Tuesday, June 22, 2010

coulee country back country flight NE WA and N Idaho

Wow, what a fantastic time! A trip through the coulee country of eastern WA! John in his 180hp super cub and myself in my 100hp sport cub left TIW with a lower ceiling and headed for the cascades hoping to find a hole to cross over as we went up the valley before Snoqualime Pass the ceiling gradually rose and there is a notch at the summit that was open enough that we could sneak through and come out on the sunny clear eastern side of the state.
                             Mt Rainer


We dropped down over the Quilicene breaks of the Columbia River and flew a few feet above the river to Crescent Bar where we checked out the very upscale community! There is a point of land past the golf course that was ripe for landing on because it was there!

We gave the lodge we were staying at on park lake of the sun lakes chain a flyby to let them know to come pick us up at the Coulee City airport WA15. The airport has new owners that were very happy to accommodate us for a few days of tie downs. We bounced around the Banks Lake area that evening landing at Electric City 3W7 and filling up at Wilbur 2S8. Pushing four hours of flying today.

                                                            View from the Coulee Lodge

                 Coulee lodge and condos

                                                                         Coulee Country

The next morning we flew to Mansfield 8W3 where the town was having a celebration with a parade. The airport wasn't a half of a block from main street. We had breakfast and decided to stay for the parade, I think most of the town was in the parade! Everyone we talked to treated us like a neighbor that they knew for a long time! Thank God for small town America! It sure was refreshing!

Tim joined us there in his Carbon Cub X and the three of us, by request, did some fly by stuff for the town participating actively in the celebration! We headed north and landed at Brewster (Anderson) S97.

               Tim and his Carbon cub X
                                                                       7AK at Mansfield

    Smashing bugs over the Columbia River
From there in a loose formation we flew low and slow smashing bugs up the Columbia River landing occasionally in CRP fields and dikes having a ball! Jumped around the Grand Coulee Dam and flew Lake Roosevelt nearly to Canada passing two rivers and turning east at Kettle falls to land at Colville 63S to fuel, have lunch and take a break. Tim left us there a flew direct to YKM high and fast, in fact he landed at YKM about the same time we landed at Coulee City! We flew down the Colville valley crossing the Spokane River and dropping very low and slow for the flight from Wilbur to Coulee City. Nearly five hours of flying adventure!

                                                          7AK new Sensenich Prop

             Geo                                                                               John and his CC rebuilt 180hp Super cub

                          Two Rivers
The Next day John and I flew direct to Sullivan Lake 095 over flying Ione S23. When entering the pattern at Lake Sullivan three cubs were taking off and one was a Carbon Cub, another family member! Landing at Sullivan was like landing on a wide grassy freeway approaching from over the lake! It was a beautiful place with campers and very scenic!

Lake Roosevelt

                             Colville Valley                                                                        Ione

                             Sullivan Lake
We left there and headed over the range of Mountains to Northern Idaho with a touch & go at Priest Lake USFS S23 and landing at Cavanaugh Bay another beautiful grass strip coming in over Priest Lake. We had planned to have lunch there but the restaurant unfortunately is closed for the time being. Off to Sandpoint SZT where the other three cubs joined us in the pattern to land. The gas pump had five cubs lined up waiting for fuel and a 6th one came, another Carbon Cub X. We had a great chat with the cubbers, borrowed a car and had a late lunch in Sandpoint on a deck over looking Lake Pend Oreille.


                                                                                                              Sullivan Lake

Heading back we did a touch and go at Priest River 1S6 on the way. The afternoon brought turbulence and thermals, it was bumpy so we slowed down and enjoyed the view. After stopping at Wilbur to fuel we again flew so low and slow to Coulee City with my door down and window open I could brush my tires over the tops of the wheat for miles jumping many deer and a coyote! Another five hour adventure and was I pooped!                                         

                                                                            Priest Lake

The evening the wind blew hard enough to worry me over my tie downs but it was all fine. The next morning we took off and headed back to Tacoma direct crossing over Quincy, Crescent bar again , past Ellensburg straight to Stampede Pass where we ran into a cloud cover and had to descend into the valley to get over to the west side of the Cascades ultimately finding a canyon we could fly through under the clouds to cross over to Green River valley and down to the Enumclaw plateau having a lower ceiling,bring us back to the west side of the state! Sixteen hours of flying adventure!!

                             Cascade Mts                                                                Stampede Pass

Geo having too much fun!

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