I’ve mentioned in other posts that we live up at Sheep Mt. for the bulk of our flying season which is May-Sept. During the winter months we move down to the big city so, welcome to Palmer. In French Palmer means – “Where the freaking wind never stops blowing.” OK so maybe I just made that up, but don’t forget it. I should not isolate the blame to Palmer, because Palmer’s sister town, Wasilla, is no better and it’s ugly to boot. Summers are nice, but during the winter months the air never stops moving. The nice thing about Palmer is the fantabulous mountains surrounding the small town. Pioneer Peak is the most prominent mountain standing 6,400′ above the saltwater at its base. It really is a good place to live and is referred to as the Matanuska (Mat-an-oo-ska) Valley which includes Wasilla and the surrounding communities. Over the past 15 years the Matanuska Valley has become Anchorage’s bedroom because it’s only 45 minutes away.
What you are looking at here is Palmer-proper with the “downtown” section right beneath the nose and the runway (PAAQ) to the East (left) I grew up here and got my pilots license right there on the Palmer runway when I was 18 years old. You see that row of rivets running down my engine cowl ? It’s pointing at the Glenn Hwy which will take you directly to our house at Sheep Mountain this summer. Sheep Mountain is a beautiful 1 hour and fifteen minute drive from Palmer. We come into town several times a week to get groceries, and water the plants. So we may be able to fly you out of Palmer if it works with our scheduling, don’t hesitate to ask.
The reason the wind blows so much is because Palmer and Wasilla sit at the mouth of two large valleys the Matanuska and the Knik. Those two drainages are the main passage-ways, or relief valves through the Chugach Mountains. And when I talk about wind, I mean some WIND!! on average it is less than 20 mph, but then all of a sudden the mountains will get an attitude and LOOK OUT ! The stiffest breeze I’ve seen this winter is 80 mph. The next photo was taken during a Palmer windstorm … and here’s what it does to a Super Cub. Makes me really sad, poor guy. Mike’s Cessna 185 was parked just 75 feet away when this happened, we were more fortunate I guess.