The Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn




The Knife & Fork




Breakfast Club Drops-in on Winslow

Dines at The Turquoise Room at La Posada



12 Jan 2013

by Warren McIlvoy



The Breakfast Club kicked-off its 19th year of monthly breakfast fly-ins in grand style by flying to Winslow, Arizona and visiting the La Posada Hotel.  This hotel is a National treasure that escaped the wreaking ball back in the early 1990’s after being purchased by a couple from California.  The hotel was added to the National Register Historical Buildings list and thus became eligible for grants to restore it to its original grandeur.  In late 1927, the Santa Fe Railroad enlisted the talents of architect Mary Jane Coulter to design the entire building including the furnishings, dinnerware, landscaping, and uniforms of the Harvey Girls that worked there.  The La Posada opened in 1929 but closed in the early 1950’s and became a switching center for the railroad and then abandoned in the early 1980’s.


The day of our event, the weather was a tad brisk (bordering on down-right cold) but clear in the beginning.  Today, we (my wife and I) were flying with Paul Fortune (BC-201) in his spiffy Piper Turbo Arrow.  We departed Deer Valley Airport and headed to the northeast.  The ride was smooth as we passed to the northwest of Payson, Arizona and in short order, passed over the face of the Mogollon Rim.  The dense forested Rim country of the Tonto National Forest soon gave way to the high plateau geography that dominates this part of the state.  About 12-miles to the west of Winslow, we got a pretty good view of the Meteor Crater that is just south of I-40.  It is amazing how close to the highway where the meteorite struck the ground!!


We did not hear a lot of chatter on our “flight following” frequency as we neared Winslow.  It became painfully clear that we were “tail-end turtle” this time as we taxied to the ramp in front of Wiseman Aviation.  We had no problem in finding a parking place as the Breakfast Club aircraft were the only aircraft on the ramp. 


After we had secured the aircraft, we quickly walked towards the terminal building.  When I mentioned that the weather was brisk at DVT, that did not exactly apply to Winslow.  The temperature was most likely in the upper 20’s with just enough wind to remind one that some parts of your face were left unprotected.  After entering Wiseman, I called the cab company to get transportation to the La Posada.  The trip lasted less then ten minutes as we soon arrived at the entrance to the La Posada.  It has been a couple of years since our last visit to this place so I was completely familiar with the layout.  The Turquoise Room is to your left as you reach the old lobby where the check-in desk used to be located.  The dinning area is run by famed chef John Sharpe who has made the Turquoise Room one of the finest dinning stops in all of northern Arizona.  The restaurant along with the hotel is truly one of my favorite places to fly to and spend a weekend. 


After an outstanding breakfast, we stopped by the new check-in desk that is located in the gift shop.  I asked the folks there if the east wing had been restored and they said that it had and is open for occupancy for overnight guests.  I asked if there was a room that was open so that I could show our Breakfast Club folks just how nice this place is.  The restoration of the east wing was a little different than the historic west wing in that it is a bit more modern but still retained the historic charm that is the La Posada.  After looking at a couple of rooms, I took our group over to the west wing to show them what that looked like.  The next time that we stay for a weekend, I am not sure which side that I would select but in any case, you would never go wrong. 


After our short tour of the hotel, I called the cab company for our ride back to the airport.  We departed on runway 21 with the intention of more or less following that direction but the weather that was clear in the morning had turned a little sour.  Broken clouds (since repaired) blocked our direct route back to the valley so we jigged and zagged through gaps until reaching Payson.  The ride over the Mogollon Rim was quite bumpy which may have explained why the weather had gone south on us.  Other than some creative routing, the flight home was uneventful.


The Winslow Gang


  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 31870, BC-1 & 1.5
  • Austin Erwin and Rich Kupiec in 6693M, BC-86 & 47
  • Steve & Karen Brown in 57LW
  • Paul Fortune in 31870, BC-201


What’s Next?


Our February event will be a return engagement to Kearny, Arizona and the East End Café.  In March, we will be returning to Chiriaco Summit and the near-by truck stop.  We may also pay a visit to General Patton Tank Museum.  That’s all for now but remember, fly safe.


To view photos of the Winslow outing, just click on the Winslow link