Chapter Getaways

For our first two Getaways…

1/1/2020 – Brunch at La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ (KINW).  Yes, we’re continuing our Mogollon Airpark tradition of having brunch at La Posada on New Year’s Day – just too good to pass up!  Plan to arrive at the Winslow airport by 8:30 AM (1530Z).  As in past years, the FBO (Wiseman Aviation) will probably be closed.  But, self-serve fuel is readily available if you need it.  Depending on attendance, transportation between the airport and La Posada will be by local shuttle or personal vehicle.

Brief aside:  In 2019, a major snowstorm prevented almost everyone from flying!  However, those of us with 4-wheel drives made the trek overland.  Brunch at La Posada isn’t to be missed!

2/4/20 – 2/7/20 – Whale watching off the west coast of Baja (MEX) followed by a stay at luxurious Hacienda de los Santos (in Alamos, MEX).  Each year, California gray whales leave their feeding grounds in the cold Arctic seas and travel 5,000-6,000 miles south to the warm, protected lagoons off the west coast of Baja California to give birth and mate.  Our visit in February ensures that we’ll see plenty of whales.  We will spend two nights in Baja and then treat ourselves to a night at Hacienda de los Santos (in Alamos) on the Mexico mainland.  The trip will be led by two pilots with many years of Mexico flying experience.  Here’s the general plan:

Fly down to Mexico on Tuesday, 2/4/20.

Clear Mexican Customs & Immigration in Guaymas (MMGM) and refuel.  Guaymas has a towered airport equivalent to our Class D with an excellent asphalt runway.  AZ82 -> MMGM = 385 nm.

Fly over to Loreto (MMLT) in Baja Sur (i.e., southern Baja) and spend Tuesday night at Hacienda Suites – Loreto.  Loreto also has a towered airport with an excellent asphalt runway.  Flying a bit of a dogleg, MMGM -> MMLT = 150 nm. with the over-the-water distance minimized to ~75 nm.

Drive over to Adolfo Lopez Mateos on Wednesday, 2/5/20 for whale watching.

Although Lopez Mateos has a packed, well-maintained dirt strip, we plan to rent a vehicle and drive to Lopez Mateos.  The 98 mi. overland drive will probably take about 2 hrs.  (If all pilots are willing to land on dirt, we could elect to fly rather than drive – either way works fine!)

After whale watching; we’ll return to Loreto for refreshments & dinner.  Spend Wednesday night at Hacienda Suites – Loreto.

Fly to Alamos on Thursday, 2/6/20.

Depart Loreto after a leisurely breakfast and aircraft refueling.  Alamos has an asphalt strip in very good condition.  And, Hacienda de los Santos has a large hangar at the airport.  I expect that all of our planes will be placed inside their hangar at no charge.  MMLT -> Alamos = 144 nm.

Spend the afternoon/evening exploring Alamos and enjoying the luxury at Hacienda de los Santos for one night – refreshments and meals at the hotel.

Fly to Guaymas on Friday morning, 2/7/20.  Alamos -> MMGM = 119 nm.

Clear Mexican Customs & Immigration and refuel.

Fly to Nogales, AZ (KOLS) on Friday, 2/7/20.  MMGM -> KOLS = 206 nm.

Clear US Customs & Immigration.
Optional lunch at Larry Tiffin’s FBO.  Call in a grill order while south-of-the-border!
Refuel if necessary.

Fly back to Mogollon Airpark.  KOLS -> AZ82 = 179 nm.
Share lots of photos with jealous friends!

Pilot notes:

1. The trip will be led by Craig Albright with support from Curt Randoll.   Curt and I have flown extensively throughout Mexico.  Since flying outside the USA may be new to some pilots, contact me with any procedural questions.  US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has rules that must be followed when exiting or entering the USA.  And, some of those rules require advance preparation by the pilot.  Requirements and procedures are conveniently documented in a Mexico Flight Guide that I wrote many years ago and recently updated.

2. If you use ForeFlight, there’s a website that has .kml overlay files (the equivalent of US WACs).  Plus, we will provide the lat/long for any necessary User waypoints.  And, turning ON ForeFlight’s “Aeronautical” layer provides location and airspace depictions for all of Mexico’s towered airports as well as many nontowered ones.

And, for the rest of the year…

You’ll have to wait until later for details on the remainder of our 2020 Getaway excursions.  However, so that you can put the dates in your calendars and start thinking about the trips, here’s the general plan:

3/14/20 – Day trip to Marble Canyon, AZ (L41).  On the way in, enjoy a great view of the Grand Canyon; the shiny limestone looks a bit like marble.  Each lunch at the local restaurant and possibly hike down to the Colorado River.

4/24/20 – 4/26/20 – Sightseeing in Monument Valley, AZ (L41).   Depending upon lodging availability, we’ll either overnight locally (Gouldings Lodge) or spend the night in Kayenta.  The majestic buttes that frequently appeared in popular western films are actually on the Navajo Reservation, and we will take a guided tour. 

5/22/20 – 5/24/20 – Sightseeing in the Arches and/or Canyonlands National Parks area.  On the flight up to Moab, UT (KCNY), we’ll fly over the Grand Canyon through the Zuni Corridor.  There are jeep tours available.  Or, we may simply rent cars and tour the area independently.  Of course, the photography is fantastic! 

6/13/20 – 6/14/20 – Spelunking in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns.  Saturday morning, we’ll fly over to Carlsbad, NM (KCNM) and tour the world famous caverns, a US national park since 1923.  In the late afternoon, we’ll fly back to Las Cruces, NM (KLRU) to spend the night and enjoy some of New Mexico’s famous Mexican food.  On Sunday morning, we’ll return to Arizona.

7/10/20 – 7/13/20 – Explore Sunriver, OR (S21).  The resort community of Sunriver, OR has zillions of activities; the challenge will be which ones to select!  From outdoor recreation to great dining to scouting the local breweries, we’ll set aside two days to explore the local attractions and give ourselves two days for round-trip travel.

8/22/20 – 8/23/20 – Visit historic Sante Fe, NM (KSAF).  Sante Fe is rich in history, culture, cuisine, and the arts.  To make the most of our time there, we’ll tap some of Mogollon’s resident experts and put together a great itinerary.  There’s a lot we can see in a short time…

9/17/20 – 9/21/20 – Attend the annual Blues & Brews Festival in Telluride, CO (KTEX).  Once an old mining town, Telluride has turned into a year-round resort community.  And, every fall they have a major music festival.  This is a tentative 5-day excursion (including two round-trip travel days) giving us lots of time to enjoy the town’s unique atmosphere and three days of music.  If three full days of tunes is a bit too much, we may amend the dates.  Stay tuned … so to speak.

10/9/20 – 10/11/20 – Tour Hoover Dam outside Boulder City, NV (KBVU).  Our primary objective will be a tour of Hoover Dam (originally known as Boulder Dam).  We will probably fly in on the first day (Sunday) and take an early tour on the following day to help avoid crowds.

11/13/20 – 11/16/20 – Enjoy a wide variety of activities and food possibilities in San Diego, CA (KMYF).  We haven’t settled on specific activities in San Diego – too many options at this point.  Of course, there’s the Air & Space Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Old Town Trolley, etc.  The list goes on and on…  Of course, we could also hop on the San Diego Trolley, cross the border to Tijuana, and have lunch where restaurateur Caesar Cardini invented the Caesar salad during the days of Prohibition.  Like I said, there are too many options at this point!

If the above possibilities aren’t enough to entice you and your right-seater to depart the pattern, how about seeing a rocket being launched into space?!  Last year, we talked about the possibility of seeing a rocket launch.  And, we still haven’t given up on the idea!  This year, NASA’s Artemis Program (part of the mission-to-Mars effort) anticipates a launch.  Plus, SpaceX is in final testing of its Crew Dragon spacecraft and (realistically) expects to fly astronauts in 2020.  So, there’s realistic chance of witnessing a rocket launch somewhere.

Now that you have next year’s agenda, what do you need to do?

1. Mark you calendar.

2. Let me know which events interest you!

The trips are all intended to be VFR excursions.  It’s possible that uncooperative weather could cause our schedule to be shifted slightly or event prompt cancellation of a particular Getaway.  Flexibility is the key…

If you are interested in either of our first two Getaways, there are some things you need to do ASAP:

* If you want to join us at La Posada (in Winslow) for our New Year’s Brunch, please let me know now.  I need to make reservations quite soon!

* There are already four aircraft going on our February Getaway to see the California gray whales down in Baja.  If you want to participate, contact me immediately.  Lodging in Loreto is scarce in February due to increased tourism that time of year.  Our current group (~10 people) has already made room reservations.

In general, contacting me is not a commitment cast in concrete.  However, hearing from you allows me to do advance planning like arranging for ground transportation, investigating lodging, evaluating possible en-route stops, etc.  And, I create a participant list for each of our EAA Getaways.  Then, as the Getaway departure date approaches, I will provide additional trip information.  Of course, there is the usual caveat for all of our Getaway flights:  You are PIC and solely responsible for the safety of you and your passengers.

Questions?  Feel free to contact me either by email or cell phone: or (480) 776-9358.

Blue skies & tailwinds,

Craig Albright, Events Coordinator
EAA Chapter 1044

Be sure to check out photos posted from prior trips in our Photo Gallery!