This online document is a means of sharing the adventure of traveling on America's waterways with friends and family. Last Dance is continuing to take her crew to historical, natural, beautiful, and interesting places. Enjoy the ride.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Alaska - Flying Across the Continent

Flying was a grand event in our recent history.  Passengers dressed in their best, were treated with the utmost dignity, and fine food was served.  Most people do not find commercial air travel fun anymore, with body searches, long lines, and being herded into very tight seats like cattle.

The trip to Alaska for the native Floridians was very interesting, however.  Just the views from the planes provided great interest.  In the photo above, taken from the waiting area of the SeaTac airport near Seattle, a snow-covered mountain range was evident across the airport runways.  Alaska Air was the chosen transportation for the trip.  Interestingly, it was apparent that over half the flights in and out of SeaTac were Alaska Air flights.

Fortunately, clear skies allowed views of some beautiful lands and many peaks covered in snow.  In this shot, the 737 banks for the approach into Juneau.

Many towns in Southeastern Alaska are on islands or mainland areas that have no roads connecting them to highways.  Airplane or boat is the only means of travel to these towns.  Alaska Seaplanes began with float planes that landed on the water.  More towns now have paved airports, so more wheeled planes are now part of the fleet.  This Caravan provided transportation from Juneau to the mainland town of Gustavis, close to the park headquarters.

People are loaded in the front of the airplane, including the copilot seat - waste no space.

The only way to get stuff to places in SE Alaska is also boat or plane.  The back half of the plane was loaded with cargo.  The cargo desk for Alaska Seaplanes was as large and equally staffed at the passenger counter.  Go to the big city of Juneau to shop and you have to fly your groceries back home.

Back to the beauty of flying in Alaska.  A view from the Caravan across the Juneau airport gives a glimpse of the Mendenhall Glacier moving down the mountain valley.  More bold vistas at the airport.  The airport has both paved runways and a water runway with docks along both sides.  Travel by float plane is still the only method of access to many communities.

Yes, flying can still be enjoyable.