Scenes from a Bush Plane in the Fall

Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer, but here in Alaska, fall is in full swing. On Monday I took a Cessna 207 to Mountain Village, the site of the District Office for the Lower Yukon School District, for curriculum training. The pilot, other teachers, and I got a good view of the fall colors.fall treesThis picture was taken not long after liftoff in Pilot Station. trees and mountainsAs you can see, we don’t fly too high above the ground.trees on a mountain mountains and Yukon RiverI got to ride co-pilot. Every time this happens, I think about the book Hatchet. And I silently pray that the pilot won’t have a heart attack and force me to land in the Yukon River, leaving me to survive using the emergency equipment in the back of the plane. I have an active imagination 🙂tundra and laketundraI love tundra. Tundra is spongy and fun to walk on. It also smells amazing. I want to capture tundra in a candle. Pitka's Point and Yukon RiverThe village of Pitka’s Point used to have a school in our district. Due to low attendance, the school was shut down and the students now take the bus to Mountain Village.St. Mary's and Yukon RiverIt’s hard to see, but St. Mary’s is behind the hill.road from St. Mary's to Mountain VillageHey, look — a road! It even has a car. It goes from the airport in St. Mary’s (a hub), past Pitka’s, to Mountain.

This 26-mile trip takes about 15 minutes by plane. Within two months, the landscape will change to white, blue, and gray. No matter the season, I love looking out the window at the scenery of the Yukon Delta.

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Pilot Station, Alaska

map of Pilot Station, AK

I’m moving to Pilot Station, Alaska, in August. I’m excited to share some of my research about the village. When I was first offered a position with the Lower Yukon School District, I started researching each village. Pilot Station was one of my favorites because…

  1. It’s large enough to have some commerce. This website has information about commerce, demographics, etc. Pilot Station has two stores (many villages only have one) and a business called Bossy’s.
  2. It’s close to villages like St. Mary’s, Marshall, and Mountain Village. I’ve already emailed with girls in these villages, and maybe I’ll be able to visit them via snowmachine or ATV.
  3. It’s upriver, which means it has hills and trees.
  4. It’s on the Yukon River rather than the Bering Sea. Fun fact: I’m semi-afraid of the ocean. I don’t run screaming from it or anything, but the vastness of it freaks me out.

So I was excited when the district told me I’d be living and teaching in Pilot Station. I found a (no longer updated) blog of a girl who taught in Pilot Station in 2012-2013. And my mom found this video of a drive through town, starting at the airport:

What would you like to know about Pilot Station?