The great Northwest

August 22, 2014 by Mark Baker

I don’t get to the northwestern corner of the country as often as I’d like. For an outdoorsman like me, it’s just above heaven. In close proximity you’ll find jagged mountains, high deserts, stunning river gorges, and pristine forests.

But of course, the biggest draw in the Northwest has to be the people.

I was lucky enough to spend last weekend in Spokane, Washington, for the latest in our series of regional events. I can honestly say that we’ve never had a warmer welcome than we had in Spokane, where members repeatedly thanked us for coming to their beautiful corner of the country.AOPA Spokane '14 Fly In AOPA Spokane '14 Fly In AOPA Spokane '14 Fly In AOPA Spokane '14 Fly In AOPA Spokane '14 Fly In

Even though each AOPA Fly-In lasts only a day, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into every event. The staff at Felts Field was hugely helpful and accommodating while the 150-plus volunteers set to work with smiles on their faces. Best of all, they were still smiling even after spending a long day setting up, then doing everything from flipping pancakes to parking airplanes on the day of the fly-in, and even cleaning up at the end.

In Spokane, and everywhere we’ve been, I’ve been delighted to reach so many members who’ve never been to an AOPA event before. Our goal with these regional events was to meet our members where they fly, and that’s exactly what’s happening.

If you haven’t yet made it to one of this year’s fly-ins, we’ve got three more chances to connect. We’ll be in Chino, California on Sept. 20; Frederick, Maryland on Oct. 4; and St. Simons, Georgia on Nov. 8.

And we’ve already begun planning for next year. If your airport is interested in hosting an AOPA Fly-In in 2015, send us your proposal. The application is available online. We’d love to visit your community and get to know you better.