You are hereJuly/August 2014

July/August 2014

The dog days of summer are fast approaching. Are you feeling the heat and need a place to cool off? We have a quick cool side trip for your Oshkosh adventure as well as a cool Northeastern coastal escape. For backcountry lovers, this issue features Idaho’s most popular fly-in breakfast and lodge airstrip. Summer also means rodeo, and we’ll take you to a unique, authentic Western rodeo that comes with a full week of partying, gambling, and parades, all set in a small town filled with history and an absolutely dazzling Western store. Finally, we will show you how you can let your loved ones know you are okay when you are out flying, as well as let Search & Rescue know exactly where you are if you have to make an emergency landing. This information that could save your life!

Duluth, Minnesota

If you’re headed to Oshkosh for the annual EAA AirVenture air show and looking for a side trip where you can cool off, look to Duluth, 220 nm northwest of Oshkosh. As author Patricia Strutz explains, Duluth sits on the north shore of Lake Superior, so prevailing easterly winds and the lake’s cooling effects have earned the northeastern Minnesota city the nickname “The Air-Conditioned City, ” where a hot day in July is 76 degrees. Duluth has reinvented itself into a trendy tourist spot. Enjoy a sightseeing cruise on Lake Superior’s waters, walk the beaches in search of banded agate gemstones, or watch immense cargo ships pass under one of the largest aerial lift bridges in the world. You can tour a magnificent 1908 lakefront estate, a retired lake freighter, or pilots might be interested in a tour of the Cirrus aircraft factory. The lakeshore also makes a great bird watching area, especially when large groups of raptors gather during migration. Duluth offers unique attractions and a refreshingly cool change of pace. Start your day at a popular bakery and café with a hip, urban coffeehouse vibe, which also has live music several evenings each week. Find exceptional craft beer and cuisine that uses the brews as a main ingredient, or head to a popular saloon and grill with outstanding views of the aerial bridge to go with the authentic “up north ” walleye and other dishes. You can stay in the heart of Canal Park, cuddle up in a cottage on the beach, or pitch your tent atop a high ridge overlooking the St. Louis River. Duluth is full of pleasant surprises and makes a fun summer getaway.

Pendleton, Oregon

If you like rodeo, horses, and Western history, you definitely do not want to miss “Round-Up ” in Pendleton, Ore., held the second week of September. So as Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy says in our feature article, dust off those cowboy boots, pack a pair of Wranglers, point your plane to Pendleton, and “Let ’er Buck! ” That slogan originated with the first Round-Up in 1910, and you’ll see all around town. Round-Up is like an Oregon Mardi Gras, with plenty of booze, religion, and American flags thrown in, and it’s worlds away from the cultures of Portland or Eugene. Some people buy a rodeo ticket just to get in to the Let ’er Buck Room for some serious bacchanalia, fueled by special “Pendleton Whisky. ” This is real ranching country, and Round-Up is the only professional rodeo still held on grass. The arena is twice as large as other rodeo arenas, which makes the events more challenging. You’ll see broncs, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and Indian relay races. The Happy Canyon Indian Pageant and Wild West Show is held the same week; Native Americans participate in a big way with dancing, special foods, art, races, and historic costumes. The Westward Ho! Parade retraces the Oregon Trail right through town. It’s one of the largest non-motorized parades in the country, with beautifully restored covered wagons and stagecoaches pulled by perfectly matched teams of horses, mules, and oxen. While in Pendleton, you’ll find much more to entertain you, like the famous Pendleton Woolen Mills, Native American-related exhibits at the TamÁstslikt Cultural Institute, and an historic saddle and Western shop filled with memorabilia and fine art. Next to the shop you’ll find a pair of saloons with incredible antique bars, woodwork, and decorations inside. Enjoy fine steaks and prime rib for dinner; a wonderful coffee shop next door serves hearty breakfasts and lunches. For more fun, you can stay at the huge nearby Indian resort and casino, with gambling, golf, and several more restaurants. Or tuck yourself into an Italian Renaissance style bed and breakfast with fine views of town, and then enjoy a home-cooked gourmet breakfast before you head out for more Round-Up fun.

Bar Harbor, Maine

When August arrives with the dog days of summer, cool “Downeast ” Maine’s rocky coastline makes a perfect escape. You’ll find Bar Harbor just across Frenchman Bay on Mount Desert Island. Pilots can easily visit Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island when they fly into Hancock County–Bar Harbor Airport. As author Heather Sanders Connellee explains, this quintessential New England town comes with dramatic cliffs and island views, great lobster, a lighthouse, and Acadia National Park, the oldest national park east of the Mississippi. This is a place that can be the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Hike through the park, sip champagne from your balcony overlooking the ocean, or take a sunset paddle tour. Sail on a 151-foot, four-masted schooner, bring the kids for a day of whale watching, or learn how to catch lobsters. In town, you can shop the boutiques and savor fresh seafood. This popular tourist destination has retained its integrity and charm. Take part in a dining tradition that dates back to the 1800s when you enjoy tea and popovers on the lawn of a restaurant inside Acadia National Park. You can also grab a quick lobster roll in a seaside shack, or savor fine dining with a Latin flair in the quaint downtown. When it’s time to turn in, you can choose from a waterfront room, a chic boutique hotel, an elegant Victorian mansion, or a cozy bed and breakfast. You can be in the heart of everything or away from it all, while you enjoy the cool ocean breezes.

Sulphur Creek Lodge, Idaho

Idaho has more backcountry airstrips than any other state in the Lower 48. At about a dozen of these airstrips, you’ll find lodges where you can fly in for breakfast or stay overnight and enjoy a variety of activities. Our Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy lives in Idaho and has visited most of these backcountry fly-in lodges. She says that each of them has a particular standout quality, but it seems that Sulphur Creek Ranch has the best combination of attributes fly-in guests look for. The ranch is in a Wilderness Area and is therefore remote, yet it’s only a 45-minute flight from Idaho’s capital city. The approach and airstrip are challenging, yet not too difficult. The lodge itself is historic and the hearty cowboy breakfast gets rave reviews. Private guest cabins are very comfortable. You can fish in the nearby pond or hike or ride a horse to more fishing in Sulphur Creek or the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Watch Chinook salmon spawn after their grueling 800-mile journey, or take a trail ride or set up a custom guided hunt. But maybe it’s the Sulphur Creek caretakers, Kiere and ValDean Schroeder, who stand out most. They pour their hearts and souls into this place so they can share it with visitors. All these things combine to make Sulphur Creek Idaho’s most popular summer fly-in spot.

Personal Locator Beacons – One Could Save Your Life

It can be amazingly difficult to find a lost airplane, as several highly publicized airplane disappearances over the last few years prove. In this article, Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy explains the ins and outs of Personal Locater Beacons (PLBs), also called GPS Satellite Trackers. You’ll learn the pros and cons of ELTs and PLBs and get a comparison of options to consider. Using a PLB will make it easy for search and rescue (SAR) to find you if you have to make an emergency landing, particularly in a remote area. You’ll have the ability to tell your friends and family—as well as SAR—that you need help. If everything is going well, PLBs give you the ability to let loved ones know where you are and that your trip is proceeding smoothly. Think of the peace of mind they will have! The article goes into the specific offerings of three brands of PLBs that the FAA has declared so reliable, they are part of a special program of enhanced SAR in Alaska. You’ll be able to compare costs and benefits, and begin to decide what device(s) are best for you. The sad reality is that airplane emergencies, crashes, and fatalities do happen. The only thing possibly worse than dying in an airplane crash, is to survive a crash or emergency landing in a remote area, and then perish for lack of rescue. Read this article and make yourself easy to find.