Place Creek Airways

Flight 729

After several days delay due to thunderstorms, 29 July dawned with excellent weather. Neighbor Denny picked me up on the way to Gallatin Field, where we began a 2 hour flight describing a very strange figure-8 around the Bridger and Crazy Mountain Ranges. Denny had offered to do a flight for free, but I felt it was good form to pay for it somehow. When he offered a flight in the silent auction at the Bridger Canyon Fire Department (Denny is assistant fire chief) pancake breakfast, I made a high bid as a way to make it worth his while without the embarrassment of a direct offer of money.

Some parts of the flight went quite fast. Shortly after we passed the “M,” I was impressed by a long driveway leading up to a nice home on the side of the canyon; I was wondering who could have such a house between us and the M when Denny's voice came over the intercom: “there's your house.”

The late Summer has left a lot of green in this part of Montana; we would usually see a lot of brown grass at this time of year. Still, it is depressing to see many brown trees, either killed by the Pine Bark Beetle or weakened by the Spruce Budworm. In spite of the high temperatures at the airport (about 85°F), it got quite chilly as we approached 10,000 feet going over some of the passes. There were still many patches of snow; maybe the glaciers in the Crazies will last a few more years.

The photos taken from the air tend to be a bit blurry due to the vibration of the airplane.

(click on pictures to view larger version)

The Place Creek Airways logo. Between us, we own most of Place Creek.

Getting the 1929 WACO ATO ready.

Ready to take off. The passenger sits in the front seat.

We entered Bridger Canyon at its mouth next to the M. The M looks tall and narrow from the air.

We were soon over the Main House. The cars parked to the left are the Yoga class. The bright green strip below the house is the septic system drain field. The Carriage House is in the upper left quadrant.

Bridger Bowl looking west southwest. Saddle Peak is at the extreme left. The new lift will cross diagonally left to right through the center of the picture. The Alpine Lift is beyond the right edge of this picture.

Ross Peak looking west. Note the snow patch below Ross Pass, at about 7,000 feet.

Big Timber Canyon in the Crazies. Pauline and I camped and hiked up this canyon a week previous. Crazy Peak (left background) is 11,209 feet high.

Ross Peak looking east. The Crazies are on the horizon, about 40 miles away. Ross Pass is just off the lower wing.

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