So happy to be back in Loreto, Baja California Sur!
It was super smooth sailing over the shimmering waters of the Sea of Cortez, and relatively smooth sailing through Customs, Immigration and document checks. A quick drive delivered us back to our friendly, seaside Hotel La Mision. After a stroll through town, a few rounds of Happy Hour, and dinner of yellowtail (ordered by all the guys) and coconut shrimp (by all the ladies), we are settling in for a delicious dessert: sleep! We are promised an epic day of whale watching tomorrow, better than "normal" which has always been outstanding. Will post photos upon our return from the Pacific!
Welcome to Tucson, Parkwest! We had a busy afternoon of briefings--getting everyone acquainted, outlining the tour destinations to come, and reviewing ALL the flight procedures and logistics for flying a personal aircraft into Mexico. I might have seen some eyes glaze over by the end, all the talk of eAPIS, flight plans, Approach Control and customs decal would make anyone dizzy. Tonight's homework for our pilots?
A follow-up email from George of Archipelago Farms:
So sorry for the delay. February has gotten away from me! Attached is the invoice and thanks so much for the opportunity. If you have any other events you would like to have a reindeer at please keep us in mind. Also thank you for the tip. Have a great spring!
ps Flea is looking pregnant as ever! I will keep you posted...
HooDoo wins award from Chamber of Commerce
Fairbanks Daily News Miner 2/18/16
It is 3 p.m. and customers are already lining up outside Hoo Doo Brewing Company.
These customers don’t even know yet that HooDoo is one of 100 winners nationwide of the annual Dream Big Blue Ribbon Small Business Awards by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The company is being recognized for its success and contribution to America’s economic growth and vitality.
The company’s selection was based on judging of strategic planning, employee development, customer service and community involvement. “We were just contacted this morning,” said Paul Johnson, sales/operations manager and brewer.
His first reaction? “That is totally fantastic.” The company is owned by Bobby Wilken, who is currently out of state. “For us, it is about community and beer,” Johnson said. “It’s what we are passionate about.”
The brewery celebrates Octoberfest in the fall and Maifest, in the spring. HooDoo is even brewing a special beer for the upcoming Hockey Week celebration in Fairbanks.
“Beer is like food,” Johnson said. “It’s seasonal and our customer base is embracing it. The key for us is to maintain that relevance in the community.”
Although the owner grew up in Fairbanks, Johnson has lived here only five years. But it feels like home, he said. “Nobody knew me when I moved up here,” he said. “Within a couple years, everybody knows me.”
HooDoo Brewing Company has been open for three years and is a popular place to meet a friend and enjoy a beer or two. “It’s a great meeting place,” Johnson said. Johnson has a special memory of sitting at a table with owner Bobby Wilken shortly after opening. There were no customers and they wondered if they were doing the right thing. It’s pretty clear that they don’t have to worry about that any more.
“We have the faithful now,” he said. “The HooDoo Hooligans. They are definitely out there in force. They love the beer and they like the environment.” There is no television at Hoo-Doo, no gaming and no live music. There is just good beer and good people.
“We’ve been super fortunate to have people embrace us the way they have,” Johnson said.
Everything is on display here brewing the beer, filling the kegs, delivering the beer. “We put out a fantastic product and you can see what we are doing,” he said. “Nothing is hidden.”
On March 9, the U.S. Chamber will announce seven regional finalists from this list. All of the winners will be honored at the 12th annual America’s Small Business Summit, June 13-15 in Washington D.C. During the summit, one regional finalist will receive the Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Sam’s Club, and a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber.
All of the businesses on the list are eligible for the Community Excellence Award, which recognizes one business that has found notable success in the eyes of its community. The winner of that award is decided through online public voting, from Feb. 18 through March 4.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer. com. Call her at the office 459-7546 or by cell 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.
The entire Arctic Quest slide show has been uploaded to Flickr. You can see all the action here; just click on the little arrow box in the upper right to play.
Setting our sights on the next trip Beyond the Border to Mexico! Gray whales, train trips to Copper Canyon, sun, fun and relaxation in Alamos for the Club Pilotos Reunion. Can still squeeze you in if you're interested!
After a fun night at the Fay cabin that included a visiting reindeer (Flea), poetry reading (Sharon), caribou fajitas (hunted by Fairbanks friend Brent), a little wagering on the Nenana Ice Classic, and a fine tour movie, we said farewell to the Arctic Quest. Six have flown away, the other six of us are heading out this afternoon for some SuperBowl action. Go Broncos!!
A fun afternoon was had at the Fairbanks Curling Club, where 12 brave Parkwest-ers took to the ice to learn about throwing stones, sliders, grippers, skips and sweeping.
We got the Parkwest gang into snowshoes for a play date on the Tanana River. Lunch and campfire was set up by Collin, canine love provided by Luna, Sam and Rosie, the gorgeous weather a gift from Mother Nature. We could not have pulled it off without the big help of friends Will and Anne who lent us everything from the cook pot to the cargo sled to the glacier talk. Also big thanks to Ginny (and her friend Jack Daniels) for the cinnamon whiskey warmup!
Thanks to Eric and Caleb piloting the Navajos, we flew up to the Arctic Circle and visited the native village of Beaver. Our hosts, Ai and Cliff, showed us around their community and treated us to salmon, moose and wonderful stories at their home. Upon return to Fairbanks, we did a little beer-sampling at our favorite craft brewery: HooDoo! And no tour is complete without Sharon reciting the Cremation of Sam McGee!
Cat Herder (aka Marisa) has been guiding pilot tours in the American West for over twenty years. Keep tabs on your Parkwest pilot friends, National Park news and other tidbits here!