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Winter 2001/2002

Warm up to Winter's Best Destinations!

What better place to spend a weekend this winter than in a cozy mountain lodge, fireplace roaring, with fresh snow on the ski slopes nearby? Or perhaps you'd prefer to shake off the cold by pampering yourself at a spa in the desert? If you've been craving time far away from it all, you'll want to know how to visit a secluded river canyon for a true backcountry experience. Such destinations, and many more, are waiting for you in our Winter issue. Now more than ever, we should take each opportunity to enjoy the spectacular places America has to offer.

Salt Lake City, Utah

The 2002 Olympic Winter Games will attract revelers from all over the world to celebrate the spirit of athletic competition. We update you on lodging and tell you how to get through the busy Salt Lake City airspace, which is especially important in light of heightened security measures that will be in place. We also reveal cozy hideaways far from the action, but still close to some of the best snow you'll find this season.

Desert Training Center, California

Patton's World War II training camps in the Mojave Desert are now little more than faint lines etched in the sand and remains of bunker and water towers. A new aerial desert tour brings these important landmarks back to life, giving you details of the fascinating history of the DTC, and a route to follow to see it. Stops along the way, such as one of the best hamburgers on old Route 66, make this a tour to remember.

Tillamook, Oregon

The Air Museum at Tillamook may take second place to the town's reputation for delicious cheese and dairy products, but the museum's colossal WWII hangar will certainly make an impression as you fly in. In fact, photos in the museum attest to pilots flying through the hangar! For a refreshing weekend on the Oregon coast, complete with seafood, wine and cheese tasting, and plenty more, it's hard to beat Tillamook.

Kerrville, Texas

Texas hill country is home to Kerrville, a friendly, quiet town on the banks of the Guadalupe River. Kerrville's climate makes it worth a visit any time of year, but those looking for warmth this winter will enjoy its desert locale. Kerrville's recently-renovated downtown offers you Old West nostalgia with modern galleries and shops to explore. Fly fishing, kayaking, and golf are among the outdoor activities, along with a visit to a curious pasture reminiscent of Stonehenge, England.

Scottsdale, Arizona

The beauty of the Sonoran Desert mingles with the luxury of resorts and more than 170 golf courses in the relaxed city of Scottsdale. Just in case you opt for the royal treatment, we share the city's best bets for pampering, fine dining, and the ubiquitous game of golf. If you prefer to soak in the flavors of the Old West mingled with a reverence for Native American art and architecture, we let you know where to look and how to get around this desert oasis.

South Lake Tahoe, California

Lake Tahoe is split by the California-Nevada state line, and similarly, its North and South shores offer distinctly different travel experiences. South Lake Tahoe's bright lights and casinos liven up the atmosphere round the clock. It also offers easy access to top-notch ski resorts like Heavenly, where the vertical slope of one run is 3,500 feet. Author Laurel Hilde Lippert is a mountain pilot, avid skier, and resident of the area; she brings you the local perspective of where to stay, eat, and play.

Sundance, Utah

Robert Redford's retreat in the Wasatch Mountains is known internationally for its film festival, but Sundance is also an ideal choice for a winter getaway adventure. Glorious mountain scenery, reasonable rates on the ski slopes, and a fun mix of eclectic activities are part of the scene in this thriving artistic community. You can also follow in the footsteps of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (both pairs!) by visiting the Owl Bar, which Redford had shipped to Utah from Thermopolis, Wyoming.

Nunavut, Canada

When author Paul Nopper gets away from it all, he really gets away. Learn about his trip to Baffin Island, between Hudson Bay and Greenland. Flying in a 2-seat Aviat Husky, Paul landed on a remote sandbar occupied by skittish caribou, visited an island known as the "iceberg capital of the world," and saw fjords and ancient meteor craters that defined the landscape. Paul's photography will convey a vivid image of what the Inuit people call "Auyuittuq," the land that never melts.

San Angelo, Texas

Mathis Field Café is perhaps not a name you'd associate with Chinese cuisine, but Sam and Rose Ng's restaurant at a Texas municipal airport will delight you. Locals and aviators mingle at this busy café, ordering up dishes ranging from Almond Shrimp, Orange Chicken, and Empress Beef to hearty sandwiches. After your meal, you can explore San Angelo's frontier fort, riverwalk shopping, and Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum.

Mineral Canyon, Utah

Tucked into a narrow canyon on the Green River, the wilderness airstrip at Mineral Canyon is well worth the flight. Rough-country camping is your only choice for accommodations, but Mineral Canyon has a wide array of backcountry activities -- from fishing, camping, swimming, and hiking to simply enjoying the tranquility of this stunning river canyon.

Canyon Turns - Between a Rock and a Hard Place

For those pilots not well familiar with canyon flying, Amy Hoover offers a detailed explanation of the techniques required to operate in a confined area. The rules she sets forth can help you build the confidence to fly to airstrips like that at Mineral Canyon (also featured in this issue). As you'll see, canyon flying can be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding, and above all, safe.