Breakfast Club

An Affiliate of the Arizona Pilots Assn


The Knife & Fork



Breakfast Club Flys to Holbrook, Denny's



13 Sep 2003
by Warren McIlvoy

The September Breakfast Club event saw the group making an encore visit to northeast Arizona, or more precisely, Holbrook for a cooler destination (remember, north is cooler!). There is really nothing special about Holbrook as the nearest restaurant with-in walking distance, was a Denny's. But it did offer us an opportunity to fly over a lot of wooded areas, the Mogollon Rim, and then, more wooded areas. Yep, the scenery was big on trees this time. There is one truism about flying that is cast in concrete, at least as it relates to the Breakfast Club, and that is, "it's not the destination, but the adventure in getting there".

For the benefit of those who have not had the pleasure of visiting this small, northeastern Arizona Mecca of 5800 hearty souls living at an elevation of 5,080 (I guess that almost makes them "mile high residents"),  I taken the liberty of using the Internet search tools to dig-up some info about the town. Voila, what da ya know, this little burg really does have a web site all its own.

      "Holbrook, Arizona is located in eastern Arizona along the banks of the Little
      Colorado River
. Three routes converge in Holbrook, Interstate 40, U.S.
180 and State Highway 77. The seat of Navajo County, Holbrook
      serves as the gateway to Petrified Forest National Park and is near a number
      of Indian reservations
  Holbrook was founded in 1881 when the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad arrived
  and named the town after the chief engineer, Henry R. Holbrook. In the
  1880s, the frontiersmen were the cowboys, cattle ranchers, and railroaders
  who made Holbrook the center of ranch country.
  Commodore Perry Owens, local sheriff, is credited with bringing law to the
  town in 1887 in a famous shootout with cattle rustlers at the Blevins House.
  That historic house still stands, as does the Bucket of Blood Saloon, where
  many a cowboy refreshed himself. The majestic 1898 courthouse, on the
  National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the town.
  In Holbrook you can visit the real west where tumbleweed still blows into
  town off the desert. Attend a rodeo, where sometimes the cowboys are
  mostly Indians, or sign on for a tour of a working ranch. If riding and roping
  isn't your thing, plan on a tour of ancient Indian rock art sites, a hay-ride
  across the desert as evening arrives, and a real country cookout dinner".


The one especially glaring omission that seems to be missing is that the town is situated along the famous Route 66 and it is really the railroad that kept the town alive in its early days.

After breakfast, we took a leisurely three block stroll back to the airport. Word had it that fuel was on $2.11 a gallon and, since Scottsdale has the most expensive fuel in the state of Arizona, I wasn't going to pass-up the opportunity to top-off. The office was unattended but it was a simple matter of finding the switch to power-up the fuel pump station. Four aircraft took on fuel and the drill was to leave your name, phone number, and how much fuel you bought, on a phone message pad. Later that evening, I received a call from the attendant to complete our transaction via a credit card number. I wasn't aware that the "honor system" was still alive and well anywhere.

Upon departure, some of the group opted to head-up northwest and take the scenic route back via Lake Powell. While a few us choose to be less adventuresome, we followed the Little Colorado River, which, by the way, was quite full of water, west to Winslow and then on to the Meteor Creator. After the obligatory one orbit, I turned towards the south heading for home. I noticed that the countless "stock tanks" all had an ample supply of water. Continuing south, the scene turned into a vast array of golden yellow ground cover. I thought at first that this might be Lupine but, doing a little research, found that there was no indication that there was a yellow variety of Lupine. So I am not sure what it was but it sure did look beautiful considering the lack of rainfall back in the valley. It appeared abundantly clear that there had been plenty of recent rain in this part of the state to fill the rivers, stock tanks, and provide for flourishing ground cover.

The Holbrook Gang


  • Warren & Jeri-Ann McIlvoy in 4544X, BC-1
  • Glen & no Judy Yoder in 31TC, BC-007
  • Trent Heidtke and Tim Yoder in 4638W, BC-112
  • Pat Smith and Alec Smith with Rich Brady and Nicole Brady in 732HC
  • David Lester and Mike Lester with Brook in 381SP
  • Richard Spiegel, Ed Chauza, and Paul Fortune in 901KA, BC-6, & 3
  • Gary & Judy Hedges 1196L, BC-99
  • Michael Harris, Richard Azimov, and Jordan Ross in 5921Y, BC-2 & 11


What's Next?

The October Breakfast Club event will see us going northwest to Jean, Nevada and the Gold Strike Casino. This will be a "first time" event to Jean and it should be interesting. In November, the Breakfast Club will be heading to Cottonwood (another first time event) and maybe we might include a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad. That's all for now but remember, fly safe.


Click on the Holbrook link to view photos of this fly-in event.  The only two photos that I have are of the Meteor Crater that is west of Holbrook.