We found ourselves in Capitol Reef National Park and nearby Boulder, Utah, a lovely spot to be sure. I'm not sure we'll see Capitol Reef on a Parkwest itinerary, though. The nearest airstrip is a little rough around the edges. Plus, the UFOs probably take all the tie-down spots! (Click photo to enlarge.)
Dear Shep has been with Parkwest since the very first tour back in 2000. She is the Group Sales Manager at Furnace Creek in Death Valley. Collin and I went there recently for some spring camping and got to explore even more of that amazing National Park. Whether we show up with a dozen planes or camp gear and a dog, Shep is always ready for us with hospitality and hugs. (Click photo to enlarge.)
And I thought Parkwest cat-herding was tough! Have a listen to this guy...
We just got back from various travels, and were pleased to find time and opportunity to see many of our collective Parkwest pals. In Florida, we went flying with Diane and Charles in the Cirrus, landing in Venice to have a great lunch and city tour with Paul Hollowell (Marilyn was away on Grandma duty). Later, on the opposite coast, we enjoyed good conversation and food during our overnight with Rick and Pam Kelty in Westlake Village, California. It's always fun to see you guys on your home turf!
It's this bizarre-looking, twin-engine version of the Seabee that Collin is flying this week in order to earn his multi-engine ATP-Land and Sea. (Click photo to Enlarge.)
According to the Republic Seabee website, the basic design of the Seabee is, in a word, simplicity. Based on the design of Percival H. Spencer's Aircar, the Seabee has less than five hundred parts which is a fraction of the two-thousand-plus parts in most production aircraft. The Seabee was Republic's answer to the post-war, civilian market-a family plane that could go anywhere. At an initial price of $3995, over one thousand were built in 1946 and 1947 before the production line was shut down. There are approximately 200-300 Seabees still registered with the FAA today.
Kathie Cassidy may be Parkwest's premier National Park Junkie. Mark and I hatched a plan for her to inherit my Ranger hat for Christmas. Don't worry, NPS--you'll note the not-so-standard-issue hatband and badge! (Click photo to enlarge.)
For those of you who have travelled to Death Valley (with or without Parkwest), it will come as no surprise that a recent New York Times article declared Death Valley NP as the hottest place on the planet. Previously, that honor was held by Al Aziziyah, Libya. However the World Meteorological Organization has recently thrown out Libya's 1922 reading of 136.4, and given the title to Death Valley's 134.0-degree temperature registered on July 10, 1913.
In the past, Death Valley could only claim to be the hottest spot in the US, or in the Western Hemisphere, or some such limitation. Now, a furious effort is underway to capitalize on the declaration, with promotional efforts, new marketing material, and even a 100-year celebration commemorating the record-breaking temperature. Death Valley next July, anyone?
I just love it when my mailbox surprises me with something so totally relevant to Parkwest. The December edition of National Geographic features an article on "The World's Largest Trees" of Sequoia National Park. While I don't expect we'll be dangling from the trees like these guys, our visit is sure to be awe-inspiring nonetheless.
They fly south, of course! Some of you remember meeting Amy and Paul Swanstrom of Mountain Flying Service in Haines. We found them soaking up the Sedona sun, far from the short days and cold temperatures of Alaska.
So, today is Black Friday and rather than door-busting, Collin and I are tour-researching. This morning finds us in Winslow, Arizona, putting the final details on our Parkwest visit here scheduled for 2013. As a tribute to the Eagles' famous song, there is even a Standin' on a Corner Park, located at 2nd and Kinsley Streets, complete with the girl in the flat-bed Ford!