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May/June 2017


Summer adventures galore highlight this issue. See the “birthplace of aviation,” visit a serene forest airstrip in Florida, explore a Southern town filled with pre-Civil war history, and check out a quirky New Mexico town with a funny name.

Savannah & Tybee, Georgia

Join author Kristy MacKaben as she explores Savannah, a charming, Spanish moss-draped Southern gem that’s also known for its great Southern cooking. Founded in the 1700s, the city was neatly laid out, making it easily walkable, and contains an unusual abundance of pre-Civil War homes. Even the hotels are historic, but they’ve been renovated for modern tastes. If you’d rather not walk, just hop aboard a trolley, or take your tour via pedicab or horse and carriage. At night you can expect more of a party atmosphere. The bars are hopping and the streets are alive with party-goers (drinking alcoholic beverages on the streets is permitted here). Because Savannah is just 15 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, it’s an easy drive to Tybee Island, a barrier island known for its wide, sandy beaches and an abundance of water sports and adventure opportunities. On Tybee you’ll also find Fort Pulaski, a pre-Civil War era fort, and the Tybee Light Station and Museum. Together, Tybee Island and Savannah offer plenty to discover and experience for everyone—whether you’re traveling alone, on a romantic getaway, or exploring with your kids.

Dayton, Ohio

Even if the Wright Brothers did make their first powered flights in North Carolina, they built their first flyer in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio, which is why Ohio promotes itself as the “Birthplace of Aviation.” As author MeLinda Schnyder makes clear, Dayton is an unmatched destination for viewing aviation history. Not only can you visit a number of historic Wright Brothers-related sites, you can even fly in a replica of the Wright B Flyer. And Dayton is the host city for the world’s largest military aviation museum, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Travel through time as you explore the museum’s galleries, organized by era. It’s not only about aviation though, you can visit America’s Packard Museum, ranked one of America’s top ten auto museums. Then pop into a classic supper club to try the rib eye that was ranked No. 2 on The Food Network’s list of five best steaks in America. Or, take your taste buds back to 1850 at a living history museum where you’ll enjoy food and drink prepared using historic recipes and methods. You’ll see why a visit to Dayton is not only a bucket-list destination for aviators, but also for food lovers.

Blackwater Airfield, Florida

Once upon a time, longleaf pine forests covered much of the South, yet these forests have shrunk dramatically, due to development and logging. However, in the Florida Panhandle you’ll find the Blackwater River State Forest (BRSF), part of the largest contiguous longleaf pine and wiregrass ecosystem in the world. Within this forest lies the Blackwater Airfield, built to provide the Florida Forest Service (FFS) with aviation access to this very large forest, mostly for firefighting purposes. The strip had always been closed to public use, but in 2010, the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF) approached the FFS and the BRSF, asking them to think about opening the strip to general aviation. After a successful fly-in in 2012, the authorities decided to allow continued public access of this fine airstrip. Nowadays, anyone can land there, once you get a user permit and complete a safety briefing. Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy explains this simple process, as well as all there is to enjoy at Blackwater. Land and pitch your tent beside your airplane. If you prefer, you can stay in a nearby campground. The airfield’s swimming hole and lake provide fun days for the family, and there’s nothing like having the time to relax in the forest. You can also canoe, kayak, or float down the river, try a zip line, take a hike, and count the birds. We have the RAF to thank for this opportunity; if you’re not already a member, consider visiting www.TheRAF.org to sign up.

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

If you’re looking for an offbeat and artsy place to relax, look no further than Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, or “T or C,” as the locals call it. The town was first named Hot Springs, but re-named itself after a popular TV game show. The hot springs are still here though; T or C’s bathhouse district provides nearly a dozen places you can immerse yourself in the warm, odorless, natural spring waters. After your warm bath, you can wander among the galleries, thrift shops, bookstores, and boutiques loaded with locally-made crafts. As Managing Editor Crista V. Worthy explains, you won’t go hungry either, because T or C is developing a reputation among foodies, as unique local eateries spring up to offer fine Italian cuisine, Asian fusion dishes, local dishes, and traditional steak and lobster. You can get luxury here too, at Ted Turner’s Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa. Explore one of his expansive ranches, float down the Rio Grande, play golf, go boating or birding at the Elephant Butte Reservoir, or visit a ghost town.

Using an iPad in the Cockpit – Lessons Learned from Long-Distance Flying

The “Zen Pilot,” Robert DeLaurentis, author of “Flying Thru Life: How to Grow Your Business and Relationships with Applied Spirituality” and “Zen Pilot: Flight of Passion and the Journey Within,” has flown his 1997 Piper Malibu Mirage around the world. Having flown throughout the U.S. and more than 50 foreign countries, he has a lot of experience with using an iPad in the cockpit. DeLaurentis shares a number of tips on how to get the most out of this incredible gadget, as well as how to prevent it from failing at a critical moment.