Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Airplane Camping at Siletz Bay Airport

Our trusty Piper Arrow 997 spent the last six weeks in the avionics shop getting her radios refurbished. Immediately after getting her back, we were ready for an airplane camping trip.

We had a good weather window last week (for flying and sleeping outdoors), so we packed up our gear and headed out.

Camping by airplane is like the car camping I did as a kid. You take a tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, and other basic gear. At your destination, you set up camp. The difference is your "campground" is next to your plane on an airport.

Our destination for the first night was Siletz Bay Airport (S45) at Gleneden, Oregon.

It's one of our favorite spots when skies are clear because there's no IFR (instrument) approach.

Gleneden Beach, Oregon is about two hours of flying time away from our home base at Bellingham International Airport. So far, we’ve had the camping area all to ourselves. That's our preferred place to stay, but we've also walked north along Highway 101 to the stay at the Salishan Spa and Golf Resort.

We love to eat out. There are two excellent restaurants within walking distance. One is the at the Salishan. Our favourite is the Side Door Café. Cross Highway 101 where a trail leads up to the Gleneden Beach Loop and the restaurant. They are closed on Tuesdays, so we walked to the Boar's Head Deli across from the resort. It's only open for lunch, so we got a salad to take back to camp for dinner.

There are many interesting things within walking distance of the airport. Take the Gleneden Beach Loop and walk past beautiful beachfront homes. Take the Loop south to Wesler Street and turn west to the Gleneden Beach State Recreation Site and the mighty Pacific Ocean. North of the Salishan Resort is Siletz Bay. It's a bird-watcher’s paradise. Whether you are looking for a dinner or overnight destination, try Siletz Bay State Airport at Gleneden Beach.

Want to learn more about flying to remote airports along the Pacific Coast and in Canada? Try Wayne's book Up the Airway. You'll enjoy it whether your are a pilot or adventurer at heart. -- Margy

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy