May marks the beginning of a few weeks of aviation fun in Alaska. First we visit the aviation gathering hosted by the Airmens Association, then a few days later we head out to Ultima Thule Lodge in the Wrangells for the Geocache. After that its on to Valdez for the Valdez Fly In. If this doesn’t quite quench your thirst for aviation fun, the next weekend is the Talkeetna fly in, which we haven’t made it to yet, but our friends say its a blast.
This year will definitely be different with a baby added to the mix, but I’m excited to be heading out on another adventure and mentally prepared for whatever it might throw at us. Here we go!
Load her up!
The beginning of our adventure was greeted with blue skies and sunny weather!
I think she is starting to reach for the stick. We better get ready to add her to the insurance!
I have to say flying with a baby is easier than driving with a baby. No car seat needed, I can feed her on the go and the vibration from the airplane puts her right to sleep.
We split up the trip to the lodge by spending the night at our friends in Gakona. They recently opened a cute little shop called Blooms on the Bluff with perennial flowers and some awesome Alaskan souvenirs. Make sure you stop in and check it out if your in the area!
Atlee and our Gakona friends who are also Geocache kids.
The next day we headed for the lodge and enjoyed the afternoon visiting and catching up with our Ultima Thule family.
After breakfast the next morning we all gathered to go over the rules of the game, receive our starting sectors, and get our eggs.
This year most the rules were the same as last year (which you can learn about in last years blog), but there was a new twist that added a lot of fun. Instead of a 25 mile radius around the lodge, the playing field was stretched to 30 miles, which opened up some interesting new areas to explore.
One of the rules of the game is that once you leave the lodge you can’t return till you are done hiding all your eggs. After packing the plane with the few things we needed and a little extra gas we headed out.
We started out not to far from the lodge on a big gravel bar. Here it is…Atlee’s first geocache egg
Woodsen demonstrates our handy dandy baby wind sock.
After putting out our first egg we flew away from the lodge to check out the new area added to our starting sector this year. It included the beautiful Granite valley complete with glacier!
Next up was the glacier. Wouldn’t it be fun to put an egg on it?
Woodsen found a spot that where he was able to land and we laid another egg. 🙂
After hiding all our eggs we headed back to the lodge for dinner and to exchange all the GPS coordinates to our eggs. 12 teams this year all hiding 6 eggs makes for 72 eggs! We put Atlee to bed cracked the window and snuck out to the hot tub behind the house to wash off all the dust from a windy day on the Chitina river.
Geocache day 2
Bright eyed bushy tailed and ready for adventure… well at least Woodsen and I were.
One of our first eggs of the day was hidden in this cool cairn. A golden egg too, so 5 points instead of 2 points.
Next stop was up the Granite valley at one of Chris Larson eggs. It was a beautiful spot!
Heading out I had a good idea where we might find the egg without looking at the GPS. My guess, at the top of the rock pile.
sure enough the GPS lead us towards it.
At the top we found his egg called “pinnacle”.
Heading back down towards the plane.
Another favorite was Chris’s 3rd egg, up on the glacier near where we had put our egg.
I saw the bright blue lake and new this would be a beautiful spot for an egg!
We bundled up and walked a bit to find it.
I love the rich colors of Alaska!
Another favorite spot from the day was Brian McMahans. We landed and walked towards the waterfall only to find the egg perched in the middle of the waterfall and unreachable from where we landed.
Woodsen, not easily discouraged, decided to land on the other side and try to get it.
From the other side we could see where they might have been able to walk across the waterfall…but I was a bit skeptical. “uh what was the emergency frequency to call for help if you fall in?”
Thankfully he stayed dry and we scored the golden egg!
We knew going into the Geocache this year that we wouldn’t be very competitive with a baby; nonetheless, we managed to find 27 eggs and come in 4th out of 12 teams. We were excited, but most of all we were happy we had a safe and fun event and got to explore new places.
Check out last years geocache! Egg hunt in the Wrangells