You are hereSeptember/October 2005

September/October 2005

Prepare for Autumn!

When summer starts winding down, we often think of the cooler temperatures coming, and the brilliantly colored fall foliage that will soon start appearing. This issue has a great place—Bar Harbor, Maine—that is perfect for viewing the colors of autumn as well as being a great romantic getaway. Our cover story features an

“adult sandbox” in White Sands, New Mexico, that offers plenty to do and has a unique history: it was the site of the first atomic blast. Other white sands are featured in Santa Monica, California. No atomic blasts here, but a laid-back lifestyle, an exciting pier, and a muscle beach offer their own

“blasts.” Two-hundred years ago, Lewis and Clark finally reached the Pacific Ocean after their incredible 550-day, cross-country journey. You can celebrate the accomplishment of their Corps of Discovery at Astoria, Oregon. Whether you choose a romantic B&B in Maine, get a seaplane rating in a J-3 Cub at a Florida floatplane school, or just work on your late-summer tan on the beach, enjoy yourself with whatever your discoveries are this fall!

White Sands, New Mexico

Come explore New Mexico’s high desert with author Tamara Brown. You’ll find rugged mountains encircling the Tularosa Basin, an arid land spiked with yuccas and agaves. Within the basin, snow-like gypsum dunes provide a hiking and sliding haven at White Sands National Monument. The area is also home to all-things space-related. There’s the White Sands Missile Range Museum, with an impressive missile park, and the New Mexico Museum of Space History, complete with an IMAX Dome Theater. Twice per year, you can even visit the Trinity Site, location of Ground Zero of the first atomic bomb blast. Within 30 minutes of Alamogordo, take the meandering mountain road into the cool mountains where autumn coaxes gold from the aspen trees. Golfing, hiking, and art galleries are in the offing in the rarified air among the ponderosa pines at Cloudcroft, a village within the Lincoln National Forest. Winter visitors can ski at 10,000 feet above sea level in the country’s southernmost ski area.

Santa Monica, California

When author Jessica Ambats moved from the east coast to the west coast last year, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Join her as she discovers Santa Monica, an oceanfront town that meets expectations of what a laid-back Southern California lifestyle should be, and even has a few reminders of home to cure any homesick blues. Beach enthusiasts can bask on sun-drenched sand, zoom for miles along bike paths, and flex their muscles to curious onlookers. There are luxury hotels, a multitude of shops, and diverse restaurants. Jessica’s favorite dish, sushi, can be had right at the airport, overlooking the field. And early arrivals can stock up at the Saturday morning farmer’s market, also at the airport.

Astoria, Oregon

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark west to find a water passage to the Pacific Ocean. Their journey ended in what is now Astoria, Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark’s expedition was of primary importance in opening up the West for exploration and settlement. Now, author Tom Wirch explores the area from the left seat of his Cessna 152. Astoria, a town full of activity and industry, is busy celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Corps of Discovery. Ride the old-time trolley along the waterfront, and learn the history of Astoria’s once-booming fishing industry. Visit Fort Stevens State Park, the only military installation in the continental United States that has been fired upon in almost 200 years. See the rusting hull of the Peter Iredale, a British four-master that ran aground at Clatsop Beach in 1906. Rediscover the history and excitement of 200 years ago.

Columbus, Ohio

In the fall, many a mind in Columbus is turned to thoughts of Big Ten football. The hometown team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, have long owned one of the most impressive records in all of college sports, and game days always bring huge crowds into town. But there’s a bit more to Columbus than just the action on the gridiron. There are fine old neighborhoods where vibrant communities demonstrate Columbus’ successful revival from postwar decline. The campus of “The” Ohio State University is also one of the largest and most diverse in American academia. There you’ll find one of the largest contemporary arts centers in the country, the Wexner Center for the Arts.


Brown’s Seaplane Base, Winter Haven, Florida

Cub lovers have a reason to rejoice! In central Florida, there’s a seaplane base that offers seaplane classes, taught entirely in these marvelous yellow antiques. In the course of just one weekend, including five hours of flying time, pilots can get their single-engine seaplane rating. Students learn everything from getting on the step to tricky glassy water landings, where it’s nearly impossible to judge how high above the water you are (so don’t flare!). Those that already have their single-engine seaplane rating can get their multi-engine rating in another vintage plane, a rare Twin Bee.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Staff author Linda Rowe Fore heads “downeast” to Bar Harbor, Maine on Mount Desert Island for spectacular autumn foliage and outdoor adventure. This quintessential New England fishing port is filled with specialty stores, cozy cafes, and historic “cottages.” Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of Acadia National Park with its spectacular shoreline, 120 miles of hiking trails, and glacier-carved ponds and lakes. Bike 45 miles of gently graded carriage paths that John D. Rockefeller, Jr. built to escape the “horseless carriage.” From the summit of Cadillac Mountain watch the first rays of sunlight strike the country and at the end of the day, retreat to an upscale inn where you’ll drift off to sleep with the murmur of water just outside your window. The magic of Bar Harbor will touch your soul, warm your heart and bring you back time and again.

Dolores Point, Colorado

On a high mesa in Colorado’s Canyon Country is a little-known dirt airstrip perched at the top of 2,500-ft. cliffs. This airstrip is a great place for stargazing or enjoying impressive views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, yet this secret spot isn’t even charted. Author John T. Kounis describes the best hikes, fishing spots, and mountain bike rides for visiting pilots. And all this solitude doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rough it; there’s a luxury resort served by another private airstrip just a three-minute flight away.

Western Skyways

Selecting an engine overhaul shop is one of the most difficult decisions an airplane owner can make, and the impact of an incorrect decision can last for years. Author John T. Kounis confronted these issues when he needed to overhaul the Continental IO-520 in his Cessna 185. He finally chose Western Skyways after a thorough review of the shop’s staff, procedures, and equipment. In his review of the Western Skyways engine overhaul shop, John explains the steps necessary to choose a competent engine shop and how to assure you’ll be satisfied with your engine for years to come.

Operations at Busy Airports – Flying with the Big Boys

Of the 5,000 public use airports scattered across the country, only about 550 are served by air carriers, and, of those, about 30 or so are major airline hubs served by substantial jet traffic. Sometimes, the most convenient airport is a large airport with busy airspace. It’s important to understand operations at these busy airports. With some advance preparation, you can handle them like a pro.