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Old 03-28-2003, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Flying the Alaska Highway

Has anyone on this board who is interested in GA, flown the Alaska Highway? My husband and I are planning such a venture next year. Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated. I am a private pilot and my husband is a Commerical rated pilot.

Thanks
spectraldogs

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Old 03-29-2003, 08:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Flying The Alaskan Highway.

Dear Spectraldogs: Hope I got that right. I delivered a few PA-18s to Ankorage, Alaska from the lower states.

Worst problem will be weather, especially icing conditions and then refueling.

Let me go threw the AF survival school list by order of importance.

The most important thing, if you go down:

1. The will to survive.
2. All the drinking water you can carry.
3. Sheltor.
4. Medical supplies/warm clothing in layers.
5. Staying dry. at all costs.
6. Fresh ELT batteries.
7. Brown or grizzly bear protection. They cannot climb trees and are attracked to woman who have thier monthly vapors.
9. Food is last because record downed pilot found after 59 days without rigormortise was just that, 59 days. But, you cannot go without water, even in cold climate, more than three days.

Warm desert climate will die in two days without water, but can go 59 days without food.

Good luck, and respect your adventurist spirit. Don't eat or boil any yellow snow. Ha.

Post us when you get there.

Sincerely yours, IGIVEUP. p.s.: Forgot fifty or 100 ft nylon cord to put stick on the end, and swing up around breakable branches with witches hair. Pull down or break off branch and use witches hair to start fire. Will burn and start fire in raining downpoor. If you have to re-fuel gas from dirty fifty gallon drums, ask operator if he has any good pressure garden hose and carry a metal water hose thingy that produceds hard spray. Fill tanks up to 3 to 6 inches, then spray high pressure water all around fuel tanks.

Water will take all dirt from dirty, hand cranked, fifty gallon drums of aviation fuel to bottom of tanks. Water wts 8 lbs per gallon and gas is 6 lbs per gallon. Water and gas will not mix. Water will take dirt to bottom of fuel tanks and then drain petcocks until you stop getting water and start getting fuel. Gas will be pretty clean if you do it right.

What kink of a/c are you going to use? Let us know.
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Old 03-29-2003, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rember to let the water settle for a bit before draining it. Water and fuel don't mix, but water can be suspended in the fuel. During normal periodical water drain the aircraft has to be at it's place for ar least 4 hours before you can drain water from it (for a Fokker 70 that is, larger aircraft may take longer (?) ).
When sprayning the fuel tank you can take less time because it's not neccesairy to remove all the water till the last molecule. If you don't fly your tanks completely empty and if you keep a margin on your fuel indication (always think you have less than indicated) it should be ok. Most engines can take some percentage of water in fuel. but don't qoute me down on this. Nevertheless i would wait at least an hour before starting to drain.
Also try filtering the fuel. Maybe IGIVEUP knows the trick with the leather rag? I'm not sure how it works but it seems that it keeps out water and dirt of the fuel. But you'll have to ask someone else for more info about it.
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Old 03-29-2003, 02:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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IGIVEUP probably replied to this post in his own post with the same name.
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Old 03-29-2003, 03:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Flying the Alaska Highway



Good heavens. We are just going to go and enjoy. I don't want to rough it or kill to eat. Sounds almost too dangerous. I bought my husband the book "Wings over the Alaska Highway" which highlights a route connecting airports. That is the highway I was thinking of. It is a wonderful book. We were hoping to take a couple of weeks. We have Storm Scope Equipment and GPS.

I got rid of all the organs required to produce "Vapors" 3 years ago. I hope that makes me safe from Grizzlies.

I own a Cessna 210 RG

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Old 03-30-2003, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dear Spectraldogs: I live in the Philippines now, and have to take occasional morphine for lung cancer; so, of course, I get forgetful.

Phoenix is right, put gas in thru a chammy rag (phonetic) cause I don't know how to spell it, but is a rag like you use to drie off your car or truck after you clean it to get the water off. You might not even have to use water in fuel if you catch most of the gas dirt in chammy rag. And wait at least three to four hours before draining if it is obviouse that what is comming out on your chammy is very dirty gas.

Don't count on local help. Canadians on Alaska highway, for some unknown reason, hate americans. Once I paid $21.00 when I saw a food place and landed on the dirt part of the highway which will start north of Dawson Creek, for a bowl of oatmeal, not even toast.

Freezing rain and ice is your problem. If you have refueling airports now, that's good. When I flew PA 18s to Ankorage, there was nothing past Dawson Creek.

If you start to ice up in freezing rain, clear ice, keep moving the controls or they can freeze up. Weather up there is to say the least extreme.

If you need to find a landing place on field or probably staight stretch of highway, and you have time, at least fifteen minute, drag the highway or field you want to land on to get the length in feet. In a/c handbook, usually max shortfield/softfield takeoffs and landings are figured on hard surface so add a couple hundred feet to your calculations.

Fly at 120 knots or mph and time the strip you are dragging in seconds. Then use a proportion. 120 knots is two miles a minute;so change one minute to sixty seconds divided by two nautical miles, in feet: 12, 160 ft. A nautical mile 6,080 feet.

When you time the drag of the strip in seconds, you then get the third figure in a proportion and can multiply and divide to give you the length of the straight road of field in feet. It is a very accurate method of determining length in feet required in your a/c performance handbook.

Practice it on a dirt, none controlled airport, and you will not be off more thank five to ten feet if you take the trouble to actually measure it on the ground later.

If it is 90 degrees outside ambient air temperature, still pull full carb head before reducing throttle. You can get carb ice up there or anywhere, but especially there in warm weather.

While still in the States practice letting air out of your tires to one half. The first try, usually it will surprise you, the speed, and you will flatten the tire, but with practice and an airbottle with you, it would be important to practice this, as what looks like solid ground on highway or field might require you reduce tire pressure all around by one half to flatten tires to they will roll in the snow or mud in soft field takeoff.

If you land somewhere to take a walk, your only protections against bears, especially grizzly and brown, is to carry a cow bell so as not to go around a corner and surprise a sow with cubs. Next take a back pack, fill it with lots of cooked bacon and smear and attach to outside of pack. These bears love cooked bacon and if you are charged, 90 percent of the time, if you throw the bacon back pack at them, they will stop and start to eat the bacan and tear it appart to get at what is inside.

Climb a tree if posible and carry nothing less than a 45/70, savage, lever action rifle with four hundred grain bullets. Will take seven rounds with one in the chamber and will not always stop a charging grizzly even if you get in a brain or heart shot. they just keep comeing at you fourty miles an hour.

What have I forgotten, Phoenix, maybe water purification thingy. they are cheap now and really work good.

All members, if I forgot something, let them know. Don't tell customs you have a rifle, they will confiscate it. They won't search your aircraft if you hide it well in back of a/c.

Sincerely yours: IGIVEUP.
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Old 03-30-2003, 03:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You mean the water purification stuff which clears the drinking water? Well there are some pro and cons about it. It does protect agains most of the harmfull bactieria and viruses but not against all. I would recoment a combination of those chemicals and boiling the water.
Also when draining water from the fuel. Be carefull when it freezes outside. You won't be de first person who drains the complete fuel tank due to a frozen drain valve in open position. (I once had the pleasure to take a kerosine shower when i drained a Fokker 70. But that was that i turned it a bit, instead of pushing the drain valve straight up...).
Sure this may sound very negative to you all, but i believe that it is better to come prepared than to find yourselve in the middle of nowhere with no equipment at all. If the best pilot can't fly in a plane which has a severe mechanical problem... And never trust a plane fully when it just came out of an inspection. That's when i start to worry...
Hope you'll have a great flight. Please let us know how it was...
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Old 03-30-2003, 04:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Flying Alaska Highway

Dear Spectraldogs: Forgot about moose. They are almost as dangerous as bears and more of them. I guarantee you will run across moose.

I always thought the dumbest animal was a chicken, until I moved to Alaska and later Montana. I have seen moose charge a volkswagon bug, turn it over and then try to kick the front window glass in to get to the terrfied passenger, a young guy from East Coast who came to hunt deer.

I was able with a Dakota Sue Indian friend to distract the moose and put the guys volkswagon upright and it ran ok. He went back to East Coast.

Lots of moose stories from Montana, but not the right place. They are crazy.

I am a retired boeing 737 captain and have 19000 + hours over 35 years of flying everything. You could have a problem if RG means retractable gear. Any freezing water or combination of water and snow or mud will probably prevent your gear from retracting.

If you have snubbers and they take off the froozen snow, mud and water, so doors will close, will probably be ok. Check if you plane has tire snubbers, but still be ready for gear to freeze and not retract.

If you travel the Alaska highway, do it when 18 wheelers are still running up there. If you have to land an a stupid moose destroyes your a/c, a truck will go by every thirty minutes, and they will stop if driver is american. Some Canadians could care less.

Also, if you have to, and you have had to land on an isolated part of the highway, and run into bear or moose, shoot them. Bear will cost you about $5000.00 fine and maybe six months in jail, but you will be alive. Bear or moose will destroy your a/c, for sure.

If any construction crews or loggers, go for thier help. Most loggers will be sympathetic to you having to kill a moose or bear and will come with backhoe and dig a hole and bury the moose or bear, as they have the same problem with, especially grissly bears tearing off the side of thier house trailers with thier wife and kids inside.

They shoot em and bury em to avoid stupid fine. There are so many moose as you leave Dawson Greek, don't know how you could avoid one if you landed on highway. Truckers are your best friends, but can't bury a bear or moose. Remember, a secret is something nobody knows, but if you tell someone a secret, it becomes a confidence, and nobody can keep thier mouths shut. So, if you find a way to hide the carcus of moose or bear, takeoff and shut up.

When you get to Ankorage, before landing, over dense area of trees, throw out your 45/70 so Canadian or if incident happened in Alaska agents can't track down your rifle match bullets and connect you to killing of these protected animals.

Remember, it was probably 20 years ago when I flew it, and past Dawson Creek, no more paved highway, but 9 years ago, I drove up the highway and still lots of bears and moose.

If you land, just to take pictures or a pit stop in the woods, circle the area and look for bears, loggers, nearest 18 wheeler and moose. If you are gonne be eaten by a bear, at least fight back by drinking a bottle of vinegar or something to give the creep indigestion.

They probably have a member of PETA behind every tree watching you. People for the ethical treatment of animals say it hurts a poor misquieto to kill it when you slap it, but they are for partial birth abortion. These people are like the North Dakota coyote who chewed off three legs and was still caught in the trap.

If I think of something else, will post it. Promise you let us know when you leave and when you should be back and tell us when you are back and what troubles you had. Other members might add to what Phoenix and me thought off. I wasn't joking about a bear eating you and you at least fighting back by giving him indigestion. That is what is called in AF survival school: "THE WILL TO SURVIVE!" LOL IGIVEUP. P.S. Watch out in Ankorage. Very big modern city and areas you don't want to go into because of crime. Favorite crime is to buy room, keep key, and before the motel or hotel can replace locks, you will be robbed woke up sleeping even killed. Block doors and lock from inside with those metal lock thingys.
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Old 03-30-2003, 05:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Exclamation

Uh, well, now that my hair has turned ENTIRELY white, I guess I will leave my 12 year old at home with the in-laws. This trip is still in the imagination stages.

If you are entirely serious about all these comments, I will take them into consideration. So, what you are saying is make the hole big enough to throw the PETA person in as well? I hear the rest and concur 150%.
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Old 03-31-2003, 09:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Personally i would say, don't worry to much. But just enough to take the right precautions. Make sure the plane is alright and that it had enough flying hours after the last inspection to make sure it's ok. Make sure you have an ELT (Emergency Location Transmitter), a handheld VHF radio and survival equipment and warm clothes and anything else which can help you survive in the climate, also make sure people know your flight plan. A roadmap might also come in handy. I think when you took the right precautions and you know what you are doing, then nothing can go wrong, and if it does goes wrong you are prepared for it. Just make sure you know what you are doing, and try to limited the chances of human error.
There's a reason why i mentioned that the flying hours after an inspection. Inspections are done by people. People tend to make mistakes (me included). So any fault made but not corrected during the inspection will show after the first few hours of flight.
Hope i didn't scare you to much and that you will have a wonderfull trip...

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Old 03-31-2003, 03:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Dear Spectraldogs: No jokes or exajerations. Just tried to think of everything I have had happen to me flying the last 35 years.

Go over the AF survival school list, not trying to scare you, everything Phoenix and I told you is the truth. I would make a list of it.

Please, Please, takeall the drinking water you can haul and do wt and balance. Water wts 8 lbs per gallon to help you. Try that landing in feet thingy at home proportion and then measure it. You will be shocked at how accurate it is.

No intent to scare or descourage you, but just tried to tell you all we know about problems flying the Alaska Highway. If something goes wrong, our advice could save your life, especially simple things like throwing small backpack with cooked bacon. It works 90 percent of the time.

If you value your a/c 45/70 with 400 grain bullets is critical to killing moose or bear tearing it apart. DON'T DECLARE THE WEAPON. Border checkpoints at near statesside airports are pretty easy going, but don't know about home land security.

Buy rifle to fly up, if you don't use it, keep it for the trip home. If you use it, throw away and buy new one in Ankorage.

We just told you the truth. If you take a vedeo camera, it will be one of those adventures you can live on memories when you get to be an old poop like me.

Take the boy with your. Just take him threw all our advice. And you and your husband at least, shoot that 45/70 until you can put holes consistantly in black bullseye. It was designed to drop a full grown buffalo, but wt of 400 grain bullet gives it accuracy only up to 100 yards. If you are closer to the moose or bear, rememer, that heavy bullet will rise coming out and drop when it gets to the 100 yrd target. Practice at just 100 yards.

We just gave you are years of experience flying in Alaska and up the alaska highway and all over the world. Not to scare you, but to make you think of all the possibilities. And, even if you don't get the vapors, around that time of the month you will put out more than normal estrogen that will still attrack bears. Trust me.

Sincerely yours: IGIVEUP.
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Old 03-31-2003, 08:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

I thank you all most kindly for your collective wisdom and advice. I am leaning on NOT flying it now although I would have been merely the co-pilot. When my son is out of the house and in college then I will happilly fly whereever my husband wants to go. I thought landing at Mackinac Island, in Michigan was roughing it.

As it is, flying over the grandCanyon two years ago and landing at the Sedona Airport in Arizona were hair-raising enough. I found it a bit odd that Americans should be so hated in Alaska which is an American state. American State. Well, some folks would complain if you hung them with an OLD rope instead of a NEW one. Personally, I got my Private License and promptly lost interest in flying. Unfortunately my husband jumped into the fray and got his Commerical rating. I keep up the skills enough to land the 210 but other than reading maps and working radios and GPS, I am just there for the ride. I have printed out this info you took the time and effort to type and will keep it for further research.

Thanks to you all.

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Old 04-01-2003, 03:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Dear Spectraldogs: Please don't leave the 12-yr-old behind and not go. The last time I drove the Alaska Highway, had to shoot a moose who charged the front of my three quarter ton ford truck with camper, and I was almost sure I would be stuck with leaking radiator.

If you can take an axe of chain saw, cut up moose into four sections, cover blood and stuff with broom and dirt before a Canadian truck driver comes along. He will turn you in. American drivers or Canadian loggers will help you.

I do not know what most Canadians on the highway past Dawson creek hate americans,but Alaskans do not hate americans, they just don't want anymore moving up and cutting into thier yearly checks from the oil companies. Every man, woman and child, who is a resident, gets about $10,000.00 a year check from oil companies.

As soon as they learn you are just visiting, they are very helpful and friendly. The best guys are the american 18 wheeler truck drivers who even the Canadian truck drivers will help. Please make sure you fly the highway when truckers are still using it.

It is a good feeling to look down and see every few miles a big ol' truck rumbling up or down the highway.

There are probably airports and highway resteraunts and things I never saw the last time I drove the highway about seven years ago. If there are modern, small airports with clean gas in this guys book, go for it if your a/c is in good shape. As to the 45/70 with four hundred grain bullet, if Canadians where you have to land find it in your airplane, the worst they will do is confiscate it for thier personall use and let you go with a warning.

No problem with guns in Alaska. Probably is lots of modern airports with nice resturants on the way past Dawson Creek now. What is the name of the book, and I will order it from Amizon and read it if time before you leave. We told you the worst that could happen and how to handle it.

You have read the book and know what it is like NOW. But, suppose, as is always the possibility, you go down, get lost and have ten minutes fuel to drag a good looking part of the highway, If you didn't practice with an airbottle with your mechanic letting half the air out of all three tires, you would for sure, without experince, flatten the first tire you tried.

We are thinking the worst and knowing it will probably be a wonderful, safe adventure. Did you not want us to tell you what to do if things went bad. There is not much we left out, unless North Korea nukes you. Ha.

Just try in the states at your home field the things we told you about, practice with that rifle to save your a/c so you can take back off. A bear is the most dangersous, so if you have time to climb a tree by throwing bacon pack at him to devert him from tearing apart your aircraft, shoot him when you are safely in a tree. They have straight claws and cannot climb a tree, only black bears can and they are not that big a problem if you don't try to feed them.

If you have the wt, and can take an axe or axe and chainsaw, it is possible to cut a moose or bear into four peices you can drag into the woods out of sight before the next truck comes, in case the driver is Canadian. The bug out fast before truck comes. Yes, if you spot a peta with video, shoot them and drag them off too. Ha. Be sure and tell them, now I am sorry, but this is really gonna hurt. Ha.

Please don't not go. Go with knowlege. Knowlege is power up there. Just do it and take that 12-yr-old boy with you. He will stay cool if something goes wrong, which is highly unlikely. JUST DO IT.

Sincerely yours, your friend: IGIVEUP. P.S.: If you leave the boy behind, he will start wetting the bed and need a blankie to sleep at night. Ha. Does he want to go? Are you gonna let him see mom is a coward?
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Old 04-01-2003, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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P.s. Whatever you do. DON'T fill your tyres with normal air. In case of an emergency it would do. But under all normal circumstances use nitrogen. According to all maintenance manuals of modern jetliners it's not allowed to use AIR to refill tyres. The problem is the oxygen in the air. When a tyre fails during landing, especially hard braking action landings, the air will flow arround the very hot brakes and will almost certainly cause fire. I'm not sure if this is also aplicable for general aviation, but i wouldn't be suprised. Please check with your mechanic before practicing the deflation and inflation of the tire. He/she can also give you other tips and tricks. But whatever you do, if you have the choice between nitrogen or air, use nitrogen. Might be more expensive, but is safer. Also the tyre will stay inflated longer due to the larger molecule size of nitrogen. Air is a mixture of various gasses. Some are comparable small in molecule size. This means that it will "leak" out of the tire more quickly then nitrogen.
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Old 04-04-2003, 04:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Dear Phoenix: Don't bad mouth my DC-3, or I will tell everyone you wear big ol' wooden shoes and have your rotate finger stuck in some stupid dike waiting for help to arrive. By dike, I don't mean a lesbian. I am not sure how to spell dike.

You are supposed to put pans under engines and hide the evidence if you love the a/c.

Sincerely yours, my buddy, ha. IGIVEUP. Did you put me on your buddy list; and, if so, did anything happen?
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Old 04-04-2003, 04:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Dear Spectraldogs: Forgot about misquetoes. They are the size of B-17 flying fortress a/c and might carry away your 12-year-old child. Depends on time of year.

Even smoke or bug spray or off won't help you. The hats with nets will.

Make sure PETA person does not video tape you killing one with the 45/70 or you will be in big trouble. Ha.

Have a nice trip. Sincerely yours: IGIVEUP.
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Old 04-05-2003, 05:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Dear Spectrladogs: I would finally advise you check fuel consumption and gear down speed, and if possible, if in wet environment, snow, mud, water, etc, fly with your gear down after Dawson Creek airport. Sincerely yours, and please respone if you decide to go. Take the boy and any dogs or cats.

Lots of videos. Sincerely yours, your friend, IGIVEUP. p.s.: If you know the length of an airport you use-the runway-drag it and time in seconds, then see how close your proportion comes up to the known feet length of runway.
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Old 05-31-2003, 07:29 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Dear Spectrladogs: Long time no hear. Hope you did not cancel your trip.

Only thing I can think of, if they really exists-have never seen one-but, my brother-in-law is a logger and has seen one, is BIGFOOT.

He said he could smell the creature first, a very foul smell for long distance, then they, other loggers with him, saw him/her cross a logging road.

Suppose they are shy, but would carry 45/70 just in case. They, PETA, would probably have you prosecuted for lst degree murder. ha.ha.ha.

Sincerely yours, and let us know when you are going: IGIVEUP.
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Old 05-31-2003, 08:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally posted by IGIVEUP
Dear Spectrladogs: Long time no hear. Hope you did not cancel your trip.

Only thing I can think of, if they really exists-have never seen one-but, my brother-in-law is a logger and has seen one, is BIGFOOT.

He said he could smell the creature first, a very foul smell for long distance, then they, other loggers with him, saw him/her cross a logging road.

Suppose they are shy, but would carry 45/70 just in case. They, PETA, would probably have you prosecuted for lst degree murder. ha.ha.ha.

Sincerely yours, and let us know when you are going: IGIVEUP.
I hope this is a joke.
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Angry Big Foot

We have decided to postpone the trip. I am not at all concerned about the PETA people. Thanks for all the admonitions. I will certainly remember to take air fresheners with us in the event we crash land and come across Big Foot.
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