Sunday, April 17, 2016

Biking at Eklutna Lake

Today was the first really warm spring day. We've had plenty of ridiculously nice days, but this is the first one that really felt like summer is around the corner. It hit 60 degrees in Eagle River and it's only the middle of April! There is no staying home on a day like this.

We took our mountain bikes up to Eklutna Lake and rode the full length of the lake. The water seems extraordinarily low and I'm not sure why. The lake is Anchorage's source of drinking water and there is also a hydro power plant, so I'm not sure how much of the lake level fluctuation is due to human control and how much is natural. 

It wasn't quite as warm up at the lake as it was at our house, but it will still lovely. The trees are already leafing out here, even more so up at the lake than in Eagle River. I know I haven't lived here long, but this seems a little early for green-up and given our record high temperatures in 2016 so far, I'm not surprised.  But I'm not complaining on a day like this. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

C-130 Tour

Hunter and Ryan next to a Coast Guard C-130

Last week Ryan and I had the chance to tour a Coast Guard C-130. Our friend Hunter is a pilot stationed in Kodiak and hew flew to JBER in Anchorage for the day and had free time to meet up with us. I vaguely recall going in some of the Coast Guard hangars on field trips as a kid, but I think we looked at helicopters. I don't remember ever getting to see a C-130 up close, so this was exciting for both of us. 

The C-130s at the base in Kodiak are 1980s models. Going into the cock pit feels like a blast from the past with some new GPS equipment mixed in. They are really amazing planes - they can carry so much cargo and fly with the back door open. The one we toured was configured with passenger seats for the day. I'm glad we got to see this older model. Hunter is soon moving to a different base where he will learn to fly a newer model of C-130. I'm sure eventually these 1980s planes will be phased out.

Hunter and Ryan in the cockpit

Passenger seats

Ryan really enjoyed seeing this exceptional piece of modern technology (a pencil sharpener) in the cock pit