Kodiak Floatplane Returning To Renton

A sunny Sunday afternoon had me driving past Renton so I figured I would stop off to see a few things.  I swung by the floatplane base after I had done whatI came for and things were quite quiet.  I had just missed a few planes and wondered whether I would bother hanging around.  Then a Cessna made an approach, as covered in another post, and, while it was taxiing back to the dock, I saw a Kodiak heading towards us down the lake.  Initially I thought it was going to make a straight in approach but, since the main Renton traffic was operating to the north, I guess it had to fit with that.

Consequently, it made a path that took it towards the eastern shore of Lake Washington before carving a sweeping, descending turn towards the lake.  With the hills of that shoreline behind it, things looked pretty impressive.  There were plenty of people out on the lake in boats, kayaks and paddle boards and they would have got a really good view as it came in to the lake to touch down.

They taxied back towards the base and I hadn’t appreciated what their plan was.  I figured they were tying up at the dock and I had moved away slightly but they had dropped the wheels and were coming up the slipway.  A good dose of power was needed to come up the ramp.  I wish I had shot that or, better yet, got some video.  I will have to go back to the seaplane base there.  The new fencing is not great but there are still some good photo opportunities to be had.

People Dressing Up A Bit Too Much?

A while back I posted some shots I took of the rowing at the University of Washington during the Windermere Cup.  What I didn’t share at the time and what I only recently remembered I had found amusing was the parade before the racing started.  The Seattle Yacht Club participated with a parade after the races but, beforehand, three of their leadership went the length of the course on a boat.  The three of them were apparently an Admiral, an Admiralette (apparently that is a thing as if a woman can’t be an Admiral) and a Vice-Admiral.  They were dressed up like extras from HMS Pinafore.  I found the whole thing rather bizarre.

Hood River Museum

The Oregon trip with Mark provided a lot of options for additional aviation experiences while we were en route to the main event in Klamath Falls.  This included a stop off at Hood River to check out the museum there.  I had heard that it was an impressive collection of both planes and cars and that was no understatement.  When it comes to older aircraft, I am well out of my depth.  My interest in aviation came out of the military side of things in the 80s and the era of WWII and before was not something I paid any attention to.

The result of this is that a museum like Hood River is full of aircraft that I know nothing about.  I couldn’t identify many of them if asked and, when there are many variants of a given make, I don’t recognize what distinguishes them and whether one or other of them is significantly rarer than any other.  Instead, I just find it interesting to look at the wide variety of looks and finishes that the planes have.

The Hood River museum certainly provides me plenty to choose from in that regard.  There are so many aircraft in there and, while they have several hangars, it is not unfair to say that things are pretty on top of each other in order to get everything to fit in.  It is also a little dark but, since modern cameras are so good in low light conditions, this isn’t really a problem anymore.

Mark and I are both plane guys so the car collection was not a big focus for us.  We did take a look at to some of the vehicles that were there but, since we had a schedule to keep if we were to get to Klamath Falls in time for some dinner, we had to focus on the planes.  There is no way I could cover the collection in one blog post and I won’t even try.  Instead, I shall provide a tiny selection of what we saw.  Maybe, as I work through some of the shots, I shall revisit the collection in some future posts.

Damage From Falling Trees

One evening, I took a walk down to Juanita Bay Park.  As it headed out to one of the platforms, I could see that the railing had a section that was freshly replaced.  A look over the edge showed that one of the trees had shed a large chunk.  I guess this must have wiped out the old railing material.  They had done a good job of getting the replacement in place but had left the branch where it had fallen.  I am glad I wasn’t there when it fell as I imagine my head might not have been so easily fixed.

What Did This R66 Do Wrong?

The scanner is a good way of tracking what is about to happen but it can also give you an insight to what might not have gone to plan.  I heard a Robinson R66 call in for its approach.  When things are on a north flow, the helicopters will run along the river and turn in to land.  They can often come at quite a good angle for getting a shot. This one worked out well, despite the backlighting, and I was getting back in the shade as it touched down.  I then heard the tower ask if he was ready to take down the phone number he needed to call.  Oops!  I have no idea what the infraction may have been and I hope it all worked out okay.

Caldera In A Caldera

Crater Lake is a lake in a caldera.  In the middle of the lake is an island that was formed as the eruptions from beneath built up a new outcrop from the original caldera.  That island has itself formed a caldera on the summit.  The scale of everything is so large that it is easy to not even notice that this second caldera sits within the first caldera.  There are some trees on the island that give you some context as to how large it all is.

Ye Olde Pub

Erickson took their B-17, Ye Olde Pub, to the show at Klamath Falls.  However, we first got to get a look at her when we stopped at Madras where she was out on the ramp being prepared for the trip south to the show.  When she did make the transfer, we were ready for her arrival and then got a few chances to shoot her undertaking the display routine from a variety of locations both outside and inside the airfield.

She is a good looking B-17.  I like the painted aircraft more than the bare metal versions (although there is not a huge amount in it).  That makes her appeal to me a lot.  (I do get a little annoyed by cutesy words with an added “e” but will let that go for now.)

SR99 Bridge Over SR509

WSDOT is in the process of building a new part of SR509 that will connect I-5 to the rest of SR509 on the west side of the airport.  The alignment that the new road is taking cross SR99 at the same place that we are currently building the light rail extension.  To avoid making life too complex, WSDOT funded Sound Transit to build the bridge for SR99 that is needs as part of the light rail construction program.  The contractor diverted SR99 around the work site and then excavated the area where SR509 will go.  A new bridge was built over this and then it was all filled in underneath.  The road then was laid on top of the new bridge.

Since these pictures were taken, the road has been re-opened.  However, at this tie, they were finishing the pours of concrete for the new bridge and too tie it in to the existing roadway.  This view is now gone so it was a narrow window to see the bridge.  I was lucky to see it at various stages of its construction.  In due course, WSDOT’s contractor will come in and remove the earth under the bridge and build the SR509 roadway.  That will happen pretty soon.

BA’s Smallest Big Jet

British Airways was an early customer for the 787 when Boeing launched it in the form of the 787-8 and has been growing the fleet ever since.  They now operate the -8, the -9 and the -10 versions.  Their introduction allowed the retirement of the 767-300 fleet so the 787s are now the smallest of the widebodies (although the 787-10 has similar capacity to a 777-200ER).  In Seattle, we tend to get the 787-9 or an occasional 787-10.  However, Portland gets the 787-8 so, when I got to shoot one there, it was the first time I had seen a BA -8 in ages.  They look quite stubby in comparison to the rest of the family.

Heron In Flight

Much of my heron photo collection is of them hunting for their lunch as they stand at the water’s edge.  However, I do occasionally get photos of them in flight.  Now I like most things that fly but I do think that the heron is not the most elegant bird when it is flying.  The long outstretched neck works for a swan or a goose but, for a heron, it seems rather out of balance.  With the large wings, it is an efficient flyer but it doesn’t have the look of a bird that is having an easy time of it.  This one was heading across Juanita Bay and over the the shore where another heron had been hanging out and, as is the way of wildlife, it was determined to drive the other bird away whether it needed to or not!