It’s been a long time since my last “72 Hours With” trip, but I’m happy to say that I have a new one for you. Earlier this month, I did the famed “Milk Run” with Alaska Airlines. While I initially thought it would just be a simple trip report, I quickly realized it was so much more than that.
Preview: A Video Preview Of the Milk Run
Part 1: Introduction to the Milk Run and Getting to Anchorage
Part 2: Aviation in Anchorage
Part 3: The Northern Part of the Milk Run
Part 4: Juneau and Alaska Seaplanes
Part 5: The Southern Part of the Milk Run
Part 6: Going Home and Wrapping Up
[Disclosure: Alaska paid for this trip]
The flights through Southeast Alaska — I did Anchorage-Cordova-Yakutat-Juneau one day and Juneau-Petersburg-Wrangell-Ketchikan-Seattle the next — are called the Milk Run for a quite literal reason. Alaska brings the milk to these communities, and eggs, diapers, etc. The airline is a lifeline, and it’s something that’s truly hard to fathom existing in the same way elsewhere in the US.
The timing wasn’t by accident. Alaska is retiring its 737-400 Combi aircraft this fall. The unique mix of cargo in the front with people in the back is something that’s already rare. But after October, if you fly the Milk Run, it will just be on a regular passenger aircraft. So, I joined Alaska’s SVP, External Communications Joe Sprague on a trip through the place where he earned his wings. (He learned to fly floats in Juneau.) It was a remarkable experience for me and it’s one I hope you enjoy hearing about.
On the flight home, I started writing… and writing… and writing. At nearly 10,000 words this is going to take a long time to edit and prepare for posting. That being said, I did get my video editing done and I’m pleased to start with this 9 minute 48 second video chronicling the ups and downs (again, literally) of the journey.
I realize this is a long video, but I couldn’t find a way to cut it down any further since I had so many flights with such stunning scenery. And really, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I was able to get a meaningful look at the importance of Alaska and aviation in general to the 49th state.
I’ll have more for you soon.