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Mountains and RV's
   by Ed Bundy (ebundy@micron.net)
   RV-6A / Idaho

click images to enlarge

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Another view of the strip with the "hill" ("mountain" for you flat-landers) that blocks your view of the runway. This hill is even higher off of the right edge of the photo.
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The view from our camping spot on the edge of the runway and the mountains to the North.

Last summer we were looking to expand our back country flying into some more remote airstrips in Idaho. We decided on Big Creek and it was terrific.  Big Creek is a little tricky, and you should hone your back country skills on some easier airports before venturing here. The airport is located at 5743’, the runway is about 3000’ long, and it is a little rough, but not too bad. However it is inside a draw with 8000-9000’+ mountains all around it, and there is a large hill that blocks your view of the runway from downwind until short final. So start your letdown on downwind and at about 250’ AGL on short final the runway comes into view (phew!) right where you knew it would be... <g>

The runway is one-way as it has a pretty good slope uphill to the South. I have gotten so used to the amazing performance of an RV that I’ve become spoiled. Even in the backcountry, it gets in and out of short strips with aplomb. Taking off here on a warm day, we still got out fine, but we weren’t used to only clearing the trees at the end of the runway by a couple of hundred feet. Of course, those pesky pines are *right* on the threshold of the runway and they are over 100’ tall... I also try to get rolling gradually to keep the gravel out of the prop as much as possible. I think I’ll be a little quicker on the power the next time.

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Another view from the tent. Horses are the only transportation here, and you can rent them from the lodge. Also visible is one of the rustic cabins.

There is a small lodge here with great home-cooking and cabins. We opted for a tent and slept out under the stars. This is arguably the most scenic airport in the United States - helped by the fact that the only access is a grueling 80 mile dirt "road" that is only passable by snowmobile in the winter and horse or monster truck in the summer. So your only neighbors are the few locals and your pilot friends. The Big Creek River runs right by the airstrip and the airstrip itself is right next to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Ed Bundy - Eagle, ID
RV6A - First flight 11/20/96
ebundy@micron.net