge

Here is the Real Bettles Lodge

Entering the Brooks Range

At Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska--Weather Getting a Little Wet!

Looking North from Anaktuvuk Pass to the North Slope and Arctic Ocean

Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska as We Head to Fairbanks

The Brooks Range as We Depart Anaktuvuk Pass

Beautiful River Valley

Another Great View--Never to be Forgotten!

Mountains on Both Sides of the Plane and Above US!

Down on the Deck Looking for Moose!

Susan and Tim--Great Smiles After an Experience of a Lifetime!

How to describe this day?? We took the mail flight from Fairbanks to Bettles and Anaktuvuk Pass that is about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The day started with great weather in Fairbanks and I took some neat photos of the Chena Marina Float Plane lake with the planes. That afternoon, we went over to Warbelow's Air ventures for our flight on a Piper Navaho Chieftian twin engine aircraft.

We had a great bush pilot--Dan--who narrated the trip while he flew the plane. We flew to Bettles to get fuel for the flight into Anaktuvuk Pass. Neither town is connected by roads to anywhere! Everything must be brought in by airplane. In Bettles we had great cookies at the lodge. Bettles is south of the Brooks Range of mountains.

After our last meal (ha) at Bettles, we took off and flew thru the Brooks Range of to Anaktuvuk Pass that is on the north side of the mountains and is a natural pass for the caribou to use in their migration each year. North of the Anaktuvuk Pass is the North Slope and then the Artic Ocean. It is about 200 miles to the Artice Ocean and the oil fields.

In the Brooks Range we flew thru the Gates of the Arctic National Park. The park brochure says "There are no signs, facilities, roads,or trails in the Park. As a visitor, be well prepared and self sufficent. It may be several days or weeks before you encounter another person" What a place! Words don't come close to descibing the beauty and majesty of the mountains, streams, lakes and valleys. The flight in was up one valley as we were below the mountains due to the low clouds and some rain. At Anaktuvuk Pass we landed and a teenager who had gone to Fairbanks to get his braces tightened was met by his family. About 350 native Alaskans live in Anaktuvuk Pass because this is their traditional home and they hunt and live off the caribou.

On the flight out, we circled Anaktuvuk Pass and took another valley across the Brooks Range. We went down low to about 200 feet off the deck to spot animals along the way. We only saw one cow moose and calf along a creek. But it was great flying and a really beautiful trip. Enjoy all the photos that I took from the plane, at Bettles and at Anaktuvuk Pass. We we arrived back in Fairbanks, we were presented with our Certificates for going North of the Arctic Circle!

That evening, Susan and I went to the famous Pump House restaurant and had a really wonderful meal. Then back at the RV, I prepared for the fly-in pike fishing trip that was our adventure for Monday.

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