Summer is off to slow start in Alaska with all the virus stuff shutting down travel, so a few local bush pilots, all of us fathers, went flying with our sons to the Alaska backcountry. We haphazardly got a few poles together to try our hand at fishing — all from the shores of a lake, and floats of a floatplane.
Wes Head, owner of Beluga Lake Air, was kind enough to invite us aboard his DeHavilland Beaver on floats. This classic airplane is still a major workhorse in Alaska, and during a typical summer, Wes would be flying often. However, with travel all but shut down, expect with rigorous testing, many bush pilots and commercial operators are finding themselves with a lite schedule.
This trip was an opportunity to make some silver lining out of the economic slow down. And, really, perhaps it teaches us what really matters in life. Perhaps we should all be slowing down a bit more and enjoying family and the special moments even more.
Jimmy would also join us. He’s been in Alaska flying for years and years. He typically flies a DeHavilland Otter on floats.
Wes flew out of Homer and went just across the bay to Leisure/China Poot Lake. We approached the lake after doing a pass for checking the wind, and Wes expertly flew the aircraft down through the trees and onto the water for a safe landing.
We beached, got the boys out, and got to work right away to try and catch a little fish. Only Bryce, the oldest, was the only one to catch some lake trout over the several hours we were there.
Usually something this cool and unique would call for a whole camera setup on the airplane, and a big production. There IS a time for that, but on this trip, I just wanted to enjoy the precious time with Apollo. He just loves airplanes, and I really hope he remembers this experience. Some of my first memories started to happen about that age.
After a fun time at the lake, we loaded back in the airplane and flew back to Homer where we landed on the lake. It was a really fun trip! I’m really glad that as fathers we got to take our sons on this special little trip.
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