You are hereMay/June 2010 Issue

May/June 2010 Issue

Summer is on its way, and it’s time to plan your family vacations and romantic getaways. Steal away to a remote fly-in fishing hideout, bask in summer sunshine at an old-time boardwalk’s amusement park, or sneak into a speakeasy in a revitalized Midwestern town. We’ve got you covered from coast to coast, and even divulge the coordinates for fly-in hot springs both on and off the grid in Alaska.

Watsonville, California

California’s Monterey Bay stretches from bustling Monterey at its southern end to bohemian Santa Cruz at its northern tip. Watsonville makes the perfect general aviation landing spot to enjoy it all—Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy calls it Monterey Bay’s midfield. The vast Elkhorn Slough, one of the West Coast’s largest salt marshes, is just a few miles away and teeming with wildlife, including about 100 adorable sea otters. Kayak on the calm waters and watch the otters feed and play the day away. You’ll also see lots of pelicans and other seabirds, harbor seals, and sea lions. Then you can head over to Phil’s Fish Market for the freshest seafood right on the harbor. Monterey’s famous Cannery Row offers shops, restaurants, and the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the world’s finest. Nearby, watch motor racing at Laguna Seca, home of the infamous Corkscrew turn, or try driving the track yourself with Skip Barber Racing School. To the north, Santa Cruz offers a free spirit’s paradise and an old-time boardwalk with a roller coaster, arcades, and lots of other rides. Take a train up to the giant redwood forest, enjoy fine dining along the coast, or rent a house or condo at Pajaro Dunes on the undeveloped coast just north of the marshes. You just might spy a whale offshore, also enjoying the beautiful Monterey Bay.

Steinhatchee Landing Resort, Florida

The Steinhatchee Landing Resort is tucked away in Florida’s “Big Bend,” where the Gulf Coast curves northwest to the panhandle. This stretch is called the “Nature Coast,” as over 80 percent of it is protected from urban development. Authors Cal Thomas and Janie Phillips take you to this hidden resort, located on the Steinhatchee River three miles up from Deadman’s Bay. Steinhatchee is the “Scallop Capitol of Florida,” and, armed with a snorkel and mesh bag, you’ll soon be hunting among the swaying sea grasses for sweet shellfish. Cook them up with some garlic and linguine in the kitchen of your private cottage. The luxury cottages sprawl across the 35-acre property, surrounded by tropical foliage, a koi pond, vegetable and flower gardens, docks for boats and kayaks, and a petting zoo for kids. There’s also a playground, full-size outdoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, volleyball, tennis, shuffleboard and croquet. Look for osprey, otters, and manatee as you glide down the river by canoe or kayak, or take a guided fishing trip or boat cruise.

Fargo, North Dakota

As author Patricia Strutz wryly points out in her article, mention Fargo and most people will get images of flooding and the odd Coen brothers film. The reality is that Fargo has become a thriving tourist destination. Warm summer days are perfect for strolling past Old Broadway’s 19th century architecture, and stopping to catch a flick and a pipe organ concert in an authentic vaudeville theatre. Climbing aboard a carriage pulled by a pair of 1,800-lb. Clydesdales lets you see the historic neighborhoods in style, or you can take a ride up the Red River on a pontoon boat as lively kingfishers dive for their dinners. This frontier town was named for the founder of the Wells Fargo Express Company. Scandinavian immigrants were some of the first to settle here, and you can learn about their history at the Hjemkomst Center through exhibits on Scandinavian heritage and culture including a replica 76-ft. Viking ship. Pilots shouldn’t miss the Fargo Air Museum with its vintage (and mostly airworthy) war birds. You can stay at an upscale downtown hotel with modern décor accented by local art, or try a suite in West Fargo near its many shops and restaurants. For dinner, choose from a variety of interesting bistros, including the elegant Silver Moon Supper Club behind the theatre. Fargo will surely surprise you!

Fly-In Fishing Trips – Pt.3: Packing the Right Gear

Author Patricia Strutz has been a fishing guide in northern Wisconsin for over a dozen years, and in this latest installment of her fly-in fishing articles, she shows you how to pack for the challenges of a fly-in trip. By design, you’re going to be far away from the local tackle shop, so you have to make sure you’re self-sufficient. You will most likely have weight and size limitations flying in a small aircraft, so your packing must be efficient. She’ll show you what gear can do double duty, and which electronics, trolling motors, and batteries are best. You’ll also get specific advice on rods, bait, tackle boxes, and back-ups for essential gear, including clothing recommendations and the best bug spray (it’s not DEET). Lastly, you’ll learn the right questions to ask the lodge or camp so both you and your plane will be prepared for a fun and successful fishing trip.

Wake Turbulence and Jet Blast

Every pilot should be aware of wake turbulence and jet blast, and should know how to avoid them. Although you can encounter wake turbulence any time you are in flight, these hazards are most common in the vicinity of airports and tend to strike just before landing or soon after takeoff—when you are most vulnerable. Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy describes several examples of the instant devastation that can be the result of a wake turbulence or jet blast encounter, explains how these hazards develop, how to predict where the turbulence will be, and how to avoid it in both VFR and IFR conditions. You’ll also get specific recommendations on how to react to a variety of scenarios, including how to deal with ATC, so you can stay safe.