So, we were able to get our arrangements made to have Bettles Air pick us up at Lake Kavacharak, a common pickup and drop off point in the Noatak National Preserve, at around 3:00 p.m. Wanting to make sure we had plenty of time to portage the gear from the river to the lake, we arrived at the lake at around noon, and had everything portaged by a little after 1:00. We treated ourselves to a hot lunch, and I relaxed against a large dry bag, reading “The Blue Bear.” We knew that our ride would not be there on time – bush taxis never are – but we were not quite prepared for the 3 hours and 40 minutes late that Bettles Air eventually was. Curt was at the wheel, of course, and helped us to quickly get loaded and get up in the air. As we flew back toward Bettles, I became increasingly pleased at the late pick up, as the light was starting to get rather spectacular. As we flew near Mount Igikpak and through the Arrigetch Peaks, I quickly filled the compact flash card in my camera. I wished we could stay out more and capture more aerial photos from this end of the park, but knew we had to get back. As it was, we landed and had the plane unloaded just in time for the sunset.