2003 Updates

We are finalizing our itinerary and the Calendar page will have the most current plans posted on it. We were able to get tickets for all of us to head south, we will fly to Georgia January 16th. The girls will stay in Georgia while I fly across the “lower 48” to Tacoma. They will fly commercially to meet me there and spend time with Lyndy’s folks while I fly back through Canada. Hopefully I will have enough time to get back before they return to Alaska. We are excited about having the airplane and can’t wait to start using it!
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks but incredible good ones.
We made it to Georgia without any major delays and problems. We spent the first few days in Savannah, GA with Adam’s folks and had the opportunity to share about the work in Alaska at their new church. Then it was on to Moultrie for Adam and grandparent time for the girls.
Adam and his Dad saw the airplane for the first time Monday, Jan. 20th. It was a wonderful time and it was definitely worth the wait. Adam stayed there at the factory all that week for familiarization training and getting to know all the folks at Maule. It was a lot of fun learning from the Maule family. What a great performing airplane and wow what a short takeoff roll!
After Adam’s stay in Moultrie he flew to Savannah to pick up the girls and it was off to Covington for the weekend. It was fun being able to show everyone one who stopped by the airport what God has blessed us with. On Monday Jan. 27th we all went to Orlando, FL with Paul Teasdale (Director of TMM) for a short over night visit. We made it from Gainesville, GA to Orlando in just over 2 1/2 hours, great tail wind. On the way back we stopped at the Maule factory so they could fix a bad radio and made it as far as Gainesville, GA before bad weather stopped us from getting to Andrews, NC. We borrowed Adam’s Sister’s car and drove the rest of the way. Adam then went back and picked up the airplane and returned once again to the Maule factory for radio work. It was good to spend another Wednesday night with the folks at Heritage Church in Moultrie!
Adam was delayed overnight due to weather in Cordele, GA Jan 30th and was fighting a bad head cold. He finally made it to TMM Friday afternoon (four days latter than planned) and had a flat tailwheel on landing in Andrews, NC. Not wanting to be delayed more than he already was Adam patched the tube Saturday but was still unable to make the departure to Texas due to weather, his cold and the Space Shuttle tragedy. However Lyndy and the girls had a fun week at TMM till Saturday morning February 1st when Sabrina fell down a few steps and hurt her right leg. We have since taken her to the doctor and found out that she broke her ankle in two places and will have a cast for three weeks. Pray that Lyndy will have plenty of help when she flies back to Washington and then to Alaska.
Sunday the 2nd we were able to attend Little Snowbird Church in Robbinsville, NC. That’s where we attended while going through the program at TMM. What a wonderful time and it was great to see all our friends there. Bonnie, Adam’s Sister meet us at the Andrews, NC airport and took Lyndy and the girls to Savannah to stay till they head to Washington in a couple of weeks. Adam then took off for Covington one last time to pick up all his winter gear that was waiting for him and on landing the tailwheel blew again and this time it was beyond repair, so once again delayed. Monday morning the 3rd he drove to Griffin and bought a new tire and tube and picked up Alan Pogue and was back in the air after lunch. Alan and Adam grew up together and he is coming along for the ride to Dallas. The two of them were only able to make it as far as Meridian, MS before weather once again delayed their plans to reach Texas.
Sorry for it taking so long to get the site updated. As you can tell it’s been a crazy couple of weeks and things are not quite going according to plan but with God’s help we will making it home soon. Through all of the delays and change of plans recently I (Adam) am continually reminded what James tells us in Chapter 4 verses 13-17. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the schedule and the timeline that we forget the real important things.
It’s been a few weeks since you’ve heard from us and a lot has happened. Adam and Tom are not in Alaska yet, weather has kept them in Kamloops BC for a few days. There should be a break soon and they hope to still make it to Alaska before Lyndy and the girls fly back to Anchorage Tuesday the 25th. Kamloops is not that bad of a town to be stuck in, a good city bus service, plenty of shops, malls and movie theaters.
Lets back up a few steps and bring you up to date with the progress of the trip.
Sabrina is doing fine with her cast and is running around like nothing is wrong. Lyndy had her hands full on the trip to Seattle but they made it without too many difficulties.
It was good to see LeTourneau University again and catch up with friends in the Longview area. A lot has changed with the campus but it all seems to be for the better.
Dallas and Fort Worth was fun, I enjoyed seeing folks I used to work with and folks we meet last summer from Wedgwood Baptist. Had a weather delay again and it was colder there than Nenana.
Wichita, KS was the next stop on the trip. I was having trouble with one of the radios and had everything set up to have a new one waiting for me but the timing was too tight, so we tried again for Denver. Had a good dinner with several friends in Kansas and picked up “Smiley” (a college buddy) he flew with me all the way to Seattle.
Next it was on the Eastern CO. Snow showers were blocking our arrival into Wray for a short time but we made it without any troubles. Had a great time at church Sunday and a good potluck that followed. Monday I had a chance to go up for an air to air photo shoot with another college friend. I’ll try to post a few pictures here when I get them.
In Denver we had strong winds that almost made it impossible to land and then taxi on the ground. (Gusting to 35 kts) The new radio made it and solved the problem. It was enjoyable catching up with friends in the area.
I was thankful that Kennon Aircraft Covers was on our route and that I was able to pick up the wing and engine covers along the way. They were very helpful and made sure that everything fit just right, they also took advantage of having a new Maule there to update their patterns. We spent the night in Billings, Mt with friends that I meet years ago on a trip to Ecuador.
From Billings we followed the Lewis and Clark trail over the mountains and flew past Mt. Saint Helen’s on our way to Astoria, OR. There we changed to engine oil and checked over the airplane before we hit Canada. When we started up to check for leaks and get ready to fly north along the coast I noticed an unusual noise and vibration in the engine. Come to find out the vacuum pump was about to fail. For those of you not familiar with airplane the vacuum pump drives the artificial horizon and the directional gyro (mechanical compass). After a couple of calls another was on the way to Tacoma.
We made it to Tacoma on Valentines Day, great timing to see the girls again. Smiley flew back to Wichita and Tom Richardson a fellow TMM’er flew to Seattle within a few hours of each other the 15th -16th. Folks from Lyndy’s home church braved the cold wind and rain to come see the airplane Sunday afternoon, it was a good time of fellowship.
After a weather delay of 24 hours Tom and I made it to Canada. Clearing Canadian Customs was a nonevent, very helpful and friendly. We spent the night in Abbotsford, BC and then flew the Frazier River canyon on the 19th. A beautiful flight and wonderful weather but we were prevented from making it past the mouth of the canyon onto the plateau by snow and low clouds so we diverted to Kamloops. As they say… “now you know the rest of the story”.
This trip has been full of it’s good times and bad. Adam’s Grandfather (on his Dad’s side) passed away Tuesday February 18th after battling cancer. We are glad that we were able to visit with him while we were in Georgia and that he was able to see Sabrina and Miriam too. Please pray for my Dad and the family.
We have all made it home! Tom and Adam finally made it out of Kamloops Saturday the 22nd and had two LONG days of flying to get to Nenana Sunday night the 23rd.
Saturday we made it to Whitehorse, Yukon after 8.7 hours and over 1000 miles. We were grateful for good weather and good instrumentation in the airplane, clear skies, good winds and an on board fuel computer. When we left Kamloops, BC it was 40f and when we landed in Whitehorse, YK it was -5f, we were getting closer to home.
We needed to preheat the airplane Sunday morning and once again I was grateful for such a well equipped airplane, within an hour of plugging in we were on our way to Alaska. We had some stiff tail winds on our way to Northway, AK which was helpful. When you come back into the U.S. you have to notify Customs at least one hour ahead of time and you cannot be early and no more than 15 minutes late. (That makes for some diligent flight planning.) The Customs official was very friendly and excited to process such a new airplane, he was a retired Air Force pilot and was full of stories! What a relief to be back in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
From Northway we went to Fairbanks. I dropped off Tom and I flew on to Nenana. Tom needed to catch a flight out of Anchorage Monday morning and I needed to get there to pick up the Suburban and the girls Tuesday night so we rented a car in Fairbanks and Tom picked me up in Nenana. We were only home for a couple of hours and after getting a bite to eat we drove all night to Anchorage. Actually Tom drove I was tired of being in the pilots seat.
Tuesday I meet up with a couple of college buddies and sat in on a Cessna presentation on aircraft icing at the Alaska Air Carriers Association’s annual convention, a lot of great information. After the seminar we toured around town and reminisced about all of our crazy stunts at LeTourneau.
The girls made it in Tuesday night just fine and we spent the night at a friends house before driving back Wednesday. Wow is it good to be home.
A few stats on the trip for those that care about those things.
The airplane has 80.7 hours on it now. It had 2.5 when I picked it up at the factory. That’s over 10,000 statute miles of flying. Approx. 1130 gallons of fuel.
Landed at 33 airports.
We were gone for 42 days.
Had 7 days of weather/mechanical delays.
Crossed 6 mountain ranges. Appalachian, U.S. Rockies, Cascades, Olympic, Canadian Rockies and the Alaska Range.
The airplane flew along the Atlantic and Pacific coast within a two week period.
Furthest South was Orlando, FL farthest East, Savannah, GA and the farthest North was Fairbanks, AK and the Farthest West is Nenana, AK.
Lyndy and the girls were on 6 different commercial airplanes to chase me all over the U.S.
Have we been home for a month already? It has taken us a while to settled back into the cabin. We had to figure out where to put all the things we brought back with us. We were able to get home in time for theIditarod to come through Nenana. It normally doesn’t come this way but due to abnormal snow conditions the race route had to be changed. Sabrina had her cast removed and is doing fine. She had no problems with the removal procedures, the medical staff was very impressed. She said it was loud like “Daddy’s airplane” and that they used “tools like Daddy’s”. We have had three opportunities to use the airplane already! We are still as excited to have it as the day we first saw it.
We are not going to put the airplane on skis this spring, too much work for a few short weeks of good snow that’s left. It would be necessary to suspend the plane to attach the ski hardware this first time and then suspend it again to install the floats when the rivers start to flow. It will be easier next winter to install the skis because
I will install the hardware when I remove the floats this fall. What all that means is that we are limited to visiting with folks that are accessible on wheels, still plenty to keep us busy.
Many of you asked how we faired the wind storm last week. If you didn’t hear, Anchorage had sustained winds over 85 MPH and gust to 110 MPH. We were fine here in Nenana (300 miles North) just 30-35 MPH winds. Believe me we checked the airplane several times but there was no damage here but it was a different story South of us. I have included a few pictures of some of the damaged airplanes in Anchorage.
The Tanana river went out April 29th at 7:22 PM ADT marking the end of winter in Alaska! If you remember form previous years this is a big thing up here. The mosquitoes are already out and it looks like we may have another bad fire year.
As a result of ever increasing postage rates, printing cost and the need to get information to you in a more timely manner we are now offering our prayer letter online! It is available in PDF format by clicking the link at the top or bottom of the homepage. If you are unable to open PDF documents a free reader is available at Adobe’s website. Most of you who check in on the web site frequently already know that the paper version is basically a rehash of the same information you’ve already read. We will continue to publish the “paper version” quarterly and send it out to everyone who has not told us to stop. Please provide us with a little feedback about the online version and whether you would like to continue receiving the paper version. We are constantly surprised by the number of you that use the website to keep up with us, yet we still know quite a few folks that do not have web access.
The airplane continues to be used and we are grateful for it’s benefits. We just broke the 100 hour mark in April and are anxious to get it on floats now that the rivers and lakes are thawing out. We have been able to make a few trips even though we didn’t put the airplane on skis. One trip was to see friends north of the arctic circle and another down to Talkeetna to visit friends up from Georgia. Invitations continue to come to us from folks in the bush, we hope to be able to accept them in a couple of weeks after the floats are on. We have also had a request to start a regularly scheduled Bible Study in a small Village west of us. God is continuing to open opportunities to minister.
As you know Adam is involved with the local AWANA club, Lyndy took a break this year due to Miriam’s birth. Our club was able to participate in the Interior Alaska AWANA Games in April and what fun that was. The team that our club partnered with came in first place overall and everyone had a wonderful time. It is incredible to see kids memorizing God’s word and being able to explain doctrinal truths that some adults don’t even understand. It is especially neat to see the kids whose parents don’t attend church getting this wonderful foundation.
Adam has had a couple of fun opportunities recently. He and a friend went west of town about 40 miles on 4-wheelers to look at some property that this friend is considering to purchase. There wasn’t enough snow to run sno-go’s and the ground was still frozen so it was a lot of fun to see the country from the ground instead of a couple thousand feet up like we usually see it. Adam was also invited to a jam session with some guys he has meet through the “Bluegrass Hour”. There was a lot of good music and there should be several good cuts to play on upcoming programs.
Please send us an e-mail and let us know what you think of the website, the online “paper prayer letter” versus receiving one in the mail and if it’s better to put on your right sock first or the left. Seriously we really want to know what your opinions are of how we are getting information to you.
It seems that when we are the busiest we update the website the least, sorry. The fire season is under way and several friends have been in danger of losing everything but thankfully have been spared. The bugs are not as bad this year but it’s because were hot and dry with low water, so it comes at a price.
Memorial Day weekend we were in Anchorage. Adam had been invited to fill the pulpit for a friend and it was Lyndy’s birthday. A nice “get away” for the weekend but we were concerned about the doctor visits we had scheduled that Tuesday. For a while we had been told that both girls had pretty loud heart murmurs and that Miriam might not grow out of her crossed eyes. The only pediatric cardiologist and pediatric ophthalmologist are in Anchorage and we were able to get appointments-a small miracle. The heart doctor said it was nothing to worry about, just turbulence in the jugular veins that they will grow out of and the eye doctor said Miriam was not cross-eyed but that her nose was crooked, and that she would grow out of that too. So, all in all we are extremely grateful for the good news but it was an expensive day to just hear that “they will grow out of it.”
We have moved the container from the airport to the house, not a small task. We hooked up a D6 Cat (bulldozer) and drug it to the house; you have to work with what you have available and we had no way of lifting it onto a trailer and driving it. We left most of the stuff in and it went pretty well, we thought, until we opened it afterwards. The cross members were acting like cutting edges and scooping gravel into the container after ripping up a five foot section of the floor. It took Adam awhile to shovel all the gravel out and repair the floor but wow, is it nice to finally have everything in one location in town.
The next big project was to put the airplane on floats. Adam wanted to do this earlier in the spring but he also wanted to have someone with experience look over his shoulder and those kind of folks are pretty busy this time of year. The project is now complete and Adam is done satisfying the insurance company’s requirements of 10 hours instruction on floats before he can take passengers. (The FAA is less restrictive than the insurance companies but I digress.) We are excited about getting to visit folks on the rivers and lakes and continue to share with them the Gospel and be an encouragement.
Adam’s folks are up for a couple of weeks and the schedule of projects is pretty full. We will be taking advantage of having the help to finish several things that need that extra hand and of course Grandparents make great baby-sitters too!
Summer started out hot and dry but has turned cool and very wet. The fire season has unofficially been declared over and now folks are battling high water. The rivers have been at or above flood stage for several days and are now on the way down but the ground water is still on the rise. Several friends lost a lot of the river bank in front of their places and others are dealing with flooded gardens, dog lots and the occasional cabin.
Because we have the airplane we have been able to help not only with the spiritual needs of friends in the bush but also with their physical needs. We were able to get one friend home to help his wife in defending their cabin and garden (precious winter food supply) he was stuck in town after the river took over his landing strip. We were also able to fly the rivers looking for another friend, who was on a supply run in their boat, so we could tell him that his wife needed to get to town for health reasons. We found him and then took him home to check on her condition. We have been able to visit several others and just catch up, in the process we have been asked to lead a monthly Bible study in a community 90 miles west of Nenana and others are wanting to have church when we come to visit. We continue to receive invitations from folks to drop in and visit. We are so excited to see how things are progressing and what a blessing it is to have the airplane!
Adam had the opportunity to preach at a church in Fairbanks last Sunday. We meet the Pastor through mutual friends and he was encouraged to hear about God’s working in our lives and the ministry He has for us, the Pastor wanted his congregation to hear all about it. Adam also had a chance to fly the radio station’s airplane for a couple days. A group from South Carolina came up to help at the radio station and went to a couple of villages for ministry.
The kids are doing fine and growing fast. Sabrina gave us a scare as she fell off the porch head first and needed 6 stitches. She’s fine and will have a scar in the hairline of her forehead. Miriam continues to learn more everyday and is starting to use hand signs to communicate. It’s fun to watch Sabrina and Miriam playing together and Sabrina is a very helpful big sister.
Summer time in Alaska is extremely busy, we along with everyone else, have tried to get a year’s worth of projects done in our short months of warm weather.
The first week of August Adam participated in the Safe Flight Alaska program; local flight instructors answering questions for transient pilots and offering advice. Then we traveled to Lake Minchumina and stayed 2 days, establishing the Bible study there and getting to know the group, always a good time. We had room for a friend to fly back with us and get to her doctors appointment in Fairbanks, stopping along the way to visit mutual Christian friends. Others are traveling too, and we have had several stay in the camper on their way to and from town. On one occasion it was when someone’s boat motor quit working and Adam was able to help with the repairs as well as offer a bed for the night.
Response to “The Bluegrass Hour” has increased, it is encouraging to hear how God is using the program. There have been opportunities to visit with listeners and we are extremely grateful for the means to accept the invitations. It is wonderful to be able to meet face to face with so many in their homes and be an encouragement as well as give the answer for the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
Of course summer has now turned to fall and almost winter, but our “determination dust” (snow) hasn’t come yet and we are trying to get as prepared as possible. Adam and his Dad started a much needed addition to the storage container in July that Adam has just completed the electrical wiring in. The airplane’s annual inspection is not due until February 2004 but we decided to do it in August, knowing it’s much easier to investigate and repair in the summer rather than winter. We realized God’s providence when we found that the engine was developing a major problem; an intake valve was not seating correctly and failure during flight would have been quite unfortunate. The engine manufacturer, Lycoming, honored their warranty and covered the replacement parts, even paying for Adam’s time to do the repair. We are back in the air and have only a few more days of float flying before the lakes and rivers turn to ice. When the floats are removed Adam will install the wheels until there is enough snow to support using the skis.
We spent a few days with close friends last week to moose hunt and help with their fish wheel (fish trap) too. We will be eating good this winter! God provided a moose early in the week and we will share the almost 500 pounds of meat. Moose are big animals 800 to 1600 pounds on the hoof.
We apologize for the long period between updates, hopefully things will slow down a little in a few weeks and we can get another prayer letter sent out too.