Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arizona Task 2
Supposed to be the same forecast as yesterday, but I surely never saw it. I got to 5k after tow, then never more than 4k after that and most of my flight was between 700' and 2000'. I bobbled along for what seemed like so long, diving for dust devils, intersections, then just flying from tractor to tractor over the cultivated fields. I kept thinking I was going to land- I would pick a field, and lo and behold, lift! Scrappy, shitty lift, but lift nonetheless. I yoyo'ed for what seemed like hours, so low, getting frustrated, and then I flew over a feed lot- a HUGE feed lot, and once I smelled the manure, I thought maybe I could get high again. I was so overdressed for this flight, sweating so low, but this 'shit thermal' was going to get me to around 4K and I cooled off a little. No clouds, no more dusties to follow, so I stayed on courseline after hearing that Mark went down near a test track that was just north of me. I began to think that I might save this flight (mistake) when I was consistantly from 2K to 3K and the air seemed more cohesive. Then I saw several gliders in a field, just before the ridges that were my destination. I caught a little climb nearby, but lost it- I think I had "glider suck" - I headed to the big field to land, and almost climbed out there. From 500' I turned and turned and turned, but it finally sucked me in- the lure of the retrieve vehicle, presumably with cold water aboard, and I just gave up. I HATE when I do that. The sky totally turned on with clouds as I was breaking down with my new best friends- the Canadians.... Some really awesome sushi was my consolation when I got back and found out what an easy time the pilots who made goal had. This morning I rescued a nest of mourning doves.... maybe there will be a payback (other than the fact that one of the babies shit on me as I climbed down the ladder). Jeff OB's blog may have details on the heroic rescue....


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