Last weekend I went camping with the college and career group from our church in Valdez (pronounced Val-Deez, I assume to disassociate the town with the failed search of Juan Valdez for the fabled fountain of youth). Valdez was having their annual bush-plane fly-in and since I happen to be friends with a bunch of planeless pilots, we thought it might be a neat thing to check out for our first camping trip o'the year. It is a little embarrassing in the Alaskan pilot subculture to drive to a fly-in, but we didn't let it dampen our spirits.
The fly-in consisted of a bunch of competitions for pilots and their planes. We watched the flour bombing, where you try to hit a little target with a bag of flour while flying past at one hundred feet. Some people were off by hundreds of feet, but one guy landed his six inches from the target.
They also had short landings and take-offs. The winner took off in 19 feet, which is shorter than the actual length of the plane!
We camped right on the runway, which wasn't exactly Nature's Bosom, but was authentic nonetheless. I wish I had taken more pictures. Here's a few that I managed to snap.
My roommate Melody and my friend Sarah enjoyed themselves despite the six-hour drive and the biting wind.
New friend Stephen making a funny face.
The drive to Valdez was six hours. Jannell and I paused for a picture.
The drive is also one of the prettiest in AK and less congested than heading south out of Anchorage.