You are hereMay/June 2008

May/June 2008

Summer’s Just Around the Corner!

And that means it’s time to start planning your fun summer adventures! We’ve got quite a selection for you, from ultimate luxury to ultimate remoteness and everything in between. Plus we remember some of our favorite luxury resorts and rustic lodges from our last 10 years.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pennsylvania

For a sophisticated vacation with lots of fun activities, it’s hard to beat Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania. It has a 4,000-ft. private runway right next to resort buildings, and 3,000 acres to play in. Author Heather Sable takes you to dine at the fabulous Lautrec that houses several of French artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec’s original works. It’s one of only two U.S. restaurants named to the AAA Five Diamond list. The next night you can try Aqueous, the AAA Four Diamond-rated steakhouse in the fabulous Falling Rock Hotel that is architecturally influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Falling Water structure (not far away in western Pennsylvania). The hotel offers 24-hour butler service that complements the top-notch amenities including your own marble bath, 200-gallon soaking tub, impeccably appointed room, and numerous other luxuries. The resort also has many fun activities. You can play golf on two championship 18-hole golf courses, saddle up a horse, and even drive a Hummer H2 over all kinds of crazy obstacles in their Off-Road Driving Academy. Sporting clays, paintball, a climbing wall, fly fishing, and luxury spa treatments are also available. It all adds up to a fabulous resort holiday.

Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch, Pahrump, Nevada

Go, Speed Racer, Go! Yes, that can be you zooming around a fabulous racetrack about 50 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada. As Editor-in-Chief John T. Kounis explains, Spring Mountain’s three-day Corvette Advanced Driving School is an excellent introduction to racing. You’ll be learning behind the wheel of a 405-hp or 505-hp muscular American racing dynamo; each maneuver is covered in the classroom and then reinforced with ample track time. Precision heel-toe downshifting, maintaining proper balance, and many other techniques will make you a far better driver both on the track and on the road. If you are a real daredevil, go for the Radical Racing School to learn in cars that approach Formula One capabilities! Additionally, the Ranch offers a Lotus Performance Driving School and Kart racing. If your significant other is not into racing, there’s plenty to do at the brand new clubhouse that features a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym, restaurant, bar, shower and locker rooms, conference room, and on-site masseuse. Members can even get lessons in high-wing LSA Remo G-3s, a fun and easy way to learn to fly. Visit Spring Mountain for the rides of your life!

Salem, Oregon

As author Tyler Speed explains, even though Salem is Oregon’s capital and its second-largest city, it holds the charm of a small town. Whether you visit a local winery, farmer’s market, or brewery, you’ll find top-quality goods all-around. Take a ride on the Willamette Queen, a 67-foot twin paddle-wheeler offering lunch or dinner cruises on the river. Or hike through Silver Falls State Park, with 10 beautiful (and tall!) waterfalls, year-round. The Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge offers many opportunities to spot wildlife, or if your tastes run more toward flowers, visit the Oregon Garden or Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, one of the world’s largest. Numerous B&Bs and hotels make it easy to find accommodations to suit your taste. A number of local restaurants offer a wide range of local brews, plus melt-in-your-mouth baby back ribs. For more upscale dining, choose Alessandro’s, with a massive selection of fine wines. Salem’s name comes from Shalom, or peaceful, and that’s how you’ll be feeling after visiting.

Vero Beach, Florida

Vero Beach in the center of Florida’s “Treasure Coast” calls itself the citrus capital of the world. It is not only home to Indian River citrus, but also to Piper Aircraft and professional baseball. Authors Cal Thomas and Janie Phillips show why a visit to Vero Beach is one you won’t soon forget. If you time your visit right, you might swing a guided tour of Piper Aircraft’s construction facility, where you can see all the special processes used to build these fabulous aircraft. The famous FlightSafety Academy is also right at the airport. The historic site for baseball spring training, Holman Stadium is home to the Vero Beach Devil Rays all summer. You can also visit the art museum, botanical gardens, play golf, scuba dive, or surf. From simple to chic, there’s no lack of places to stay here, including the Driftwood Resort that was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is literally built of driftwood. Whether you’re in the mood for delicious seafood or great steaks, you’ll have plenty of choices on the waterfront.

Lancaster, Texas

Should you find yourself in the vicinity of Dallas, Texas, don’t miss the opportunity to land at Lancaster Airport and pay Tina Reilly’s Runway Café a visit. The restaurant is best known for its thick, juicy buffalo burgers, and Tina’s smile will make you feel welcome. Chances are you’ll find plenty of friendly local pilots to share stories with as well. The mayor, and a number of Commemorative Air Force pilots are regulars. As author Tamara Brown points out, it’s the kind of place where the regulars keep personal mugs under the counter and help themselves to the coffee. The lunch menu includes beef burgers as well as stuffed roast pork tenderloin, salads, and wraps, all at reasonable prices; desserts are made fresh daily. After your meal, walk over to the two museums on the field: The Cold War Air Museum, and the Commemorative Air Force Museum. You’ll see beautiful warbirds, foreign and domestic, like Soviet-era helicopters and MiGs, a Corsair, and a C-47 Gooney Bird. Between the meal and the museums, you’ll be glad you stopped by.

Boulder, Utah

One of the most remote towns in the lower 48 is a little less remote for pilots due to a nearby short dirt strip. You can land near the historic enclave of Boulder, Utah, or fly to the paved Bryce Canyon Airport and rent a car. Either way, you can drive, hike, or mountain bike some of Utah’s finest scenery according to Technical Editor Crista Worthy. At nearly 7,000 feet in elevation, Boulder isn’t boiling in summer, but you can still enjoy a dip in cool aqua waters below 126-ft. Calf Creek Falls after an enjoyable hike. The tiny town is home to an eclectic group of self-reliant folks, as well as—believe it or not—a world-class restaurant, Hell’s Backbone Grill. Run by two women who came here nearly a decade ago, you’ll fall in love with this unique cuisine that is a blend of Western Range, Indian Pueblo, and Southwestern flavors, all created with ingredients from their organic garden and local, sustainably raised meats. Next door, the Boulder Mountain Lodge is a restful haven, located beside a wildlife sanctuary. If you prefer, you can travel with a local outfitter while llamas carry your gear, or go fly fishing with a gentleman who has plied the local streams and lakes for 24 years and knows where all the monster trout are hiding. Best of all, he’ll be happy to pick you up at the airport!

Flying in Fire Season – Smoke in the Mountains

Summer flying season is almost upon us, and that means fire season is as well. In fact, fires have been increasing in number, size, and intensity all over the West for the last several years, and the Forest Service predicts this trend will continue. Fires usually mean TFRs, created to keep pilots away from those fighting the fire. Technical Editor Crista Worthy talks with Lori MacNichol, who worked for nine years as an air attack pilot, about the best ways to avoid violating a TFR along your route of flight over the backcountry, and techniques to use when flying near mountains, canyons, and smoke, so you stay safe.