Flying to Alaska in a De Havilland Beaver PART 1

July 21, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Steve & Nadine flew in on May 26, 2018. They landed at our place and spent the night. We loaded up and left the next morning for ALASKA!!!

Our first stop was Paine Field where we met up with their friend, Paul. He had won a ride in this Turbine Beaver on Amphibs and had invited them to join him. Eric, Nadine and I took the 3 extra seats while Steve planned our route and checked weather. It was my first time flying on floats and it was pretty cool. 

The views of Seattle were gorgeous. I LOVE this city!

We landed on several different lakes around the city.


Needless to say we were all smiles when we got back. Here's a picture of me with the first 2 pilots to ever fly me in Beavers. #1 was in a radial on wheels and # 2 was in a turbine Beaver on amphibs. Both in 1 day was pretty cool!


We left Paine field and headed across the border. We cleared customs in Campbell River.

From there we flew to Denny Island, BC. We decided to call it a night. The weather was pretty bad the next day so we decided to stay put. Nadine and I enjoyed the lodge and she did some laundry while the guys got the hair brained idea to go bush whack their way to find a wrecked PBY Catalina. It was NOT a trek for the faint of heart. Even the locals said they'd never make it. We both knew they wouldn't quit until they'd succeeded so when they returned with proof in the form of parts they'd scavenged off the wreckage, we weren't surprised at all! 

This is inside the lodge at Shear Water. I curled up in that recliner for the entire day and it was so cozy and relaxing!

The next morning we woke to clear skies and packed up our gear. 

So while we were cooped up at the lodge the day before we had met other travelers passing through. There was a group of guys on jet skis going from Edmonds, WA to Prince Rupert, B.C. We had hung out a bit and then discovered that one of them GOES TO MEETING! We know a bunch of the same people. Here we are on a tiny little island in the middle of nowhere, Canada and we meet one of the friends. It was so crazy. Anyway, we chatted over breakfast before they left on their jet skis and we left in the Beav. What a small world!

Some pics of the jet ski crew getting ready for their day of riding. 

The Shearwater Lodge. 

All packed up and ready to hit the skies.

Denny Island, B.C. Shearwater from the sky. Until next time...


We landed at Bella Bella for fuel. Nadine and I were happy girls to have beautiful skies and 2 great pilots up front.

Bever Fever. It's real folks!

Bella Bella harbor

Bella Bella airport

We noticed the camera had some stuff on it so Nadine wanted to clean it. Beavers are tall so Eric kindly gave her a boost. Good thing she's so small.

In the FBO we found a cute cat named Toast and coffee!

The sky was so blue and the spinner so clean that I had to do a few photos while I waited on the guys.

We took off and it wasn't long until we found rainbows. We saw several that day but this one was the most vibrant.

Depending on where the sun hits the water makes it seem Caribbean blue!

Our float ropes danced all the way there. We also saw lots of waterfalls along the way.

These 3 boats made a cool pattern with their wakes.

We spotted a lighthouse.

As you go along you can't take your eyes off the ground. It's so interesting the things your see. Not sure why there was this specific swirl and blow hole but it was interesting. 

We landed in Ketichikan for fuel and to check weather. They let us up in the tower and we got to see how they track planes the old school way. The cruise ships were in port. LOTS of them. 

We asked the tower guys if there was a decent restaurant close by. They said "go to the hole in the wall, downstairs." Little did we know it is LITERALLY a hole in the wall to a restaurant that is past security. You call, order and they bring you your food through this little locked pass through hole. I've never seen anything like it. 

Meanwhile Steve had discovered the stickers near the ticket counter and had been sneaking them onto Nadine's jacket. He kept asking her if she was cold and she had no idea why. I blew the secret when I couldn't stop laughing! 


Modern day navigation.

The first bear we saw. He got up on his back legs, roared at us (I assume) and ran off.

Eric happily manning the controls for a bit. 

When I looked out the window and saw this I could have sworn I was in a Caribbean movie. It was incredibly beautiful and I was so surprised we were in ALASKA with this view.

Sea lions

Our first glacier we saw.

Another thing I learned was that glacier water is NOT CLEAN. In fact it's horribly dirty. You can see the runoff here trying to mix with the clean water. 

After a good day of flying we decided to head to the forest service cabins for the night. We found one on the Upper Alsek River and decided to stay there for the night. Within minutes of landing Nadine had found a huge Moose rack and hauled it back to camp!

Lupines were EVERYWHERE!!! They each have a drop of water in the middle of them. It was fun to get out my macro lens and try to capture how unique they are.

This is the Alsek River. It was beautiful and looked very cold!

We never did see darkness on our trip but I did stay up late enough to get a picture of the Beav with the moon.

Camp all packed up and our nice porta potty. Not bad for the middle of nowhere.

Inside the cabin there were 2 bunk beds, an oil stove and lots of supplies. We wrote in the guest book and continued on our way.


Eventually we made it to Yakutat. A friend of Steve's owns this MASSIVE hanger he bought off the state of Alaska for $45. Inside there is a DC-3! That was a surprise! We got fuel and were off again.

We did some beach flying.

Floating glaciers. There's an eagle chilling on the top of this one, literally.

We got to Cordova and ended up calling it a day because weather was settling in. Not worth pushing it. 

Cordova's harbor. All the fishing vessels were in port.

Steve thumbed us a ride to town and the nice lady offered to come back and get us and take us back to the plane. Over lunch we decided to stay put for the night and called her back. She had mentioned that she's always debated opening part of her home as a b&b. We asked if she'd like her first 4 paying customers. She said sure and came and picked us up! We also saw a family friend, Greg Olsen, who lives there. 

Deb wanted a picture sitting in the cockpit so of course we obliged!

The next morning Deb and her husband let us take their truck to town to get coffee and check weather. 

We had to stop along the side of the road and both guys were pretty happy to recycle their coffee on the side of the road. haha

Since we had to wait on weather we went to the harbor and walked the docks. This is one of Deb's family's boats. 

These 2 eagles were just hanging out on the top of this mast in the middle of the harbor. I was pretty awestruck but the local fisherman said it's annoying that they poop all over his boat. I hadn't thought of that.

Nadine's goal of the entire trip was to take pictures of me....sometimes even while I'm taking pictures! haha AND SOMETIMES she just needs a little Steve lovin'. 

As I was walking the dock I noticed how many boats in a row were blue. 

Nadine and I had been noticing these unique jackets and vests everyone was wearing. Copper River Fleece was started in Cordova and natives design some of their trim ribbon. Steve made the time for us to go there and get a 'souviner' to take home. It was MUCH appreciated! You choose what you want and the ribbon you want and they sew it on right then and there. We both LOVE our new jackets!

We decided we better model our newest prized possessions when we got back to the plane. 

Nothing makes Steve quite as happy as a decaf mocha in the morning. The brownie points he'd just earned probably didn't hurt, either.

The runway to leave is on the opposite side of the road as where you tie down. Looking both ways for vehicle traffic was a new one for me. 

The home where we were welcomed the night before. Had to grab a couple aerials on the way by!

Cordova, AK

This man sure loves his co-pilot.

The great thing is that it's mutual!

An unsuspecting fishing boat that got bombed by marshmallows. Not sure if we hit the boat or not but it sure was fun trying!

Waterfalls for days!

Flying towards Anchorage, AK I looked out and saw ski jumps. They were MASSIVE!

We landed at a little airport to run and grab a few groceries. Again, we got to cross the road to get there. 

A blurry selfie. Well, it's better than nothing!

Our first look at the Lodge on Lake Shulin! 



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