Saturday, leave the boat day and travel day. Leaving the boat was sad. The crew was fantastic. They felt like a new set of friends I will never see again, and that will never think of us again. We had to kill a little time around Juneau again waiting for our flight. Then it was on to the airport for a quick flight to Anchorage. From there we had to get a charter flight into Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Kennecott/McCarthy Alaska to be more specific. I assumed the flight would be utilitarian, uneventful, a form of travel at best. It turned out to be a highlight of the trip so far. It was 2 hours in a tiny 3-person plane with
Bill McKinney, our pilot. He was so much fun. The views were marvelous, just stunning the entire way. Flying around and next to almost 20k feet peaks, over top of glaciers, lakes, rivers, animals, civilization, lack of civilization, everything imaginable. He kept maneuvering the plane so I could try to get better pictures. “Hey Bill, can you move that wing please?” No problem. He offered to let me drive for a bit, but someone in the back seat would not have enjoyed that very much. Turns out that Bill the pilot is an old deadhead. That makes perfect sense. We talked about the recent finale shows. The 2 hours flew by. Once we landed we were shuttled to the Kennicott Glacier Lodge where we spend 1 night and the next day. We arrived just after dinnertime. They eat a communal family style dinner with everyone at the lodge. Everyone was already seated and eating. They threw us into dinner, our heads were spinning. If felt like they were speaking a different language around us. We didn’t know how to act or what to do. We were in a different world with different customs. Wifey said it felt like we landed in Oz. that is a great analogy. This place could not be more in the middle of nowhere. We will kill the next day here exploring the glacier next door and touring an abandoned copper mine, which is supposed to be amazing. Then it is off to the backcountry adventure for the next 5 days. A few pictures HERE if you are interested.