Linda Salamone's Blog

Monday, August 18, 2008

After any competition, free flying gets weird. No jumble of nerves, no throngs of competitors, no start clock, no death gaggles.... It's strangely serene and uneventful. My first flight after Monte Cucco was at Bristol, Saturday August 9th. I had some help carrying into launch- as usual- but for a change I really wasn't in dire need. My back, since the second full day in Italy, was feeling like a back that never had any issues at all. This is after two-plus weeks of flying, driving, sitting in airplanes, Italian flare-tuck-roll landings, and sleeping on a twin hotel mattress. The are so many variables in this equation, I really can't pinpoint what exactly solved the problem. Gorio's strange maneuvers, whole garlic cloves swallowed every morning, no running, the twin mattress, clean air, good food, or Italy itself. Who freaking knows? But I hadn't felt even a twinge of pain for almost 3 weeks when we flew Bristol last week.

Anyhow- the flight... Doug and Chuck and Doug and Mark and Matt and Lon and Rick and Karl and Katrin and her extended family... who else? Well I think that was it. This pic is stolen right from Rick's blog....

So there was some scratching going on, but some pilots getting up. I launched and got into something after a desperate low scramble to the south. Mark was way high trying to guide me and once I got into the big climb, it was this smooth, widespread, solid 1m/s climb. We had somewhat of a plan to go somewhere, but we didn't know where so when I got to base, we decided to try for Bloomfield and I don't remember where and then back, I think. Mark was doing something weird, climbing into the control frame and screwing around while I headed across the valley to a big fat cloud. When I got there, however, the fat cloud was not really working and I searched in vain for something cohesive. He came out lower and together we tried to find something, anything but it was literally a losing battle. For all the nice clouds and the decent initial climb and the large area I searched, you'd think we'd be having no trouble at all finding lift. But there was really nothing so I just waffled around a while. When I did finally head north to avoid landing in the switchy LZ, I found a hawk going up but too late, he was mostly drifting over unlandable area, and in my mellow flying mood, I didn't feel like pushing it. So I landed (pretty well for a change) after almost an hour in some old guy's field and proceded to break down. I found out later that Rick kicked butt and put a few more miles to his XC and Karl and Doug were scattered around the area as well. So, not a stellar flight, but really enjoyable and relaxed after the racing. My glider flew great- I am so happy with this wing and the way it flies- especially after I stressed about un-shortpacking it by myself. Mark noticed a ding on the back of the leading edge however, when I first set it up, but further inspection caused us to believe it was simply a water mark from being rained on the day before.

It was great to be back, but I was sad that my adventures in Italy were over. It was nice to meet Katrin's family and to fly with my friends again- even to get my ass kicked by "Sledder Brown". It will take a little more time, I'm sure, to re-connect here. And a few more flights....


Post a Comment

<< Home