The 2014 Evergreen Encampment in Concrete

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The annual Arlington Fly-In in July with its busy traffic, air show restrictions and tower operations has become the stimulus for an Evergreen excursion to one of the nearby mountain airfields (Darrington or Concrete).  This year the destination was Concrete over the July 12/ 13 weekend.  Concrete had not been visited for a few years by Evergreen and – most of all - it has now a fuel pump, eliminating having to transport fuel.

Sauk_Mt_and_G103_landing-400x266.JPGSo on Friday evening, after the temporary AWO tower closed, Kris Kasprowicz towed first the G103 halfway to Concrete (to continue on its own) and then came back to do a double tow with an L-23 (264BA) and an L-33 (379BA).  The other L-33 followed in its trailer together with the gas golf cart and about a dozen Evergreen hopefuls (including several private sailplane owners).

The Concrete airport has a nice relaxed atmosphere and a very friendly accommodating community.  It also has the nicest pilot lounge in the Northwest and the wonderful North Cascades Vintage Aircraft Museum, a haven for restored small airplanes from the Golden Age of aviation (from the 1930’s and beyond).   

Saturday saw a lot of field checkouts which kept our two CFIGs (Paul Adriance and Mike Delaney) busy.  It was a blue day and thermal lift was hard to come by.  The only way to find any was a long and high tow to the area behind Sauk Mountain.  Dan Housler in his big Cirrus managed the longest flight with about 2 hours.

Mt_Baker_and_Mt_Shuksan-400x275.JPGSunday looked about the same but proved to be a little bit better.  Again it took long and high tows to the area north of Sauk to connect but some pilots managed to get really high.  Bruce Byrkett in his LS6 got to over 12,000 ft and Paul and Hugh in the G103 climbed to 11,300 ft before setting off to visit Mount Shuksan.

In late afternoon there were some thunderstorm warnings to the south and it was decided to retreat to Arlington.  The aero tows worked the same as on the way out, and by sunset most everything and everybody were back in Arlington.  Only one L-33 and the golf cart stayed in Concrete to be brought back later by Mason.

Altogether it was a pleasant outing, with a number of pilots getting their first exposure to another airfield and to some mountainous area.  Kris seemed to take up residence in the Pawnee, making a total of 24 tows in Concrete in addition to 4 ferry tows.  And everybody enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the beautiful scenery of this little airfield.