July 21, 2003, by Gene Kira, as published in Western Outdoor News:
The legendary Don Johnson, founder of Mulege’s historic Hotel Serenidad fly-in resort, has hosted his famous “Saturday Night Pig Roast” for the past forty years, but on July 12, 2003, a group of American pilots led by Larry Hahn of El Paso, Texas, turned the tables, when they held a very special pig roast, with Johnson and his family as guests of honor.
Nineteen planes from California, Arizona, and Texas lined up on the Hotel Serenidad’s runway, established at Mulege in 1963 as one of the pioneering facilities of Baja’s golden age of remote fly-in fishing resorts.
Included among the more than 100 celebrants at the hotel was Baja’s most famous pilot, Francisco Muñoz, who drove to Mulege with his wife, Leysl, from their home at Bahia de los Angeles as special guests of the Johnson family.
Muñoz was one of Baja’s original bush pilots, and also founded the pioneering Baja Airlines in the mid-1960s. He holds Mexican commercial pilot’s license No. 187, issued to him in 1933, and was the builder of Mulege’s original airstrip about 1955. Among the many historic events he participated in were the flights of author Earle Stanley Gardner while he was researching his many books about Baja California in the 1950s.
At the pig roast, a commemorative plaque was presented to the Johnson family, represented by Don Johnson, his daughter Diana, and his wife Nancy, in appreciation of the Hotel Serenidad’s historic role in the settling and development of Baja California, and especially for the family’s support of general aviation.
Organizer Larry Hahn, who himself has been flying to Baja California for 50 years, said, “There hasn’t been anybody like Don Johnson. He deserves a lot of credit from the aviation community. All these years, he has maintained this airstrip for everybody, without charging for it. He’s just a real neat guy to have around as a friend.”
It was in 1962 that Hahn first met Don Johnson, who was at that time running the old Club Aero Mulege on the north side of the river. In 1963, Johnson opened the Hotel Serenidad at its present location on the south side of the river with a 2,800-foot airstrip, later lengthened to 4,000 feet. In the following decades, the hotel and its airstrip became a focal point of early Baja explorations, as many “Baja stories” grew up around them, and the weekly “Saturday Night Pig Roast” grew to the status of legend.
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