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January/February 2006

Start the New Year by Flying!

For many, the arrival of each new year often comes with making new year resolutions. For 2006, try making your resolution to get out and fly to more fun places. This issue has many to choose from, ranging from cold-weather destinations like Lake Placid and Shawano to places where you can escape the cold, like Warner Springs Ranch and Baja California. Enjoy the new year and enjoy flying to all the fun places in this and upcoming issues!

Lake Placid , New York

Lake Placid is the only town in North America to host two Winter Olympic Games and is still one of New England’s premiere ski destinations. Author James W. Moore takes you through the history of this quaint Olympic Village in the Adirondacks. In Lake Placid you’ll visit the Olympic Arenas that were home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games. You can ice skate where the US Hockey Team scored its “Miracle on Ice” gold medal victory over the vaunted Soviet Union in 1980, ski Whiteface Mountain where you’ll be afforded the most spectacular view in the Adirondacks, climb the tower at the Olympic Ski Jumping Complex, and ride a bobsled at the Verizon Sports Park.

Punta Chivato, Baja California

When author Michael Coyle’s then-fiancée said one day, “I’ve heard there are hotels in Mexico that have their own airstrips. Find one, and that’s where we’ll go on our honeymoon,” he offered no argument—for the good of the relationship, of course. They chose Punta Chivato in Baja California for their honeymoon. They spent their days undisturbed, playing chess and cards as they lounged in the sun, enjoying fresh, superb food, kayaking the bay and coastline, bicycling through the desert, and cooling off in the sea. Perhaps like the Coyles, you too can have a romantic escape to Mexico with someone special!

Bryce Resort, Virginia

In Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains is a fly-in community with an unusual combination of skiing, snowboarding, and golf just a few steps from the tiedown area. Family-friendly Bryce Resort is known for its all-season fun for everyone and is the kind of place you will want to visit again and again. If you stick around longer than an afternoon, everyone will be sure to know your name.

Warner Springs Ranch, California

When cold weather arrived, author Jessica Ambats chose to soak away her chills in the natural hot springs at Warner Springs Ranch in Southern California. Join her as she relates her stay soaking in an Olympic-sized pool fed from the hot springs, climbing up scenic hiking trails, jogging around the 18-hole championship golf course, sampling delicious food, and dancing away in the cantina. And, like Jessica, you can add to the experience by taking a glider ride from the Warner Springs Gliderport owned by the Ranch.

Silver City, New Mexico

Pilots have a special opportunity to visit a unique town that, for most people, is a chore to drive to. Yet that’s just part of what makes Silver City so attractive. Despite its somewhat isolated location in the southwestern part of New Mexico, this town of 12,000 features a thriving art community in a setting next to desert and mountains. Victorian buildings are found everywhere, with a few complementing a serene and heavily wooded downtown river walk. Other nearby attractions include the massive Gila Wilderness, and an Old West mountain village that’s remained largely unchanged since Billy the Kid roamed here. Locals proudly proclaim that with four gentle seasons, the area has one of America’s best climates. And, for pilots, this means flying to Silver City can be a pleasant trip almost any time of the year.

Shawano, Wisconsin

According to author Patricia Strutz, there’s something magical about spending a winter day outside, especially when you’re in Shawano, a small town in eastern Wisconsin. Here, you can dash through the snow on a snowmobile through dense forest, or jig for tasty bluegills while greeting fellow fishermen in a “shantytown” on the frozen lake. Whether you land on the lake with skis or at the airport right on the lakeshore, you’ll be sure to enjoy yourself in the winter wonderland of Shawano.

Corsair Café, Pine Mountain Lake, California

In the Sierra Nevada Foothills just over 100 miles from the San Francisco Bay is the active fly-in community of Pine Mountain Lake, and the unassuming Corsair Café where owner Shirley Moreno proudly applies her culinary skills to create fresh, innovative meals. The lure of hearty soups and specialty sandwiches is usually enough to bring pilots in for a visit, but if that isn’t enough, add the selection of decadent desserts and a convenient place to stay over if needed, and it’s time to land.

Happy Canyon, Utah

Explore Happy Canyon with Utah pilot Steve Durtschi. This short, rocky, up-hill landing strip almost a mile high will test your skills and provide the opportunity for hiking and camping far from civilization in a remote area of southeast Utah. You’ll wander a deep canyon in Utah’s “red rock” country with red canyon walls towering above. As you explore this remote location far from the nearest road, you discover petrified logs weathered out of the sediments that flourished during the age of the dinosaurs, and remnants of mineral exploration from the middle of the last century.

Flying South of the Border – The Myths and the Facts

Many pilots who want to fly to Mexico have heard ugly rumors. Author Marisa Fay, co-owner of Parkwest Air Tours, reminds us that pilots should not endeavor to fly south of the border without proper research. She also dispels the five most common myths about flying to Mexico from “my aircraft will get stolen” to “it’s more complicated since 9/11.”