Private Glacier Flights - July 19, 2000
Getting Ready at Lake Lucille

(Posted August 18, 2000, Herbert E. Lindberg)

On Day 6 (July 19) we bused through lush woodlands to the Matanuska River Valley, where we had lunch at a beautiful resort on Lake Lucille in Wasilla. Today was to be the most exhilarating day of the tour -- we were to fly in small, private float planes over mountains and glaciers just north of Prince William Sound. Below is a rough map of the area, showing Wasilla, Prince William Sound and the glaciers and mountains north of it, and the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet, which we flew over on our way back to land in Anchorage.

Map encompassing our float plane flights

We arrived at the lodge on Lake Lucille happy and hungry, and a bit concerned about the weather, which was overcast and dark. Mary ordered some monster lunch on a hot ceramic fry-shaped dish, as did Betty Emerich, as you can see below:

Lunch at the lodge on Lake Lucille

Peaking over Betty's head is Dolores Oliver, next to husband Jack. With their backs to us in the background are Virginia and Tom Klinger. After lunch we all wandered around the beautiful grounds of the lodge and gazed out over Lake Lucille. As you can see below, the sky was overcast so the pictures are dark. Still, it's apparent that it's a magnificent place, with boats and float planes pulling up like cars.

Luxurious docks and Lake Lucille under threatening skys

Soon sounds of small aircraft filled the air and we could see them swarming in like mosquitoes. In the picture below, two that had landed taxi toward the dock on which I'm standing while another (the speck in the upper right corner of the picture) circles in for a landing. The sky is still dark and cloudy, but it's not raining.

Float planes swarming in for our tour group

Then, like a miracle, the sun began to break through and the grass looked green to my camera as well as to my eyes. This let me take the picture below of the lodge and about half of our tour group anxiously awaiting the float plane flights.

Some of the tour group watching float planes from the lodge grounds

As our private float planes landed one after another (seven of them to accommodate our group) the weather continued to clear. By the time we were airborne the air was crystal clear, as you can see below in the landscape view shortly after takeoff.

Landscape shortly after takeoff

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