Arizona Backcountry Fall 2016
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
All calendar events require a signed liability waiver, please Download it here!