Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, July 17, 2006

Outer Banks, NC
So my whole family met on July 9th in Duck, NC for a weeklong adventure. I had been looking forward to it for so long. It's different than anticipating an HG comp because there is none of the kind of stress that goes with comps.
I tried to fly at Jack's Mountain on Saturday the 8th. Dana and I waited for a LONG time. It was dead when I got set up, and continued to get deader as we waited in vain.... I didn't even dare take a sledder since the LZ is so rolling and a no-winder might have been slightly downhill... we went to a drive-in and waited for Mark and the rest of the gang to catch up to us in Harrisburg.
In NC, we waited until Tuesday the 11th to hit the Currituck Airport. Cheryl and Steve Larson (from the Florida Ridge) are running things there and doing a sweet job getting lots of tandems done. They were doing mile highs when we arrived. My sister Laura, and my brother Richard were there with me and Mark. I had loaned Laura my Sting and I had my old Litespeed. My brother wound up taking a tandem, which really surprised me. And it scared the shit out of him, which surprised me even more. He does that Ultimate Fighting stuff. Seems to me that stepping into a ring with someone who basically wants to kill you, and a ref who isn't going to stop him, is a whole lot scarier than a little old hang gliding flight. But I digress...
So Mark gets towed up and I am screwing with Laura's weird quick link system. He is all over the sky and we are sweating our asses off on the ground. She gets a tow, but the weak link breaks pretty quick. Then Steve gets her hooked up with a barrel or two, and I get towed up next. Never have I hit so much sink off tow. I lost a thousand feet in half a minute and was scratching around. I never got back up to tow altitude and Mark sank out then as well. Steve tows me up again, right after my brother goes tandem. I had a chance to fly around them for a little bit, but again, I could barely climb up above 1600'. I saw Laura getting towed up and she got off really low. I had some altitude to try to get over to her when I saw her climbing really well, but I came in underneath and never got her climb. I searched around a little and saw her leave to go back where the tandem was earlier. I didn't follow and I would up watching her get high while I hit the ground AGAIN!
Frustrated, I take another tow as she is sinking out. Still I don't stay up long no matter how hard Steve tries to find cohesive lift. Oh well, I think I got an hours' worth of airtime between the 3 tows. Never getting high enough to cool off though! But I did have both of my siblings in the air with me at the same time and that was very very cool. And my brother's expression at the end of his first ever flight- PRICELESS!!!!
We had some kayaking and fishing to do and the weather was stormy in the late afternoons so we kept busy and beached it a lot. Until Saturday, the day we left. My son Adam, and daughter Dana, tried the dune lessons with Mark's son, James. It was a blast watching how they do that there. Poor kid there teaching them found out afterwards that his students were the Nat'l Women's Champ kids... He was pretty funny about it. It was great watching Adam launching and Dana really starting to put it all together from her tandems and stuff. James is a natural, I think.
So that is most of the hang gliding part of our vacation. It was a pretty minor player but still monumental in it's significance for me. Never have Laura and I flown hang gliders together before. She's towed me up and she is the one that got me into it in the first place. So she can brag about my competitions and still say, "yeah but I can still kick her ass in the air".


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