It's not a backcountry trip without a visit to the fabulous Johnson Creek airstrip.
This year was special, as it was Gene and Cody Hargett's last year as caretakers. My first trip to Johnson Creek was in '96, which was also Gene and Cody's first year. I'm not sure what Johnson Creek will be like without them. They'll be sorely missed by the backcountry pilots in Idaho. In the future, they'll be spending their time running the Angel's Nook RV park in White Bird, ID. I hope to drop in there for a visit sometime.
This year our visit was on the 4th of July weekend. It addition to a visit to town for the Volunteer Fire Department's BBQ, we took flying side trips to Big Creek, McCall and the surrounding area.
Doug entertained the group with some impromptu stunt driving in the courtesy van. We were all very impressed with his mountain driving techniques.
John Galban's Flying Site
Johnson Creek '06
Turning final at the last bend in the canyon. As you can see, a go-around will require a right 45 degree turn to stay over
the bottom of the canyon. Been there, done that.
My plane sits in it's (un)usual parking spot on the west side of the runway. If the overnight temps drop below 32F,
which is not unusual, this will be the first spot to get sunlight and melt the frost in the morning.
Brad demonstrated the dangers of backcountry flying with inadequate tube and fabric designs. As I recall, this particular
example was Chinese and not well suited to the rigors of the backcountry. Brad recovered fully.
Following Doug's "Mountain Driving" demonstration, the van required some extensive mud removal in Yellow Pine. In the pic on the right, Doug is hosing off the INSIDE of he van.
After Doug found a flat tire on the RV-10, the rest of us demonstrated the backcountry plane jack. This form of lifting
up a plane is less efficient than the usual method, as this jack runs on large quantities of beer.