Fly me to the moon! Or to the winery, anyhow.

Ben Parker apologized for the view. I frankly have no idea why. The view was perfect.

Ben Parker

Ben Parker was my tour guide for 10 blissful minutes hovering over McMinnville.

I was a couple hundred feet in the air, hovering in a glass bubble, big silly grin on my face, snapping pictures. My joy must have been obvious.

 

Misty morning in Mac

This is not a view anyone should apologize for!

For ten bucks, any old body can saunter into the Cirrus Aviation building at the McMinnville airport on a Saturday morning in spring, summer or fall and demand a helicopter ride. Weather permitting, Allison Trimble of Jerry Trimble Helicopters will take your money, give you a quick rundown of how to be safe and sensible and, frankly, how to stay out of the pilot Ben Parker’s way.

I showed up at 10 a.m. My son and I heard her spiel, he rode, I rode, we paid and were back in the car and headed to the McMinnville Public Market a giddy half hour later. My wallet was $20 lighter. My heart was tons lighter. So was his.

 

A returns

My son returns, wearing about as big a grin as a teenage boy ever will in front of his Ma. Allison Trimble waits for me at the cockpit.

I love to fly. My granddad was a pilot. My dad flies. My little brother flies. I have a few dual hours in the cockpit of a Cessna, but I never finished my license. My son, however, was nervous. He’s never been in anything smaller than a big, commercial prop plane. No worries, there, though.

When Allison asked who wanted to go first, it didn’t take much prodding to get that kid on the runway.

While he was in the air, I asked what flying in Yamhill Valley is like. She’s of the opinion that this is a great area to be in the air, that it’s beautiful and user friendly and she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Allison Trimble's tiny helicopter, with Ben Parker at the stick, lifts off.

And visitors fly here! She’s seen it happen. I never thought of such a thing, but the appeal is obvious. There are places to land a small bird all over the valley. Land at the McMinnville airport, and Cirrus will help you out with ground transportation.

It’s hard for me to imagine a finer weekend getaway: Fly into the valley, eat well, drink some wine and spend a night or two at a B&B.

Besides Allison’s company, there are a few others around available for tours and lessons. Konect Aviation flies out of the Mac airport and advertises romantic flights. Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Beats jewelry, in my humble opinion.

There was a patchwork quilt of clouds over the valley that morning, but Ben Parker navigated through and around them. The view was magical.

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About Liz

I'm the editor of Discover Yamhill Valley. I moved here from Virginia, and I'm falling in love with with Oregon. My weekdays are spent writing and editing. This blog is all about my weekends, which I spend adventuring and exploring, either from the back of a bicycle or with a glass of wine in my hand. Or a mug of beer balanced on my head. You never know.
This entry was posted in Living here, Spend the day here, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fly me to the moon! Or to the winery, anyhow.

  1. Whitney says:

    Eek! Helicopters scare the crap out of me! Were you scared at all? Or am I just a big wimp?

    • Liz says:

      Whitney, there’s no way you’re a big wimp.
      I was nervous before I got in. How the heck does something fly without a wing?
      But once we were in the air, the pilot was so calm and professional, and the view was so lovely, I didn’t feel anything but jazzed.

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