Chuck, our pilot from Regal Air Service arrived this afternoon with more horse feed, groceries and mail. He had no problem landing on Puntilla Lake even though the warm weather over the last week has made it slushy and soft.
First thing he always asks me
“Still like it here?” (like he is expecting me to grab my stuff and jump into the plane back to Anchorage at first opportunity)
“Oh yes” I always tell him, “its great”
“Oh good” he says “this was about the time last year when the last caretakers quit”
I laugh but he is not kidding
Chuck flies a “beaver” which is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft. The Beaver was designed for flight in rugged and remote areas of the world and is often referred to as a bush plane. It can be outfitted with floats, wheels or skis so you can take off or land just about anywhere. Its short take off and landing capabilities make it ideal for areas normally only accessible by boat or on foot.
Usually Chuck just has two seats in it, one for himself and one for a passenger. The rest of the plane is used to haul cargo. For us that is fuel, horse feed, groceries, oil or other supplies as we need them. Anything needed here at Rainy Pass Lodge has to be flown in, that includes everything from building supplies, sheets, and laundry detergent to snowmobiles and even the horses. We are lucky to have two great pilots who take good care of us here, if it were not for them, it would be a long hungry winter for us and the horses.