My tent cabin on the Kvechak River

The Bush Life

The Bush Life
My old buddy "KAYAK"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sunday ride

Last weekend, my friend Randy asked me to fly out to his cabin and bring his sons snowmachine back to town. Not a problem. So, I met him at his house about 9:30 am and we loaded up and took off.

Here's Randy readying the plane

He is wiping some frost off the wing
Off we go
Photos on the way, Mt. Susitna, also known as "Sleeping Lady"

Yentna River
Flying Indian Creek where Randy's cabin is

                                             Arriving at his cabin

                                                   Randy's cabin
                                    Some logs he will use for firewood

                                Here I am on Indian Creek, ready to leave.
                               Here I am on the Yentna River

I got about 5 miles down the river and the snowmachine overheated. This is a liquid cooled machine and they tend to overheat when the weather is very warm.

With luck my cellphone worked on the river, I called Randy and he came out with some coolant.

Ok, we got that problem taken care of, Randy decided to ride a ways with me just in case. Well, there was a problem. A big one, we were following the trail markers, wooden sticks with red tips stuck in the snow. We were traveling at a good clip. As we approached 20 mile slough, there was a 3 foot drop and before I could stop, I went over and broke through the ice nose first.

As I tried to get off the machine I was up to my knees in water and my boots got filled up. As I tried to get out, the ice shelf kept breaking and I got wetter. I finally got out and was soaking wet. I to my boots off and emptied theme and wrung my socks and pants out. Randy drove 10 miles back to his cabin to get a shovel and rope to pull the snowmachine out. Sorry no more pictures but, I just wasn't in the mood to take pictures.

We got the machine out and Randy decided I should go back and go the next day. I decided not to. So, I continued on and arrived at Deshka Landing a couple of hours later. Once I got to Rawleigh Creek, I had to slow down to about 5 miles per hour because the bumps were so bad. When I finally got home, I built a hot fire in the stove, made fresh coffee and slept like a baby.

These things happen and you takes chances traveling the waterways this time of the year. Was I happy when it happened? Nope. I got over it real soon. Will I keep riding the rivers? Yep. It's just another story to add to the others. Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos and story.


M. Silvius said...

Looks like a fun adventure. The Piper PA-12 is a neat plane with the extra wide seat in the back. You guys up in Alaska have more of them than the lower 48 combined. They get big money for the few of them left down here. The sled ride looks a bit more dicey. Would not care to go in the water like that. You were lucky .... We always loose two or three here in Maine every season. Usually it happens at night on the way back from a booze run, coming across a lake full-tilt-boogey... when they don't find him in bed next day they go looking for him and find the track leading up to a big hole in a soft spot in the ice. Usually they recover the sled, some times if they are lucky they find the body come spring time. I'll take the plane over a sled any day.

John said...

Hi Mike, yeah, it's a great plane to use up here. They aren't all that cheap here as well. Many of the lodges keep them. Many people go missing up here as well and for the same reason. Then, you have guys who think they know what they are doing and find out, they don't. There was a guy not to far away on Big Lake riding a snowmachine, had a heart attack and was found slumped over on his machine. If you're going to have one, that's where to have it, die with dignity.

Evano said...

Looks like your friend has a nice place.
I almost went through a crack like that once too, scared the hell out of me!
Was in the middle of a deep lake at the time and same as you I could not stop in time. I ended up jumping over the crack though and was very lucky
Time for breakup soon?

John said...

Hello Evano, it sure does scare the hell out of you, lol. Actually, breakup is happening now.

Washkeeton said...

Glad you are ok, this time of the year those ice shelves can be bad. Glad you got out away from the cabin for a while as well. You need adventure occasionally to keep the heart happy and the blood pumping...


John said...

Hi Wash, I'm glad it wasn't much deeper. I'm always glad to get away from town. I will definitely be happy once the lake is clear of ice and the snow is gone so I can get to work.

Carol said...

Wow John! You really had an adventure didn't you! I love the photos. Just glad your ok and warmed up again. I am sure you and Randy will look back someday on this story and laugh. Great campfire story. I am sure you still had fun though. Again glad your ok!!

John said...

Thanks Carol, we actually sat and laughed about it after we got the snowmachine out and I was sitting in my longhorns dumping water out of my boots and wringing my socks out. LOL.

John said...

Longhorns is supposed to be longjohns

Rain said...

That is some adventure! I guess living in Alaska and living in the wild like that, you get used to the literal ups and downs! I loved the photos and thank you for sharing your story, though I'm happy you didn't get hurt!

John said...

Hi Rain, it's a whole different life up here especially, living remote and/or offgrid. Things happen, good and bad but, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Carol G said...

Yes I loved the story and the photos. Especially that you arrived safely home in the end with the snow machine :). I hope you aren't having any lasting health consequences to deal with now.

John said...

Hi Carol, Thanks. I'm fine feel fit as a fiddle, as they say. The stories will get better once breakup is over.

Art said...

As I read I thought 'overheated'...ho hum. The immersion makes for a good adventure. No one drowned, froze or broke anything. And of course Randy will owe you forever for that. LOL.

John said...

Hi Art, it sure was an adventure, of course, not my first time. Randy and I are great friends. He would do the same for me. Will be something to talk about around the fire drinking whiskey, lol.

Mary said...

I sure miss flying in small planes! Glad you didn't sink the snowmobile worse or that it wasnt super cold out.

John said...

Hi Mary, I really enjoy flying in small planes, there is no better way to see Alaska. I am glad it wasn't deep and cold as well.

Rumbarr said...

John, you getting slow with the updates hehe. Love ya brother.

John said...

Check my new post