Flying Over Hunter Farms
SFRCF scheduled a fly-in at Hunter Farms for Saturday, October 11, 2008. SFRCF maintains a grass field at the farm.
Early Saturday morning, it was foggy outside. I wondered just how much flying would be possible during the day. A quick check of the weather observations showed that the weather at Sanderson Field was calm and clear. Since both Sanderson Field and Hunter Farms are located north of where I live, it was possible that the weather at the grass field might also be calm and clear. So, I packed up my trainer and headed for the fly-in.
Hunter Farms is located in Union, Washington, in the Skokomish River Valley. The Skokomish River drains the southeast corner of the Olympic Mountains in Mason County. It is the most flood-prone river in Washington State and is the first river to flood during heavy rainfall. In fact, our grass field has, at times, been under five feet of water.
Since the fishing season for Coho or "Silver Salmon" began on October 1, the road to Hunter Farms was lined with cars and anglers. The Skokomish runs through Hunter Farms and is just a short walk behind the flying field.
At about 10:00 a.m., I arrived at Hunter Farms. After searching for the field awhile, I was guided by another club member through a locked gate and to the field. Driving through the gate was a challenge because a large number of cattle were crowding the other side.
There were some traces of an earlier fog around the field but it was calm and the sky was almost entirely blue. The sun was up and promised a warm and perfect day for flying.
As we discussed the morning over cups of coffee, a pickup truck loaded with hay crossed one end of the field leading a long line of cattle into an enclosed pasture. As the truck and cattle entered the new pasture, a huge flock of geese rose from the ground and circled the area for several minutes.
After assembling our aircraft(Figure 1), the flying began(Figure 2). As the day progressed, other club members arrived and all enjoyed perfect flying conditions in a beautiful setting.
Figure 1: Unloading the Aircraft
Figure 2: In the Air
It is the Halloween season, and since a region-wide popular event at Hunter Farms is a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch, tractor-trailers ferried families back and forth to the pumpkin patch throughout the day(Figure 3). The road to the pumpkin patch ran along one side of the flying field. The flying aircraft added an extra thrill to the families on their way to and from pumpkin hunting. Most of the day, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., three tractor-trailer rigs, filled with families, traveled slowly to and from the patch by our flying field. As we ate our lunchtime hot-dogs and potato salad, we enjoyed watching them pass by as much as they enjoyed watching us.
Figure 3: Tractor Ride to the Pumpkin Patch
After my training flight and lunch, I decided to walk about the area with my camera. I first visited the pumpkin patch. The excitement and delight of the children as they jumped from the trailer and ran into the pumpkin patch was wonderful(Figure 4).
Figure 4: Pumpkin Hunters
After a short time in the patch, I walked by a field of dry corn stalks and then to the Skokomish River(Figure 5). At the river, I watched awhile as wading fishermen tried their luck for a salmon(Figure 6).
Figure 5: Skokomish River
Figure 6: Fishing on the Skokomish
I returned to the flying field after my walk to watch the last flights of the day and to soak up as much of the warm sun as possible.
Even without the flying, I can highly recommend a trip to Hunter Farms if for no other reason than to experience the atmosphere and scenery of the Skokomish River Valley.
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For additional information about Hunter Farms, you can visit the farm's website at http://www.hunter-farms.com.
I hope you enjoyed this article,
© Copyright 2008-2012 by Royce Tivel. All Rights Reserved.