Backcountry Update Spring 2017
By Mark Spencer
As 2017 flying season enters full swing so does our backcountry schedule! If you’ve got the right aircraft and skill, you’ll find Arizona’s backcountry to be among the most beautiful places in the country to fly and camp. Arizona’s backcountry airstrips provide everything from the smooth but narrow asphalt at Grapevine, to Red Creek’s one way in and one way out true challenge, both offering a incredible experience of Sonoran desert beauty. If you enjoy history, and a little cooler climate, the incredible history and primitive cabin comforts of Double Circle Ranch cannot be beat.
With the weather was perfect last weekend with15 aircraft and over 30 people showing up at the old Double Circle Ranch for the Wisda’s famous sloppy joe’s for lunch and a potluck feast for dinner. Nights were cool and days were warm. Folks from New Mexico and other nearby states attended. Jeff strung up a sheet from his 182 wing and showed a movie while another group told stories around the nearby campfire.
Again, the third weekend of March, that’s the 17th through the 19th, we’ll be out at Grapevine, where you’ll enjoy friendship around the fire and an APA sponsored lunch on Saturday, donations accepted.
Welcome to Q Ranch
The "Q" is a private ranch nestled in a Ponderosa pine and oak-dotted valley surrounded by the Tonto National Forest. It is located in Gila County, below the Mogollon Rim at an elevation of 5500-6200 feet. From 900 to 1400 AD, the area was the site of a thriving Native American Western Pueblo culture. This civilization built what is now known as the Q Ranch Pueblo, a 220-room, apartment-like dwelling of fine sandstone masonry, the third largest of its kind. In 1894, Col. Jesse Ellison started a cattle ranch on the site and his wife’s brand, the letter Q, gave the ranch its name. Hand-cut log buildings from that period still exist.