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Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Sedona Model Airplane Club

Hot Air Balloon at Sunrise over Sedona
Back over Columbus Day, we took a trip up to Sedona.  My wife needed to get out of the Sonoran Desert, she didn't put it that way, but that's all it was.  She said "I just need to get out of Arizona- New Mexico, Nevada, California- I don't care where we go, I just need to leave Arizona."  So we started to weigh our options and destination possibilities.  I didn't want to go particularly far since it was a short holiday weekend, so as we discussed possible destinations, nothing really meshed with both of us until we mentioned Sedona as a possibility. 

Back in May we had our Northern Arizona Trip (see the Northern Arizona label for much of what we did), but the Slide Fire just west of Oak Creek Canyon started after we left, and the resulting blaze closed the canyon and Highway 89A to everyone but the firemen, and forcing us to re-arrange our trip and discover new things to see and do.  It was a serendipitous closure for us because we found some really great spots, but we wanted to come back up and see what we missed.  We left Sierra Vista on Friday after work and drove for 5 hours, arriving in the vicinity after dark.  We took a few dirt roads and found a great little campsite where we hurridly set up camp then crashed for the night. 
We woke up on Saturday morning to a beautiful bluebird day.  A few balloons were visible off in the distance- the hot air balloonists were up before we were to take advantage of the cool morning.  Just about the time we started cooking breakfast, we heard a low whine overhead, then looked up to see a model airplane.  As I cooked our breakfast burritos, a few other airplanes joined in the fun.  The kids were enthralled and insisted that we go and find out all about them.  We had ended up camping just to the north of the Central Arizona Modelers airport for their model airplanes. 
So we packed up for the day and headed out- the first stop to be the airfield.  The airfield is open and in use almost every morning the flyers told us.  They welcome visitors and proved to be excellent hosts.  We watched them assemble their planes, fly them, land them, and work on them.  One of them, a model of a WW2 bomber, even had a crash landing. 
The kids mumbled a few questions, got the desired answers then cheerfully went back to watching the planes fly.  I guess the startup costs for model airplanes isn't too much- you can find  kits online for $100-150 and then if you get a used engine from another modeler you're in to it about $200 and then you're ready to taxi down the runway yourself. 
We had a great time with our hosts from the Central Arizona Modelers.  They were super friendly and cheerfully added that we're welcome back anytime.  If you're in the Sedona area and need something to do on an early morning, take the drive out and check them out!

Nearest City: Sedona AZ
Location: About 7 miles south of Sedona, turn west on FR554, then just stick to the left.  There's another forest road about 1/4 mile from the highway.  Turn there and it will take you right to the airfield.  The road is dirt, but is navigable in passenger cars.
Time Needed:
Kid Friendly: yes
Additional Info: The Central Arizona Modelers Website

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