Historic Lodges Air Safari

Pacific Bonanza Society Historic Lodges Air Safari

June 18 – July 3, 2005 by Steve & Teri Walker

Crater LakeSNOW – in June! Yes, the white, bright, cold stuff was what waited for us at our first stop, Crater Lake Lodge in Medford, OR What a treat that was… Snowball fight anyone? The younger kids had a great time playing in the snow – yes it was cold, wet and fun. Hum, I don’t think the shorts I brought will keep me warm; thank goodness for VISA!

CheckersOur Historic Lodge stops are for two days so we had some time to relax and enjoy Crater Lake Lodge. It is as if you are transported back in time - no TV, phones, or computer access in your room. For those who needed to conduct business this was a challenge. Forget about cell service – you had to wait until you headed back to civilization. It took some adjusting of our fast pace lives to slow down and relax; goodness, where is my gin and tonic!

For entertainment there was a cool game of solitaire, or your skills at chess or even sitting in front of the fireplace to dry off your wet clothes and chat with some new friend. It was a fun adventure to see how well the human being can adjust from lack of conveniences!

Oregon CavesAfter those 2 fun filled days were drove to Chateau at the Oregon Caves in Cave Junction, OR. Ah, yet another old lodge with no TV, phones etc. but there was this ghostly piano that played Ghost Riders in the Sky early in the morning.

Now for the attraction at Oregon Caves are these dark caves you get to walk through with a Park Ranger. Wahoo… did I say I was closterphobic – oh well, I closed my eyes and went it – wow it was dark!

FishingClean FishWhile getting accustomed to this rustic relaxation there were some younger kids who wanted to do some fishing. Ah yes, this was a fun adventure especially watching Steve clean the catch afterwards. His coat got that fresh fishy smell of O’de’aroma; he probably wondered why I wasn’t feel so romantic – hard to snuggle up to that “fishy” smell…

After four days in Oregon we were ready to hop in our planes and begin our flight to the rest of the Historic Lodges. Ah, but these flights would be just leisure, we put the pilots to work! We did research on headsets provided by David Clark, Flightcom, Sennheiser, Telex and LightSPEED. Thank you to the companies that donated the headsets for our raffle held at the end of our trip.

Now all set we were off to our next stop for fuel which was Arlin’s in Bozeman, MT. We had a bit of turbulence on the way plus getting use to each other as a flight. When we arrived in Bozemen the wind was really blowing that there was some concern about getting into ChicoChico2Chico Hot Springs. While the pilots discussed this with Arlin and other pilots familiar with Chico plus possible thunderstorm it was decided the group would stay at Arlin’s Flight Service and rent vans. This was a difficult decision to make because it is such a treat to fly into Chico Hot Springs.

During our stay at Chico the weather was on again off again thunderstorms and lots of rain. Most of us enjoyed the big Olympic size hot springs pool. Again, no TV, phone or computer hookup but that pool was fun and most of us stay in the nice warm mineral spring water. Or go for the ride of your life!Chico2

OopsOur next stop was Devil’s Lake, ND staying at Totten Trail Historic Inn. Wow, what a wonderful bed & breakfast place to rest your head.

As we landed at Devil’s Lake, ND we heard about a strong windstorm the previous night and here is the result of NOT tying down your airplane. We made sure ours were tied down securely!

TottenTotten2A stay at the Totten Trail Historic Inn bed and breakfast, near Devils Lake, takes you back to the glory days of the former military post. The manager, Joyce Mattson just made you feel right at home which made our stay very memorable and relaxing. Built in 1869, the inn was once home to military officers and their families. Today every room is carefully appointed with period furniture, linens, photos, and other décor. Special features it retains include a grand staircase in the entrance, the original stamped-tin covered kitchen walls, and a large parlor. The inn includes 10 guest rooms and a special game room and reading room. A must see!

Totten3Totten4Relax with a game of croquet and get some advice on how to win!

InjunsWatch out for the Indian crossing!

HitchingsBlythesYou don't have to spend much time at all in Grand Marais, MN to figure out that it’s a special place. It’s a harbor town on the big lake – Lake Superior to be exact. The town is quaint and the area full of beauty. Another great place to relax and believe it or not, we had TV and PHONE in the rooms! Woohoo! CIVILIZATION!!

MackinacMackinac2Aaah, next stop Mackinac, MI at the Island House. Get out your antihistamines! If you are allergic to horses or the smell you’ll need it. It was an adventure to be transported by horse and buggy to your hotel – that doesn’t happen to you everyday unless you are visiting Mackinac Island.

Mackinac3Mackinac4What a nice welcome when we arrived at the Island House. Two couples from Midwest Bonanza Society, George & Bonnie Girton of Valparaiso, IN and Gilles & Diana Michaud of Ontario, Canada greeted us to the island. It’s a pleasure meeting new friends and enjoying dinner together and getting tips of what fun things to do while at on the island. We shared ideas of future events where West meets Midwest for fun adventures like Maine for fall colors and Lobster-Fest.

Mackinac5The Fort – what a climb but what a view!

Mackinac6A small band of sweet warriors when out for a “fudge crawl” testing what is the best fudge in town…

Mackinac7Victorian homes here on Mackinac Island.

NorthfieldStill in the Victorian mood we move onto the Archer House in Northfield, MN where Jesse James and gang decide to hold-up the First National Bank. Nope, we didn’t have anyone in our gang call Jesse! The group leisurely took strolls through the town, chatted with the locals, shopped the stores and ate at some good restaurants. Took in a little history lesson on Jesse James and the gang who tried to rob the bank and only got $26.00 when there was $3,000.00 in a box they over looked. Smart guys – not!

RushmoreNow we are on the back end of our trip with a fly by Mt. Rushmore and a stop for fuel and food at Custer County Airport. Then onto a one night stay at the rustic Old Faithful Inn at West Yellowstone, WY.

YellowstoneThis stop over was a bit challenging since the Inn was open for two days and there were problems like cold showers in the morning and waiting two hours for dinner and not receiving it. It was the company of our group that helped get us through that one day!

HoodTimberlineLast stop was Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, OR; what a nice way to end a great trip. There year-round swimming pool was enjoyable for the kids while the group unwind in our little room with the last of the wine, and snacks.

On the 4th of July we all said our good-byes and headed back to our homes; thanks for the fun, memories, meeting new members, make new friends and reacquainting with old friends.

Dena-Austin Larry-Irwin
Ray-Girlfriend Lois