The Gear Has Arrived!

In the Field 2013

Yesterday and today, I made several (no doubt annoying) calls to the helicopter manager, Jay, in hopes to find anything out about the ETA for the gear that is still up on the mountain, where it has been for two nights now. He has been more than great trying to help us out but the weather hasn’t. The high winds continued into last night.

This morning around 8:30, when we determined that perhaps the winds were calm enough, we decided to visit the helipad (about 10 minutes away) to see if we could make any further headway by showing up in person. The only person there at the time was the pilot, Eric. (He was the one who flew the guys into Riley Creek one week ago today.) He had been off for the weekend and as of this morning hadn’t heard anything yet about what to expect from his day. So, unfortunately, our plan to show up in person had failed and we didn’t make any further progress.

We headed back to the apartment so Tony could do his pre-arranged SKYPE call with WFAA and planned to follow up again in a couple hours.
Around 11am we headed back to the helipad once more only this time we found no one or no helicopter there at all. So we walked up to the Visitor’s Center, about a 5 minute walk, to figure out plan B.

Just as we arrived at the Center we heard the sound of a helicopter so we ran back down to the helipad and sure enough it was the Hugh’s 500 just coming for a landing.

We stood there like children in anticipation of a really cool present coming our way, hoping for the best but preparing ourselves for the worst just in case. After the standard cool-down, engines off procedure, etc. Jay and Eric finally stepped out of the helicopter. Jay walked back to open the rear door. We waited with baited breath – would a person step out or was it our stuff?


Sure enough rather than a person there was a red duffel bag on the seat!  First out – a couple of bear cans and, yes!  That was our gear!  A little wet, but all intact and no worse for wear.


Unloading commenced and now happily ever after. The fun doesn’t end there though, now begins the mad dash with the gear – to take it all out, wash it, dry it, repair it, trash it, document it, repack it … is underway.

There is gear all over the house.  And, by the way, from the research standpoint – so far there are over a 10 boxes containing over a dozen molds of various shapes and sizes.  All soon to be on their way back to the Perot Museum. Attn: Ron Tykoski

Posted from Healy, Alaska, United States.