Who Am I?

My photo
A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

27 July 2012

Winding Down

We’re almost done up here in Washington. I can’t believe that it’s almost time to go home. This season sped by. Last year I got up here in the middle of May, only about a week earlier than this year. And the time passed slowly. It seemed that we were always doing fun stuff: going up to Soap Lake, either by land vehicle or helicopter; going tubing down the Methow River; watching the hydroplane races...and of course we hung around the bakery a lot, ate a lot of pizza and drank a lot of wine. (And I rode my motorcycle more last year.) This year we hardly did any of that. Where has the time gone? How does that happen?

This season not only started early, but we’ve flown a lot more this year too. In fact, I flew more just in July of this year than I did all of June, July and August of last year (which was admittedly dry). With the increased flying comes a lot of other tasks concerning the servicing and maintaining of the helicopters and equipment. So there’s been a lot more to do all around.

The contract for my ship was up as of yesterday (same as last year). The second ship will go to the end of the month, perhaps a bit longer. So I’ll stick around and fly with Taylor, the other pilot who is in his first season as a cherry-dryer…if we fly at all, that is. The forecast doesn’t call for much rain between now and the end of the month.

It’s been a very uneventful season, and we are thankful for that. We’ve had no major breakdowns or calamities. Knock on wood though!

I really like it up here. Last year I hung around way past the end of the season, well into the middle of September. This year there is no hurry to get home either, although I am looking forward to riding the motorcycle back. Yet at the same time I’m ambivalent. It’s going to be a hot ride, especially considering the southern route I’m taking home. The longer I stay, the cooler it’ll be. More and more, “September” seems like an attractive departure date.


Anonymous said...

OK, I have a bone to pick....I just had acherry that had a crack in the skin. Man you have to do better! I will admit however that you have really educated me on this whole thing. I have always loved them, just did not realize what all went into making them perfect. I guess it is kinda like the "Dangerous Catch" series. Sometimes you don't appreciate things as much as you should,and education really helps.
Take care my friend,

Bob Barbanes: said...

Cass, it's funny...kind of... Our farm manager stopped by today to tell us how many acres he still had left to pick (i.e. how many we still had to dry). Earlier in the season he was bragging that he hadn't seen even one single "split" (as those cracks are called). But now, the "pack out" isn't as great as they thought it was going to be because there've been *LOTS* of splits.

I said that I hoped it wasn't our fault, and he said, "Look, you can't dump three inches of rain on an orchard and not get any splits. It's just GOING to happen." I breathed a big sigh of relief at that.

In the supermarket you will find cherries with splits, or burn marks, or bruises, or "smilies" (white discolorations in the "stem bowl"). The bigger/better packing plants do try to cull those out, but the selection process is not perfect.

I've learned more than I ever wanted to know about cherries while doing this job. I cannot even imagine what goes into the production of other foods we regularly eat... like raising the chickens that go into the packages of boneless/skinless breasts that I buy at Walmark. Maybe I don't want to know! I'm just glad those hens stay cooped up all the time and don't need to be dried by helicopter.

Anonymous said...

haha i looked at the date and you wer talking about leaving already haha. Hmmm maaaaybe i'll leave tomarow or the next day not sure maybe next week lol,your funny bob.

Bob Barbanes: said...

Huh? Who is this...

I do wish I could've stayed longer. You know, I do like it up there - didn't want to leave. But I had this real life to get back to... Plus I wanted to take my time riding the motorcycle back...which didn't get to happen.

Ah well, life doesn't always go according to The Plan, especially when the plan is kind of vague to begin with :-/