Sunday, May 31, 2009
Leaving, On a float plane. .. .
Tomorrow, I'm off to the King Salmon River on the other side of the Alaska Peninsula with Jill L and Mark R to check out an archaeological site for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The site is a big 'Norton' village site (around 2000 years old). This year we plan on mapping and testing the site, and next year we will hopefully excavate a house or two. It ought to be exciting.
But first we got to get there. That's one long float plane flight. Basically, it's like flying to Anchorage in a de Havilland Beaver float plane. Not the fastest plane in the world but super reliable and it can land on and take off of the tiniest of ponds while carrying the heaviest of loads. We will be flying across Shelikof Strait and through the Becharof Lake pass to the other side of the Peninsula. We should be in the air for more than 2 hours.
The best thing about flying a float plane straight from Kodiak is that we do not have to go through Anchorage. We can fly directly to the site and then right back to Kodiak. We take the artifacts and samples that we find directly from the float plane dock to the Museum. No dealing with airport security, getting all our gear onto a commercial flight, or chartering a float plane from someone we do not know in King Salmon to get to the site. We get to fly with Rolan of Seahawk air. He flew us to Karluk Lake last week. He flew us all the way to Chirikof Island a few years ago. This flight will be the longest yet -but familiarity lends security. Nothing like flying with one of the best! Patrick