I have an odd double-life. I live most of the time in Pensacola, Florida but spend my summers up in Washington State. This is my fifth year working for the helicopter company that does cherry tree drying up here in Brewster.
It’s about as far from Florida to Washington as you can get in the continental U.S. Diagonally from one corner of the country to the other it’s a little over 1,800 miles straight line. It’s a little more if you fly since you have to go past Brewster to Seattle and then come back on a little commuter plane. And if you drive it’s about 3,000 miles! There is no direct diagonal route; you have to “stair-step” your way northwestbound.
So getting here is not exactly easy. I’ve driven up twice (which took three full days), ridden up on my motorcycle once (which took the better part of a week), and flown twice on the airlines. It’s always an adventure.
This last trip up was thankfully the most uneventful. We had no weather delays or other issues, and all of my (three) flights were on time. Dave Sr., the owner of the joint met me at the Wenatchee Airport and drove me the rest of the way to Brewster. It was about as painless as air travel gets these days. Glory be! I still don’t like flying on the airlines and am seriously considering just buying a car and driving back when the season is over.
This past winter was very mild up here, so they tell me. That, combined with the warm Spring we’re having up here means that the cherries are “early,” perhaps by as much as two weeks. So we’re kind of scrambling to get everything ready in anticipation. Since I got here the weather has been simply gorgeous.
It would be easy to just move up here and stay year-round. The beauty of this part of the country is unbelievable. And I could almost see myself living here permanently…if not for the winters, even when they‘re “not so bad” as they coyly say. I just don’t like the cold. Plus, I really love Pensacola. It’s nice being here, but in a way I’m already kind of looking forward to getting back home. To my other home.