Wintery Port Alsworth

Port Alsworth is under a beautiful blanket of new snow. Locals are having a blast playing ice hockey and ice fishing on the frozen bay, and most of them are waiting patiently for a good freeze on Lake Clark so they can get busy building igloos, go cross-country skiing, and ride their snow machines. Winter is wonderful in Bush Alaska!


Alaska Adventure: Pile Bay & Williams Port

This is the tiny village of Pile Bay. It had 30 people at it's largest and it's where Jacque (Vantrease) Wilder, LPA's founder, grew up. Her parents homesteaded here before Alaska was one of the 50 states!
Pile Bay was settled in the early 1940's for the specific reason of transporting commercial fishing boats over
"the road" between Iliamna Bay on Cook Inlet and Williams Port on Lake Iliamna.

Once the boats are in Lake Iliamna they head to the west end of the lake and down the Kvijak (Qwe-Jack) River
to Bristol Bay where the world's largest wild salmon fishery draws thoushands of fishermen each summer.
The 13 mile drive over the gravel road is really beautiful. It's filled with rivers, flowers and mountains galore!

Here's Iliamna Bay where fishermen wait on their boats for the tide to rise enough to get into the pull-out bay...

Today there were several boats waiting for Ray Williams and his family to pull them out of the water. 
Up to 5 boats a day can be transported over the road to Lake Iliamna.
Transporting the large fishing boats through the mountain pass, along the cliff edges and around the switchbacks is very slow and dangerous work...
Plus there are several metal bridges just inches wider than the boats which require incredible driver accuracy.
Picnics, ptarmigan hunting, fishing, and bear sighings are all pretty much daily opportunities in the summer.

What a place to spend the day!


Bush Flying 101: How to book a flight with Lake and Pen Air

When calling an LPA office you only need to know four things: Your name, dates of travel, departure and arrival towns.
In addition to these four things, having a credit card ready will make booking your flight a breeze!

Example of a great phone call:
LPA: Thanks for calling LPA! How can I help?
Laura: My name is Laura. I’d like to fly from Port Alsworth to Anchorage on June 20th, and return on June 27th. 
LPA: Ok, we have a flight leaving Port Alsworth at 10am on the 20th, and one leaving Anchorage at 4pm on the 27th. Will those times work for you?
Laura: Yes! Thank you!
LPA: I can confirm your seats if you have your credit card handy.
Laura: Ok, here’s my number….
LPA: Alright Laura , you’re all set. Please check-in at our office an hour before your flights. You get 50 pounds of freight each direction. Anything over 50 pounds is .85 per pound. 
Laura: Ok, sounds good.
LPA: Thanks so much for calling LPA! Have a great day!
Laura: Thanks, you too!

Try not to do this:
LPA: Thanks for calling LPA! How can I help?
Laura: When’s your flight leave?
LPA: Our next flight leaves at 3pm. 
Laura: I wanna get on that one.
LPA: That flight is going to McGrath. Do you want to go to McGrath?
Laura: Kenai.
LPA: You want to fly to Kenai?
Laura: From Kenai.
LPA: You want to fly from Kenai to McGrath?
Laura: Ok.
LPA: Our next flight from Kenai to McGrath is at 4pm today. Would you like a seat on that flight?
Laura: Ummmm… I’ll call you back.

Other questions that make it difficult to help you quickly…
- When’s your plane gonna get here? (We don’t know where ‘here’ is.)
- Is my freight here? (Again, we don’t know where ‘here’ is. And who are you?)

LPA is an exciting place to work, and we really love everyone who calls us!
Thank you for making our days exciting, making us laugh, and flying with us!
We’re looking forward to your next call!


What are you planning to do in 2017?

 Any bucket list wishes you're going to check off? Dreams you'll pursue?

How about checking out the amazing Lake Clark National Park and Preserve?
It was named the #2 destination in the world by CNN in 2014.

Lake and Pen Air's headquarters are in Port Alsworth, the only town in the National Park.

We know you're gonna love your flight with us because all the seats in our comfy airplanes have amazing views!
We'll fly through the beautiful Lake Clark Pass on our way to the park, and you can look for animals
in between counting glaciers and active volcanoes. It's truly spectacular!
#LakeAndPenAir loves #UnlockingAlaska


Winter Plane Prep at LPA

It takes a lot of work to get our planes ready for a winter flight. 
There's the ladder and fueling, wing covers, tail covers, engine cover, and plugging it in...
All done hours before you even check in.
Our pilots want you to be cozy though, so they head into the cold to make sure everything is just right.
Once the prop starts and the warm air flows through the cabin you'll almost feel like you're 
sitting next to the perfect fireplace. Ahhhh! This is the way to travel!

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight.
And from all of us - thanks so much for flying with Lake and Pen Air!