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Glacier National Park by Trikes

By XC Triker
  • 29 of 60
Glacier National Park by Trikes


  • XC Triker

    Log, back country day 4:  Flew Glacier National park c Tom, George and Henry!!!  Beautiful flight.  Got up & airborne before dawn (~ 6am), watched sunrise over the mission range (East of Polson) as we flew up Flathead Lake.  Then up to Kalispell where we met Todd Ware (pilot from Ferndale 53U).  Topped off fuel, then took off for Glacier National park.  Had some issues-- more later.   Around Glacier International class D- but the tower not even open yet.  Along Lake McDonald with no landing areas, up into Glacier searching for the Highway to the Sun.  Climbed over 10,000 feet into the RUGGED mountains, with glacial lakes and waterfalls coming out of the mountains.  Unfortunately about 15 minutes into the heart of Glacier, Tom's warning light flickered on & off again- he headed back, staying at 10K in case, but even then, no landing within glide along Lake McDonald.  We kept in contact w Tom who's fuel pressure was up again and he was doing well while we stayed longer in Glacier--  Majestic, impressive and intimidating!  However there were clouds hanging between the peaks and although that meant we couldn't see Logan Pass, the quiet clouds showed it would be probably be smooth.  Smooth it was, and cold down to 36° F- the thin gloves for the 90° temps back at the airport were not enough, hands aching but I didn't care as I stuck my hand out in the icy breeze to record photos (total today, I took 288 photos!!! & I'm not a photographer, it was that awesome everywhere you looked!).  We crossed both sides of the peaks East and West and stayed for a long while, finally cruise descending at 90mph back across lake McDonald.  George and I stopped to do a t/g at Ryan- a narrow, somewhat twisty and steep grass strip at 3660' MSL (higher for Density altitude), then we decided to visit Glacier Int's class D.  Controller was stiff and unsure of us, but we came in and were cleared to land.  Ooops, MD80 on SEVEN MILE final, you guys need to extend downwind and follow him (What?!! We could be in and out in a flash-- now we have to go BEHIND an MD80!!)  Ok.  Cleared following the MD80.  On short base.  Oops, I need you to make an immediate left and enter the left downwind number two behind a Pilatus / Life Flight.  Damn!  This guy really thinks we're going to close the runway with wreckage- gotta get all his flights in first.  Ok.  Pilatus chats with us on tower Freq-  Hey you guys have transponders in those?  Yeah, Mode-S.  Cool!!  OK, avoid the wake turb, hurry and get off the runway Pilatus ... geez you going to taxi the entire Rwy length--  go to hover over the Rwy mode (bet the Tower didn't think we could go fast and slow (or slow and really slow), hope George can slow down behind me in his racer.  T/g done.  Off to Kalispell again to meet Tom & Henry.  Lunch and BSing, sharing pics.  It was great!
    Tom trouble shoots some more, then box climbs out of Kalispell to 10K for 30 min flight with options back to our base of Polson (staying at Tom's friend's house).  Henry follows Flathead Lake, George & I fly East along one beautiful winding branch of of the flathead river & eventually over Swan Lake and Swan River National Wildlife area.  Landing at Ferndale grass strip on the way.  We fly further south along that valley then up and over East back to the Flathead and figure why not click off one more airport-- so we fly down to Ronan 7S0 for T/g- windy / turb.  Then West across the plains to the lower Flathead, below Polson & below the dam, dreaming of how to make a living-- George wants to count cows for the ranchers (photo them in the fields then count them).  Or maybe count fish with special cameras.  Maybe we could do IR photos of crops looking for invisible disease patches.  Flew up lower Flathead river, past the neat dam, then did overhead break to land at Polson.  Great Day!!!

  • RizzyWizzy

    Wow, you guys are having a ball...very safe :)