Sunday, July 31, 2016

Arctic Thunder 2016 - Air Show at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, AK

A couple of weeks ago Jeff mumbled something about "Arctic Thunder" to which I responded, "What is Arctic Thunder?  It sounds like generic Mountain Dew."  Turns out Arctic Thunder is an air show held at Elmendorf Air Force Base, which is now merged with Fort Richardson, the Army base that Jeff lived on as a kid, so now it's called JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson).  I said, cool, let's go!

So yesterday morning, Saturday July 30, we got up and ready a little later than anticipated, and left the house at 9AM.  We drive the Glenn about once a month on average, so we didn't make any stops; it was overcast and nothing so extraordinary as to stop our progress to the air show.  The website said there were two entrances, so we took the one closest to us, which then took us through Richardson and every once in a while Jeff would wonder if a building or place was something he remembered from childhood ("I wonder if that's the building where my Mom worked?"  "I wonder if that's the storage lot where Dad kept the travel trailer?").  It was cute.

That was pretty much the extent of cute for the trek that was our drive from the entrance of the base to the actual airshow.  We hadn't stopped at all, and then we proceeded to spend two hours inching our way to the airshow, all while my bladder threatened to burst.  Long story short, we got parked, we found the entrance, got through security (we were on a military base, after all), and the port-a-potty lines went pretty quick.  Whew!

There were tons of food vendors, like at a fair or festival, and we picked the shortest line (poor Jeff hadn't eaten breakfast), and we had a pulled pork sandwich and pineapple cole slaw.  The slaw wasn't the greatest but it had a fresh taste which was nice.

I honestly don't know what everything was that we saw, other than the Blue Angels, which I'll make a separate post about, so anything with specific commentary will be coming from Jeff.

I only took 545 photos total, so sorry if this doesn't have the detail you would prefer.  ;-)

These first two photos were taken while in the slow line driving to the airshow...

Cheryl tells me this is a Blackhawk, and it's what Garrett flies.

This plane is extremely ginormous...
C-17: the Globemaster
for the record, Jeff has added this thing to his Christmas list...


This next aircraft is something that Jeff used to jump out of when he was in the Army.  We walked through it and ended up talking to a guy who had jumped out of one just a month prior, in the Middle East.  CH-47  Chinook

you jump out the back end of the aircraft
the interior (panoramic shot)

P-51 Mustang and F-22 Raptor

This next aircraft was so big, even the wings got their own wheels.  Jeff said that it's from WWII, and you can see from the interior photos just how old the machine is...  B-52 Stratafortress

We were able to duck under and stand under the open plane bottom.
This photo is looking up into the plane.
KC-135 Stratotanker:
another panoramic shot.

More planes...
I can just hear it, "Highway to the danger zone..."
But Jeff says that this isn't the plane that Maverick and Goose flew...
F-16 Falcon

Couldn't get too close to this one - it had ropes around it and people watching that you didn't cross the ropes.
Jeff said that the outside is some kind of metal that deflects radar, and the glass used is some sort of vibration glass to keep the dirt off.
I speak very technically about military aircraft, don't I?
F-22 Raptor

This photo is for all my friends & family who can't resist a man in uniform...
What was really nice is that you could speak with military personnel who worked on and/or flew the aircraft that you looked at.
AH-64 Apache

some of the aircraft are based in AK.
UH-60 Black Hawk

KC-135  Stratotanker

This is the C-5 Galaxy.  This aircraft was so big...  The nose hinges up, the flight crew flies the plane from above the cargo area, and there are ramps into/out of the aircraft at the front and rear of the plane.  We were able to walk right through.
See the people inside, for scale.
Flight deck is above the banner.

It was like a wind tunnel in that thing!
We were sitting on the walkway at the side of the cargo hold.

See, the tail says "Super Galaxy"

KC-165 Stratotanker

B-1 Lancer

These guys watched the Blue Angels from the wing of a plane.


taken from inside a plane
B-1 Bomber

The Australians were there.

Following the Blue Angels' performance (separate blog post on that)

This is a AWACS.  It was the aircraft parked furthest away, and the one that Jeff really wanted to see.
We walked more than 6 miles total that day...
E-3 Sentry

There were also some smaller planes there available to look at.
SBD Dauntless

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Our Alaskan Garden (part 2 = June 2016)

Just like most places in the Northern Hemisphere, June saw a lot of growth in the garden.  June is also when my Instagram feed started making me look like a gardener...

June 1, June 5, & June 25

Squash & Zucchini Squash:

June 11, June 19, June 21, June 26, and June 30

Cherry Tomatoes (I became a little obsessed with these guys)

June 9, June 11, June 12, June 17, June 19, June 26

Other tomatoes:
June 24

tomato twins!  June 27

butterhead lettuce (from seed) and romaine (from starters) - June 12

cabbage - June 19

cabbage - June 26

carrots - June 26

top pic is May 25, 2016
bottom pick is June 21, 2016