Linda Salamone's Blog

Thursday, May 07, 2009

this is where i got to yesterday morning before my battery died....Hard to say where to start now since it’s been a while since I had a chance to blog. The end of the Florida Ridge meet was great even though the last day I broke my ‘goal streak’ but it was my best finish nevertheless. My driver, Bill, has been right there within just a few short minutes every time. With my dog, even.
The first day of the Rally was not so great for me. I should have left when I first got high and to the edge but I was hoping to be a bit faster and have some company now that my harness issues were seemingly worked out. Near the big lakes in central Florida, I went down. I had been so low on other flights and gotten up and I truly thought I would get up in this one field that had some big power lines. Alex radioed that he was landing a bit to the north at an airstrip, and as I was touching down I knew he and I were likely the only ones down on this gorgeous flying day. I was tortured by the cu’s as I broke down and Bill and I drove the rest of the way north to Quest. I had done this whole flight in reverse in 2007, but today, I was not even half way there.
The second day of the Rally was to Williston, 67 miles towards Georgia. I decided to just go when I felt good going and that sure worked out well- for a bit. I was alone, but it was a good flying day, predictable lift under the clouds and reasonable distances between. Even when my left shoulder started hurting, I thought things were going to turn out well. I was upwind and high and all was well. Then a long glide put me on the deck while Jonny and Ben specked out under a cloud. I had a tower to climb over and for a moment I imagined my boot catching on the tip. But I did manage to get up, only to find high cirrus had shut down a big chunk of the course line. There were only a couple of more climbs until I was looking to land, and I picked a beautiful field and had the best landing of my whole trip down here – of course because there was wind. Driver Bill, there on cue after picking mark up… drive the rest of the way to Williston. And what a great little town that was! At the Sweet Spot diner Tuesday morning, the waitress let me take Meesha out back for a hose down. There aren’t a whole lot of swimming holes around so that was all we had to cool her off. At the airfield, things got going fast. We had a HUGE 146 mile task with a quartering tail wind, and not a lot of time to get there with a thunderstorm near the end.
So day three of the rally, Bobby towed me a bit downwind, and then hung around in the Dragonfly videoing me – which I didn’t get at first why he was there- but I had a decent climb, gave a wave and he left me with a couple gliders going up pretty good. But downwind. Which should be the name of this flight. Not only did I have the actual courseline off the grid on my Garmin, at the end of the flight, I didn’t have I75 on my Garmin page because I was that far off to the east. Osceola National Forest was just behind me much of the trip, and made landing options and climb choices very interesting. I had my lowest save EVER I think, at 160K out, and tried to avoid lining up with Lake City airport runways for a long time. But eventually, the huge storm ahead, the lack of fields below, and the shitty lift towards courseline put me down in a field with a few cows, and one bull. My set up and landing were pretty sweet.
more later.... and pictures. i'm pretty laid up right now.


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