You are hereNovember/December 2007

November/December 2007

Fabulous Flyaways!

This time of year can be a quiet time, before the full force of holiday madness hits. Take a weekend and escape! If the cold is already seeping into your bones, drop in on the Suwannee Valley, Fla., where the weather is still mild. Or really get away from it all in an isolated Utah canyon once frequented by Butch Cassidy himself. Speaking of Utah, we’ve got the scoop on a brand-new guide to flying the Utah backcountry that will be a much-appreciated Christmas gift for the adventurous pilot. And speaking of Christmas, we’ll introduce you to Solvang, the Danish village that is the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping.

Suwannee Valley, Florida

Take a trip back in time to the Suwannee River Valley, where the Old South still reigns. Visit a number of towns mostly unchanged since the post-Civil War reconstruction where some buildings date back to the 1850s. Author Sandra Friend takes you to the snow-white banks of the sparkling Suwannee River, lined with more than 200 springs. Enjoy tubing or snorkeling its robin’s-egg-blue waters, and find beautiful waterfalls along deep forest pathways. You can even take a several-day canoe or kayak trip. The entire region is home to a multitude of antique shops, as well as old farms. Hike in a national forest, or see the Southeast’s largest Civil War Reenactment in February. Sleep in a historic bed & breakfast inn, after a delicious buffet or barbeque, served with sweet tea. Relax in a rocking chair as your cares drift away on the Southern breeze.

Solvang, California

Many of our Christmas traditions have their origins in Scandinavia, and Solvang stands out as a perfect pilot’s getaway, with a lovely airport nearby, mild year-round weather, and a fairy-tale town that is a great place to do your Christmas shopping. Technical Editor Crista Videriksen Worthy, raised in southern California, grew up speaking Danish with her immigrant parents, and explains a number of Danish holiday traditions. It’s easy to see how leaving hot porridge for the “nisseman” evolved into leaving milk and cookies for Santa, for example. In Solvang you can find the perfect little nisseman to live in your house, as well as a myriad of other handmade decorations, hand-painted fine porcelain, beautiful handmade children’s clothes, and award-winning Danish-designed kitchenwares. While you shop, you can indulge in real Danish bakery goods, fun ǽbleskivers, or a full Smorgasbord buffet. Visit the Elverhǿj Museum or the wine areas where the movie “Sideways” was filmed, and then relax in a cozy bed and breakfast or inn.

Big Bend, Texas

Fly to the Big Bend region of Texas and you have a number of places to visit where you can satisfy your inner cowboy and indulge in luxury. Author Tamara Brown takes you Lajitas, a border town owned by a series of entrepreneurs who have transformed it into a luxury resort with a private airport. Explore on your own or take advantage of guided Jeep tours, horseback riding, shooting, and more. Play on a golf course with one hole in Mexico! You can take short hops to two nearby airports, visit Big Bend National Park, take a river trip, or enjoy a hearty barbeque.

Glenns Ferry, Idaho

Did you know one of America’s first great wine regions was in Idaho? It’s true; the first vines were planted in 1862, and a local wine placed second behind Chateau Cheval Blanc at the 1904 International Exposition. The Snake River Valley is now the center of Idaho wine making, and Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy explains how you can fly in to visit Carmela Winery on the great Snake River. Take a tour, taste wonderful wines, play golf, and dine at the winery. They even have cabins to stay in overnight. More than a century ago, the pioneers arrived at this spot via the Oregon Trail, and had to cross the treacherous waters with their wagons and livestock. You can visit Three Island Crossing State Park just a short walk away from the winery and see the original crossing point, before the Ferry was built. Each August, a daring re-enactment takes place across the river, with horses, wagons, and both settlers and Native Americans in authentic dress.

Annapolis, Maryland

Maryland’s capital city may be thought of mostly as a summer resort, but Annapolis is a great place to snuggle up and enjoy a winter weekend with a loved one. Marvel at the festive decorations as you tour the town in a horse-drawn carriage, or board the specially decorated Holly Trolley. Author Heather Sable explains how you can immerse yourself in American history at the Maryland State House, where the treaty of Paris was ratified, ending the Revolutionary War. Take a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy, for a peek at how our future naval officers are being schooled. There’s lots of shopping, so you can find that perfect gift. Sleep in a historic home and wake to a sumptuous breakfast, or troop over to Chick & Ruth’s Delly, where the locals join the staff every morning for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a paradise of biological diversity and fun, and you can fly there yourself! Follow along as author Amy Laboda explains how a couple of adventurers in an amphibious Maule had the time of their lives in this jewel of Central America. Stunning photos reveal tropical rainforests where you can hike and spy on monkeys, active volcanoes spewing lava, cloud forests where you can walk on bridges suspended among the branches, lakes with awesome windsurfing, and a Pacific island that is a haven for scuba diving and snorkeling. Flying to Costa Rica can be a pleasure itself, and before you know it, you’ll be relaxing in a ritzy resort, or riding wild whitewater, and living the Pura Vida.

Stowe, Massachussetts

Meet the artistic Nancy McPherson, whose culinary creations grace the plates at

Nancy’s Airfield Café, a wonderful airport restaurant named after her. Author Renee Wright explains how Nancy grows her own herbs, serves local beer and wine, and smokes her own pork. Her experiences living in the Middle East as well as France come through in the dishes you will savor. Her Barbeque Burger received a Best of the Best on the $100 Hamburger list! After your meal, you can walk a trail taken by Paul Revere himself, or go for a peaceful kayak trip. Autumn brings hayrides and apple picking in local orchards. If you live in the Northeast, you just might find yourself making this a regular stop!

Angel Point, Utah

There’s no place on Earth like Utah’s Redrock country. Although it’s a desert, you will see everywhere the work of water that has eroded millions of years of rock and sandstone into the buttes, canyons, plateaus, spires, and slots you find today. As Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy points out, the absence of plant cover makes the history of our planet easy and fascinating to read. In the past, pioneers toiled months to get to these places, but you can fly in to Angel Point. You can set up camp near your plane and hike in Robber’s Roost Canyon, one of Butch Cassidy’s hideaways. If you have the know-how, you can rappel into a number of deep slot canyons, or just walk down to the Dirty Devil River to see ancient petroglyphs. Cooler months bring lower density altitude, and the summer monsoon season is long gone. Savor the stunning silence during the day, and marvel at the Milky Way, clearly visible at night, because you’re hundreds of miles away from any large city.

Fly Utah! – Galen Hanselman’s New Backcountry Guide

Backcountry fliers, sit up and take notice, because Galen Hanselman has done it again! His new book “Fly Utah!” joins his previous comprehensive works featuring Idaho, Montana, and Baja. This new book brings you all the excellent photography, runway descriptions, hazard indexes, and history you’ve come to expect, along with new diagrams depicting runway slopes and safe exit paths if you have to make a go-around. Even when bad weather keeps you at home, this book will entertain you with a slew of stories and characters in true Hanselman style, which means you’ll be reading with a big smile! Technical Editor Crista V. Worthy profiles the author and reveals why he spent five years of his life researching this book. Along with a special chart depicting all of Utah’s backcountry strips, “Fly Utah!” will give you the tools to open a whole new chapter in your own personal flying book, discovering forests, Indian artifacts, and Utah’s fascinating red rock country, filled with twisting canyons and sandstone pinnacles revealing layers of Earth’s history.