Cascade Soaring is still flying in McMinnville, Oregon. After so many years this company still operates from the McMinnville Airport. At 10:00am I was there and a bunch of veterans waited for me in middle of their gliders and one plane. John (the man in charge apparently) came to take me immediately to the (a little rundown) Schweitzer 2-33 glider and looking that me (a tourist) was taking photos, told me that no camera was allowed in the cockpit! This really surprised me and tried to complain of such a regulation that was against their business. John told me that it was because so many times the cameras had scratched the canopy! After a trip of more than one hour (from Portland) I didn't want to waste the opportunity of a ride in a glider and after taking a couple of last photos I gave the camera to my wife. She was in charge of taking the photos from below! Then, I began to think in the old ramshackle facilities (see photo showing the rest-room and the office); the rundown gliders; the bunch of veterans; the need to pay in cash; and, again, only the idea of wasting the trip and the time that took us to McMinnville kept me in the cockpit where I was already in. A few words and we were flying behind the towing plane. AND all changed; the weather was beautiful for riding a glider. We could see Mt. Hood, Mt. Helen, Mt Jefferson, the Three Sister and even a small peak of Mt. Rainier. To say the least, it was wonderful! I forget all the rundown and ramshackle features and enjoyed the great panorama. We were at 4000 feet. They charged (cash) US$170.00 (plus a change of US$10.00 because "they had no change"!) for that high (in fact it was suppose to be 1 miles!) but I was enjoying the moment and this was awesome. I think the veteran in charge was also enjoying the trip and took more time that the one suppose to be, and only then, gradually, he began to come down. The landing was smooth and I only have praise for the pilot. Again in terra firme, I congratulate the pilot, pay the cash to John (who is this guy?) and hurry up to get a place with a decent rest room and a hot coffee.
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