On July 18, 2012, I was visiting my son Aaron in Wasilla and it was a beautiful, sunny day so he took me flying up the Knik River as far as the glacier. I’ve been up there before in small planes and even a small, bubble-fronted helicopter and it is always a spectacular flight with incredible views. Aaron was flying a Cessna 182 out of the Palmer airport.
We headed straight up the valley toward the glacier. There are usually moose to see and many ATV trails winding back and forth across the valley floor. The side valleys with creeks tumbling down narrow gorges and mountainside vegetation was gorgeous! I love seeing it this time of year. What a beautiful world in which we live! Reaching the glacier is always breathtaking. The lake made from the melting ice is swimming with melting icebergs that have “calved” off the rugged glacier face. The massive river of ice is so jagged, with huge fissures and pinnacles, that traversing it on foot would be impossible. Looking up the glacier, I can see that it is actually two glaciers coming out of two different valleys and melding into one as it slowly pushes along. Aaron followed one valley a ways higher up, and then we turned around and headed back down the Knik River toward Palmer.
Coming out of the upper Knik valley back to Palmer:
A Second Flight Up the Knik Valley.
On the same day as my flight with Aaron, I was fortunate to get to fly along with my friend Bruce, who works at the Palmer airport, as he took another person up to see the glacier…giving me two gorgeous flights in one day up the Knik Valley. We even flew up the Metal River Valley several miles too – a river that enters the Knik River near the glacier on the north side. Bruce loves to fly low, so we got some really good close-ups of the terrain. I like to call it “counting the butterflies.”
Bruce’s little Piper Pacer.
The main reason I was along on this flight was because Bruce was to drop me off at the Birchwood runway before returning to the Palmer Airport. There I was picked up and returned to the family I was staying with in Eagle River. See pictures below of that.
Following the Knik River toward
Cook Inlet. Palmer and Wasilla off to our right.
Teena and Bruce at Birchwood Airport
What a wonderful day!