You are hereJanuary/February 2007
New Discoveries for Your New Year!
With the New Year here, it’s time to plan your next adventure. The time is right for skiing in Maine, or maybe you’d rather escape winter’s bite and enjoy sunny Florida. We’ll show you a gem of an airstrip with a thrilling approach deep within a spectacular Utah canyon. For a true adventure, you can fly your own airplane to Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, with expert local pilots taking care of the paperwork for you, leaving you free to explore and enjoy the trip of a lifetime. All these destinations and more are featured in this issue.
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula offers so much more than Cancun’s glitzy resorts when you fly there yourself. Editor-in-chief John T. Kounis designed a custom itinerary with Caribbean Sky Tours and introduces you to a variety of adventures. Visit ancient Mayan temples deep in the jungle, relax in luxurious eco-resorts, shop in a beautifully preserved Spanish Colonial town, enjoy the famous white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, and even dive in and swim with a whale shark if you dare! Whether you take a standard tour or create your own, the magic of Mexico is made even better with the insider knowledge that Caribbean Sky Tours shares, and from the friendly and carefree locals you will meet.
San Marcos, Texas
Located between Austin and San Antonio, San Marcos is a lively college town built around an astounding spring that forms the headwaters of the San Marcos River. Lush gardens filled with birds surround the springs where you can gaze at fish through a glass-bottomed boat, or you can take your time floating down the river without a care. Author Tamara Brown shows you how to tour a collection of WWII combat aircraft at the airport or explore an incredible cave and learn how San Marcos’ spring was formed. In town, you can dine in style—in a real bank vault! Fine food and martinis are made in this bank-turned-restaurant, which was robbed in 1923, and even served as the set of a 1972 Steve McQueen movie.
If you are a skier, you will find that the Sunday River Resort in Bethel, Maine, offers a diverse array of winter fun: downhill or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even travel by dogsled with a magnificent team of Siberian Huskies pulling you through pristine forests. You can drive through a winter wonderland of frozen waterfalls and to one of the most-photographed covered bridges in New England. Author Kathy Wolf lets you know the best ski lodges, and where to rent a vacation home near a frozen pond. Après-ski, you can enjoy a romantic dinner or boogie to live music.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Tucked between Cape Canaveral and Daytona Beach on Florida’s Atlantic coast, New Smyrna Beach is the friendly, laid-back way to explore pristine estuaries loaded with mangroves, manatees, pelicans and other wildlife. Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, play golf, or enjoy some of Florida’s finest surfing. Author Cal Thomas offers tips on finding sumptuous seafood as well as charming bed and breakfast inns. Visit George Baker’s shop full of vintage aircraft under restoration, or even take his course for T-34 pilots!
Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s Las Vegas, baby! Las Vegas is fabulous in the cool months of a desert winter. Fly there yourself and avoid the hassles of commercial air travel. You might even get routed over Las Vegas Strip, with its incomparable neon lights and the Grand Canal of Venice, the Eiffel Tower, and the New York skyline. With three airports to choose from, where should you land? Features editor Crista Worthy helps you decide which airport is your best bet, and gives you tips on how to navigate the busy airspace like a pro. Las Vegas has food and fun for everyone: families, romantic couples, or wild singles.
Southern Flyer Diner, Brenham, Texas
Janet and Jack Hess are pilots and managers of the Brenham Airport not far from Houston, Texas. They’ve created a Fifties diner right at the airport where high school girls in poodle skirts serve up a variety of traditional American dishes and some of the world’s best malts while you watch planes take off and land. They must be doing it right, since one diner from Houston flew here 162 times last year!
Hidden Splendor, Utah
Who wouldn’t want to visit a place with a name like Hidden Splendor? Whatever images your brain conjures up, they can’t compare with the twisting, awe-inspiring, red rock canyon you’ll fly deep inside of as you approach this backcountry Utah airstrip. Features editor Crista Worthy reveals the secrets of flying in and out of this challenging strip. You will learn some insider tips from Lavar Wells who has been flying these canyons for more than 46 years. After landing here, you can explore slot canyons, camp, and revel in the solitude.
Alaskan Bushwheels The Bush Pilot's Choice
Ever wonder what the big deal is with those over-sized tires favored by real bush pilots? Author Mike Sidders explains exactly what a big deal they really are—some of the most important equipment you can put on your plane if you favor landing on unimproved surfaces. This fascinating article takes you inside Alaskan Bushwheels, a unique facility where these amazing tires are made entirely by hand. More than 45 man-hours are devoted to the production of each tire! The company’s equipment has opened new avenues of recreation for private pilots throughout the nation.
Flying over Water Tips for Landlubber Pilots
Rick Gardner of Caribbean Sky Tours lives in Cancun, Mexico, and he frequently flies the three-hour trip to Florida in his Cessna 206, and sometimes to the Bahamas. Learn his safety tips for your pre-flight and navigation, from understanding which items are vital to have in case of emergency over water to what to put in your life vest and equipment bag. Rick covers emergency procedures and provides a number of online and print resources for more information as well as where to buy the best equipment that could save your life.