I also witnessed one of those last season, and we're over 60 miles inland from the coast:
In BLJ's pic, notice the boat with the meticulously crafted canvas cover. This highlights one other benefit of dropping the mast - you can buy a cheap $20 tarp to cover it instead of paying thousands for a custom cover to accommodate all the shrouds, etc.
You say dropping the mast is an easy 2 person job, so you probably don't need a gin pole. But you can turn it into a one person job with a gin pole - do some searching to see if there's a configuration that works for your boat. Here's a shot of one that I built: