You are hereMarch/April 2006

March/April 2006

Enjoy Diversity this Spring!

In this issue we have spanned for you destinations you can enjoy for their sheer diversity: Nantucket’s quaint 19th century seascapes are a far cry from the sleek urban sprawl of Silicon Valley. Deep in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, a quiet strip at Fish Lake awaits you. Or, with strains of Jimmy Buffett echoing in your mind, enjoy seafood overlooking warm Gulf waters in Florida. No matter where you go, nice weather will soon be drawing pilots out to enjoy the sights and sounds of springtime.

Montrose, Colorado

As you approach Montrose, the mountains give way to a wide valley with an airport at the south end. With services for anything from a Cub to a Boeing jet, Montrose Regional Airport has become a depot of sorts for access to the surrounding mountains. The town has served in this way since the very beginning, when the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad first arrived in 1882, bringing miners, ranchers, and settlers. Today, Montrose is a great place to learn about Western and Native American history, enjoy a great meal, and use as a base for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, or simply seeing some of the best the Rockies have to offer.

Nantucket, Massachusetts

A small island off the Massachusetts coast of Cape Cod exudes an attractiveness far larger than its size, says author Tamara Brown. Nantucket Island once dominated the world’s whaling industry. Today, it will take you back in time with its cobblestone streets and more than 800 buildings at least a century old. Nantucket’s beaches, rolling moors, heaths, and cranberry bogs haven’t changed much either. Neon signs and traffic signals are nearly absent here, and gaslights illuminate parts of town. It’s easy to see why Nantucket is a popular destination. Most visitors arrive by ferryboat, and automobiles are discouraged, which is fine for pilots; everything is accessible by bicycle, shuttle, or your own two feet.

San Jose, California

Though San Jose has transformed from a quiet valley of orchards into a bustling high-tech mecca, its unique character lives on in the many and varied activities it offers. In one city, it is possible to explore the past, present, and future, to take a trip to Ancient Egypt, and to see the future through a child’s eyes. Author Michael Coyle helps you condense the urban sprawl to catch the best San Jose has to offer in dining, lodging, and attractions.

Bozeman, Montana

Casting into the shimmering waters of the Yellowstone River, an angler hooks a cutthroat trout that quivers in the reflection of 10,000-foot peaks. In the heart of the Big Sky country, Bozeman is the gateway to this fabled Western landscape. Its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, world-class fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking, and championship golf courses mean that the area has no shortage of outdoor activities. Bozeman is a beautiful town that has something to offer whether you arrive solo or bring the extended family.

Cedar Key, Florida

Cedar Key is a tiny island community of about 1,000 residents off the west coast of Florida, around 50 miles from Gainesville. Don't expect to find much here in the way of the glitzy hotels, chain restaurants, and traffic typical of the state’s larger resort areas. Instead, Cedar Key embodies the kind of easygoing Florida living that springs to mind when listening to Jimmy Buffet’s "Margaritaville." With its historic buildings and slow pace, Cedar Key offers a glimpse of Florida seldom seen in the age of eight-lane interstate highways and high-rise hotels. Think seafood restaurants with decks overlooking the Gulf, dive bars, great fishing, and an array of outdoor activities. Best of all, it’s accessible via a small, well-maintained airport about a mile from town!

Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, Owensboro, Kentucky

"Let’s make a Moonlite run" is a favorite phrase of pilots flying in the southwestern Ohio River Valley. The Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn is a legendary restaurant that has become a magnet for pilots, both civilian and military, who flock here when they develop a craving for barbecue. No one leaves the restaurant hungry, and most will agree that there is no better bang for the barbecue buck. When you get hungry while flying in the region around Owensboro, you owe it to yourself and to your passengers to stop by and give Moonlite a try.

Fish Lake, Idaho

Fish Lake encompasses everything we enjoy in one backcountry destination. Once is not enough here; it demands our return. Carved out of the pine and spruce forest more than 70 years ago, this secluded retreat offers hiking, wildlife spotting, and exceptional fishing for native cutthroat trout. Frosty September mornings reveal exhausted bull elk protecting their harem, bellowing their throaty, yet high-pitched bugle. Summer afternoons expose half-ton moose, muzzles dripping, grazing in knee-deep water along the shore. Few airstrips exude peacefulness like Fish Lake, and author Mike Sidders can help you get there.

Aviat’s New Husky A-1B – The Big Dog

Everybody loves a hot rod, and the newest Husky is definitely a hot rod. Aviat Aircraft has made the Husky A-1B more powerful with their new 200-hp engine. Other enhancements include everything from new ailerons to a heated pitot tube. Author Michael Vivion flew three of the new Huskys. His verdict about the new control surfaces? "This is one of the best modifications Aviat has made to the airplane-ever!"

Crossing the Continental Divide – Flying the Interstate Highway System

Planning a trip across the country can be intimidating, especially across the Continental Divide, which forms an obstacle for both rivers and air travel. Fortunately, it’s possible to cross it as low as 4,500 ft., but you have to select a good route. We help make flight planning easier by presenting you a selection of routes from easy to challenging, described eastbound from the West Coast. You can easily follow these routes westbound by reversing the instructions.