This Oshkosh winner is one of the all-time great flying SUVs!
Folks who live in Seattle, Wash., tell strangers about how bad the weather is; it’s a mantra for them. The message is almost subliminal—it’s a gloomy place, the sun never shines, it’s always raining… For some reason, they don’t want the rest of us up there. But the weather in Seattle actually is different from the message. In reality, the climate is mild, the landscape beautifully green, and for Randy Kersten, it’s one of best places on the planet to own an airplane.
Kersten is one of those Seattle natives who goes north to the San Juan Islands for vacation. He bought a cabin on Center Island, 12 miles south of Orcas Island, in 1978. Kersten and his family go up to the cabin every chance they get. By his own admission, “In over 20 years, we’ve only turned around twice and got stuck twice. In summer, we go up there every weekend; during the winter, only once a month.”
One of the things that Kersten likes the most about his cabin is that there’s no road or bridge to the island, and there isn’t a ferry that goes near there either. Kersten smiles, “The only way in or out is by boat or airplane, and I’m still not sure about boats.”
Several years ago, Kersten had a problem with the septic system at his cabin. The local powers that be told him that the whole system needed to be replaced. For a place as remote as Center Island, getting all the supplies to install a new system would be expensive. Most people would feel the pain in their wallets.
For Kersten, it was no problem at all: “I had my 3⁄4-ton flying pickup truck. I got all the stuff together and with four other guys, I made five trips in one day. I’d go in heavy and come out light. It’s only 40 minutes away, so I got everything there and we banged out the work. It was fun.”