The truth is, I didn’t know a whole lot about Alaska before we started researching it. I could name about 5 towns in the state and I knew it was cold. Other than that-nothing. If there’s one thing I now know, it’s that the state is jam-packed with towns. Teeny, tiny, probably-never-heard-of-it towns/villages.
And so, because of this, one of my very least favorite questions I got asked before heading out was, “Where’s Pilot Point?” At first I responded with, “It’s on the peninsula.” But there are several peninsulas in Alaska. So I went with, “It’s on the Aleutian Chain.” Much more exact, but even that would get replies like, “Oh, so it’s by Juneau.”
Pilot Point isn’t really next to anything. The closest village is King Salmon, which is 79 air miles away.
It’s pretty wild, but the only way to get to PIP is by boat or by plane. Anywhere in Alaska that is not connected to North America’s road system is considered Bush, and the majority of the state fits into that category.
So getting to PIP was quite an adventure in and of itself!
Our first flight was from Salt Lake to Anchorage, with a layover in Seattle. The picture above was in Seattle. As we flew in, we could see all the different airlines and their logos. Planes bound for Hawaii had an outline of a woman wearing a lei…it was much more appealing than the chilly looking Eskimo. But what can you do? 😉
We spent a few days in Anchorage, and I’ll post about that later.
On Sunday, we completed our two remaining flights-first to King Salmon and then to Pilot Point!
One thing that surprised me was the lax security flying out of Pen Air. I mean, after seeing our plane, it totally made sense, but we didn’t go through metal detectors, and we never had to take our shoes off. And for declaring a firearm, Ben just pointed to one of our totes and said, “That one has a .44.” To which the lady at the counter said, “Okay.”
This plane could probably fit about 30 people and our flight only had like 5, so we swapped seats so I could look out the window. For the record, Pen Air was totally awesome.
When we walked up to the plane I was like, “Oh my gosh! Look at this tiny plane! And we totally get to walk right on to it!” Like celebrity style, right? Little did I know, that this was nothing compared to our next plane ride…
Above is the King Salmon Airport. Pretty huge, I know.
And below…is the plane that took us on the last leg of our journey!
Yep, we had to climb right on the wing to get in!
So, this plane was verrrrrrry small. It could fit 5 people-which we did-but it was smaller than any car I’ve ever been in! And it smelled oddly of the crappiest of vehicles I’ve ever driven (which I’ve driven a fair few). I was pretty nervous about the smell, but the plane was awesome! It got us all the way to PIP safely! And I got to sit in the co-pilot seat!
It was pretty sweet. And the view was awesome! We were flying just as the sun was coming up.
Here’s another shot of our plane. And the blue building in the background Pilot Point’s Airport.
And we made it!
Traveling can be a little bit exhausting, but it was such a blast to be coming out here with my good husband. And the bush plane ride was so awesome. I mean, for people out here it’s totally normal…but I felt like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Below is what we toted from airport to airport.
And yes, even Jaeger dog made it to PIP without any major issues! Although I’m sure he is glad to be off airplanes for at least a little while.