Linda Salamone's Blog

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18 2007
I had to pick up Adam from the bus- 2 weeks of being kidless flew by- so I knew I couldn't get to the hill before 2 or 3pm. Mark was feeling pressure to get work on the house done, so I went alone, feeling bit guilty. But the coming week didn't look so great and I was all rested up from my five hour flight the week before and I needed some air. When I first looked at the mountain there was no one in the air. A bad sign, but at least I knew I wasn't missing anything! The big fat clouds that prevailed in the sky all day were drying up fast and there were pilots packing up after short flights in the LZ. Up top things looked bleak. No wind at launch at first (and it had been really windy all morning) but as I set up, it started coming in a bit. All the clouds had disappeared, but one by one they began forming again while I stuffed battens. Rick, Lon, Marc, Ed, Bob, Karl, Dan, Ryan, Andrew, Scott, Sean.... who am I forgetting? Well Fred showed up later but I never saw him except in the air. Good crowd! Plus there were other PGs who flew later but I don't know who all six were. So Marc launches first, Lon and then Rick, I think, then me, and I go straight up, and then everyone else seemed to pile off. I hooked one pretty quick and stayed with it to 4K, Rick pimping from below the whole way. I saw Lon go to land but then he was climbing over the church, so I headed out to pimp off him in the valley a little. I took a run to the north but saw that it was dead up there and dying everywhere else EXCEPT where Rick was. Marc had gone to land on top a while ago, but was circling over that field for 15 minutes or so, and when Rick cracked a decent turn behind the church I was right there above him in a flash to help him core it. He seemed to be having trouble however, with either thermalling -or maybe he was just having a tough time with his racy Eagle. He kept reversing his turns and flailing about. Poor guy never did seem to get the hang of it. But I tried to show him how right til he gave up and went to top land. Now there were no more hangies in the air but me, and Fred was just above the ridge at launch. I burned off some alitude to get over to him and decided against risking a church landing, went to the top field (damn LIFTY again) and had about 1000 feet to lose. I had my landing all lined up, looking good, then flared a little too high and threw it away to save my back. Whack. Ah well, my back survived. Breaking down fast to get home, not much time for socializing, I skipped Jim's party to get home(sorry I missed it!). Still feeling a bit guilty on the way home, a shrimp cocktail and gourmet salad for Mark assuaged it some. He got a ton of drywall up, and even mudded a bunch.
The flight was fun, high and cold, and way worth the trip. Seeing Lon having a great flight was awesome. A second appearance by the reclusive Marc this season was cool. The PGers later in the light wonder was good. Seeing more hang gliders than paragliders all day was cool. And it seemed like I got there at the right time. In fact, it really wasn't any good until......
Airtime: 1:06
Alt over launch: 4330'


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