My helicopter, at the orchard.
Yesterday, after doing some cleanup in my camper, which is now parked at the orchard near my helicopter, I took a drive up the hillside behind the orchard. The road winds up and around, though thousands of acres of fruit trees. When I reached the tall antenna with its scary guy-wires, I spotted a trail from the main road. I parked the truck, grabbed my camera, and went for a tiny hike.
The goal was to shoot the orchard from the hillside behind it. I found a perfect spot and took this photo.
In the foreground, you can see the orchard’s upper reservoir. Farther down, beyond many cherry trees, is a smaller, algae-covered pond. There’s a parking area on the close side and you can see my trailer parked there. On the far side is a tiny, bright red speck. That’s my helicopter.
To be fair, my helicopter’s cockpit cover is on it, so it’s not fully exposed. I assume it would be a lot easier to see with the cover off. Before I relocate, I’ll pull the cover off, drive back up to this spot, and get a shot. Hopefully, it’ll be a crisper day and I’ll get up there while the light is still good.
In the close-up, you can see the taco truck that arrived not long after I left the orchard. The folks quit working at 10 AM (they start at 5 AM) because of excessive heat. It got up to 107°F in Wenatchee yesterday; I assume it got up to at least 100°F at the orchard some 1500 feet higher in elevation. The guys — mostly Mexican farm workers — were quitting for the day. The grower offers them soda pop and beer at day’s end; I assume they get lunch from the truck.
The helicopter is parked at the edge of the pond with one skid on the gently sloping embankment. A nice easy slope landing site. (And no, it won’t fall into the pond.) There’s a road between it and the shelter (dark reddish). They use the area for staging the cherries — loading them on a flatbed truck for transport up to the chillers and refrigerator truck in the main packing area. I’ll probably get some video footage of the operation later in the week for anyone who is interested. It’s amazing how much work goes into bringing cherries to market. Hard to imagine how anyone can make a profit with prices this year as low as $1/pound.