Arizona Backcountry Fall 2016 MarkSpencer

By Mark Spencer

By the time this is published we will have had our first fall backcountry fly in behind us. I am itching to jump into the Cub and head up to 24AZ, Young Arizona for the Labor Day weekend. Temps are cooling, the Monsoon is nearly dissipating, and we’ll have several months ahead that folks in other parts of the country only dream about. Our fall calendar is pretty full, and Grapevine kicks off on Friday, September 16th, and will be on the weekend of every third Saturday of the month, including its preceding Friday, for the rest of the year. Jim and Diane will be back from their summer travels and providing a BBQ lunch on Saturday the 17th. We’ll be looking for a few volunteers soon as the APA will be working with the Tonto National Forest to surface seal the entire Grapevine airstrip this fall!

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October is chocked full of backcountry events, but also plan on joining your APA and RAF teams in Prescott on September 30th to October 1st and help us share the passion, and sign up more of Arizona’s pilots at AOPA’s first Arizona regional fly in! The very next weekend we’ll be heading to the historic Double Circle Ranch (Z66) from October 7th to 9th. Thanks to Tommy and Jeff, we now have a fully functioning toilet in the old lodge for our fly in events! Locals will be joining us and sharing stories around the fire in the old lodge. Please plan on a potluck lunch and dinner for Saturday the 8th.

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Take a deep breath, because right after that weekend, starting Friday October 14th through Sunday the 16th, we are back at Grapevine for what will no doubt be a great weekend of desert fall weather.

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We still need a volunteer host for this one, so if you are interested, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ASAP. It’s a rewarding job to know that you are helping to ensure that folks enjoy their time at Grapevine. Don’t forget, Copperstate is at Falcon Field this year, October 28th and 29th. Again, we need all the volunteers we can muster, so This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are willing to support our efforts through some booth time at Copperstate!

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November really starts to cool off in the evenings, but it’s still warm enough for camping at the Payson Airport (KPAN), with hot showers and a great restaurant, the weekend of November 11th through 13th. The temperatures at Grapevine get even more comfortable the weekend of November 18th through 20th, and Paul and Charlie have volunteered to help this weekend to make sure we are fed well for lunch on Saturday the 19th. By the way, I should point out again how much work goes on behind the scenes with Paul and Charlie, Mike Andresen, and friends rounding up plenty of firewood for the Grapevine camp site last month. We hear that Paul is still splitting wood, having to fight Charlie off for all his muscle flexing!

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The year winds up with another weekend at Grapevine on December 16th, 17th and 18th with Leanne, from Show Low, giving of her time to be sure you are all fed and watered!

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All calendar events require a signed liability waiver, please Download it here!

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JWe’re off to a warm, dry spring, and the backcountry season is off to a great start! Last month’s 3rd Saturday weekend at Grapevine brought in over 30 aircraft and 60+ aviators, friends, and family. Hosts Rick Bosshardt, your Arizona CubCrafter’s dealer, and our faithful Mike An-dresen, along with help from APA President Tommy Thomason, man-aged to keep things safe and order-ly. Just an FYI, please review the Aviator’s Code of Conduct, and check out our complete safety briefs and videos each time you visit the backcountry. Your profes-sional knowledge and behavior in the backcountry makes ours and the RAF’s work of preserving back-country airstrips possible.
As I write this article, APA mem-bers are preparing to transport two USFS donated shades from the Roosevelt Lake area to the Pleas-ant Valley Airstrip (24AZ) outside of Young, Arizona. It’s been two years since this same team in-stalled the shades at Grapevine for us. Please say thanks to Carl Guilliams and Paul Pitkin at one of our events. You donations to the backcountry fund have paid for the concrete work and placement up at the airstrip! Join us there on the weekend of April 1st - 3rd for our annual spring visit and camp at Young. Watch our facebook page and calendar for any changes or rescheduling due to weather!
We’ll be out at the old Double Circle Ranch the end of April, beginning on Friday the 29th. This will be the first trip that you’ll be able to actually plan to the Double Circle using its new identifier, Z66. The FAA has shared with us that the Double Circle will hit the sectionals in the April release of charts. This is the first newly charted airstrip in USFS region 3 in the last 40 or 50 years! Let’s take care of this site by being safe, protecting its historical content, and volunteering for future partnering with the USFS at the site!
Keep an eye on our calendar for backcountry train-ing events as we are providing more opportunities for the Arizona community for such training. The next Back to Basics evening seminar will be at 6pm on Tuesday, March 15th, at Deer Valley.
We’re just beginning the planning of the fog coat process for the Grapevine airstrip this summer. We’ll need volunteers once again, and have no doubt that many of you will want to participate in thisanuary, 2016
Friday, January 15, 2016 - Sunday, January 17, 2016
Grapevine Monthly Fly-In Weekend
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Back to Basics at Ak-Chin (A39) with Dave Dunteman
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Mountain Canyon Flying with Lori MacNichol (P48)
February, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016 - Sunday, February 21, 2016
Grapevine Monthly Fly-In Weekend
March, 2016
Friday, March 04, 2016 – Saturday March 5, 2016
Cactus Fly In Casa Grande (CGZ)
Friday, March 18, 2016 - Sunday, March 20, 2016
Grapevine Monthly Fly-In Weekend
April, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016 - Sunday, April 3, 2016
Pleasant Valley, Young AZ (24AZ)
Bad Weather BACKUP DATE:
Friday, April 8, 2016 - Sunday, April 10, 2016
Friday, April 15, 2016 - Sunday, April 17, 2016
Grapevine Monthly Fly-In Weekend
Friday, April 29, 2016 - Sunday, May 1, 2016
Double Circle Ranch (Z66)
Bad Weather BACKUP DATE:
Friday, May 6, 2016 - Sunday, May 8, 2016
May, 2016
Saturday May 7, 2016
ASAG Meeting
Friday, May 20, 2016 - Sunday, May 22, 2016
Grapevine Monthly Fly-In Weekend

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