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Thread: How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

  1. #1
    Senior Member randylervold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Yakima, WA

    Default How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

    Fellow Cub drivers,

    After spending Saturday and Sunday working through my to-do list around the house we finally arrived at Monday, the actual Labor Day holiday. Hmm, time to do something fun... how about going flying? With my work schedule filled with the business of building airplanes essentially 24/7 I actually don't get as much chance to just go fly for fun as many of you. Time to change that at least for a day.

    Enjoying the cool early morning while sipping my fresh hot coffee it occurred to me that I'd been meaning to check out a little airport at the top end of Lake Chelan called Stehekin for several years now. My brother also lives along the Columbia River along the way and there's a small crude dirt strip there that I've been into many times before. Heck, we ccould stop by for a visit and head up to Stehekin for a recon mission. Hmm, a visit with my brother who lives on the funkiest dirt strip I've ever seen (more later), followed by a recon mission to another dirt strip in the unknown north region of Lake Chelan, what better aircraft than a Carbon Cub? It's a beautiful sunny day with stable weather forecast, my to-do list is complete, and I just happened to know that our new company Carbon Cub SS demo #225, resplendent in it's new deluxe red/white paint job with Executive Glass panel, was sitting in the R&D hangar in flying condition. I proposed the plan to Karen once she joined me for coffee and we were on.


    Those of you from the NW might know that Stehekin sits 54 miles up at the north end of Lake Chelan and has no roads to it, only boat, barge, and seaplane service. Everything comes in by those methods including fuel for the local vehicles. A quick bit of online research revealed that there is a restaurant called "The Bakery" about two miles from the airport. I'd heard rumors about loaner bicycles at the airport, and there is some sort of a shuttle, who knows what the schedule is. Those of you that know me know that I am not too spontaneous, so to just fly up there not knowing how we'd get around or whether we'd find any place to eat isn't my usual style. But hey, it's a holiday, time to show a little adventure, how bad could it be? So I called my brother and told him we be stopping by and that I'd text him when about 15 minutes out as I usually do.

    Wenatchee and the Columbia River as we head north to my brother's place

    Cockpit crew en route

    My brother lives in a housing development on the shore of the Columbia River and it just happens to have a private dirt strip on it. Here's info if you're interested, but let me tell you this is one funky dirt strip. AirNav lists it as 1400' long but just try landing there. It has such a big dip in the east end, and is curved and slanted, that you'd better have your a-game on and be tailwheel current if you want to try it. You need to choose one half because the east end has a dip about 10' deep. Coming in from the east you either drag it in slow, land in the dip and get stopped before the middle or you'll get launched back in the air. If you land after the dip on the flat west section you only have maybe 400' to use and there are houses and trees at the end. My cajones are not that big. Come in from the west over the houses and trees and you'd better be slow or you'll runout into the dip and maybe get light again. PERFECT strip for a Carbon Cub, just pay attention to the off camber and don't let your tail move down the slant like it will want to.

    While we were en route I had the idea to do a "trip report" here in the forum like many of you do and just happened to have my camera with me. I'd never used the video function on my camera so I asked Karen to try to video the landing so I could show you all what a gem this little dirt strip is. Well, we couldn't master the technology with all the bouncing around and so on so you'll just have to take my word for it. I also meant to take a picture of the "dip" before we started our takeoff roll and just forgot or you'd see a picture about here and be saying to yourself "man, he isn't kidding".

    After a nice visit with my brother and his family we were getting hungry and anxious to check out Stehekin so we launched. A quick stop at Chelan airport for fuel before heading in the the wilderness made me feel prepared and we headed up the lake.

    Of course I am always paying attention to the aircraft and thought those of you without any Carbon Cub experience might like to see a typical cross country cruise, so theck this out...

    That's right, 115 MPH TAS on 6.1 gph with all four cylinders running LOP.

    After fueling at Lake Chelan (S10) we headed up the lake toward Stehekin. Wow, conditions just couldn't get any better...

    And the airplane was happy too...

    Lake Chelan is a LONG lake so you continue ambling up the lake for quite a while...

    Eventually you come to Stehekin, here's the main landing for boats/seaplanes/barges...

    to be continued...
    Randy Lervold

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Rowe, NM; St. George Island, FL; Montgomery, AL

    Default Re: How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

    Nice! More, more!!


  3. #3
    Senior Member Ben Redman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Faribault, MN

    Default Re: How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

    Outstanding use of the Holiday!!
    Ben Redman, GM
    RARE Aircraft Ltd

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Palm Beach, FL

    Default Re: How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

    Great report Randy Love it well written and captures the spirit of CC flying. ! Where's part 2? Best G

  5. #5
    Senior Member Pete D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Yakima, WA

    Default Re: How I spent my Labor Day 2012 - part 1

    Looking on the chart, another great place to eat is Waterville just south of Chelan. Last time I was there they had 2 courtesy bikes and a really nice pilot lounge if someone were to get weathered in there. Ride or walk into town, less than 2 miles and there is a small town diner right in the middle of downtown.
    Pete Dougherty
    R & D Shop Manager
    Cub Crafters Inc

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