Linda Salamone's Blog

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I left for Germany one week ago. It seems there is a curse on the weather at this place but only when a competition is scheduled.
Friday I unshorted my glider with much needed help from friends and was told to set up to have my sprogs measured. Never having messed with my sprogs I figured- no problem. I was told they were way too low, the glider was completely asymmetrical, and Gerolf would have a look the next day since just raising them might make the glider have a turn or something. I met up with pilots; some old, some new, and had a nice dinner at a local pizza place. My B&B is great- right near to everything- and the proprietors are awesome and speak english.
Saturday we all registered and the glider measuring thing began anew. Some six hours later, after Gerolf had a turn with it including making new shorter nose wires and my glider was deemed certifiable (no pun intended). Another dinner at the local pizza place (really good cheap food- not just pizza)and the Sunday forecast promised fairly decent weather for test flying my "new" glider.
Sunday was looking threatening as far as storms go, but everyone was keen to get a flight in so I joined my glider at the top of the mountain (I had stowed it up there the noght before like we're supposed to). Set up space is at a premium and you just can't believe how creative people were being to get gliders assembled. Then there was the problem of maneuvering the glider up to actually launch. The ramp is great, good slope, nice drop off. But I was a nervous mess by the time I wrangled my glider into the queue. It felt so different- with just the nose wires un-slack, and my hang check prior to launch revealed me hanging a bit higher than I was before. But no problem! Randee took a BUNCH of great photos on launch so if you are on Facebook, you can see most of them there (well if I ever finish uploading them- Facebook is being as buggy as everything else electronc in my life right now!). This site is like nothing I have ever seen- I mean- I have never seen the Alps. Amazing!
My launch felt pretty good, but my glider felt different- stiffer, a bit tighter. But it's flying straight and true, even at my 3/4 VG (all I can get right now)so I thermalled a bit in either direction, raced across the valley, then realized how cold my hands were and decided to land and ponder this whole experience for a while. My landing was okay even though there were no wind socks in the primary (they had fallen down), and I just guessed the correct direction. Jamie was coming in for a landing and I watched as she climbed out from pretty low to fly another 20 minutes. I got a ride for my glider to the cable car, to stow the glider for Monday, the first day of competition.
Back to the pizza place again (I'm getting lazy about finding food and I don't care much for the German stuff) and then to bed to rest up for tomorrow.
Monday- I am on the safety committee (how does that keep happening???) so I have to keep an eye on the task committee meeting and keep Heather posted about any issues I have or hear before flying or while in the air. None of the rigids set up at all because base is lower than launch and there is a lot of general milling about on top. Finally I decide to set up after Daphne starts to. Before I have my tip wands in, however, Heather cancels the day. The wind was blowing up the back and some huge development was just behind us. I was confused though when my phone texted me a 'welcome to Austria' message when I hadn't even really moved much. I hadn't realized just how close we are to the border. I broke down the glider, stowed it, then headed to a sports outlet store with Jamie, Claudia, Timothy, Daphne and Rosie. And just guess where I had dinner....
Tuesday... yeah well, the fohn has set up so they didn't make us go up the mountain. But it was such a beautiful and warm sunny day, Daphne, Timothy and I decided to hike to the castle for some excercize.
A strange sighting on the way- I'll let the pictures do the talking...

seriously... there are just no words....

We wound up right at the (Neuschwanstein)castle- after going way uphill for a good sweat, and decided to go in. But the tickets are only available at the bottom- we had come up the back way. So Tim left and Daphne and I walked all the way down, purchased tickets, and hiked all the way back up again. The Italians ran into us and we showed them the back way down past the waterfalls after our respective tours. The castle is pretty wild. Ludwig II was a nutcase! But you can't take pics of the inside- sorry.
Lunch with Daphne (we were somehow really really HUNGRY) and then a quiet afternoon complete with nap. I finally ate at a German restaurant for dinner- it reaffirmed my desire to be at 'my' pizza place...Plus the waitress is super cute there. Alba is making me speak more Italian and I think she is getting better with her English. Hopefully, if Mirella visits, we'll be able to have a real conversation....
Wednesday- rain rain rain. I have had every conceivable electronic related problem, and the latest was that I simultaneously fried my converter and took all the lights out in my hotel. So I ran some errands this morning with Alex, Carlo and Gorio and with Alex translating, got exactly the converter I needed. So no more leaving my car half on and running outside to charge all my various shit.
Later in the afternoon we headed to the pools/baths/spa right here in Schwangau. A variety of salt pools indoor and out. Jacuzzis, vortexes, saunas, steam rooms- clothing not allowed in some areas. I was pretty waterlogged when we left and thankfully Alba had thought to bring her shampoo and stuff because it was just about time for dinner. It was nice to float in the super salty warm water in the cold rain with the Alps as a backdrop.
Pizza place again- at least I am ordering different stuff off the menu- and this time it was the owner who was the late nite entertainment. A party was going on at the HQ tent but we arrived too late and headed to a sort of disco/bar for a bit. I met a German pilot, Stephan, who had a mission to complete: sending word from my dear friend, Mirella, who may or may not arrive Sunday. Seriously good laughing until the wee hours at this place.
Thursday, today: RAIN RAIN RAIN. Are we ever going to have a competition? It is easy to forget what we are assembled here to do, and filling the days with beloved friends - is so sweet- yet we really need to get flying. I love the fact that I am tied for first place, but also... I am tied for last...


  • Stay calm gurl! If your glider is flying fine, just do what you do best. Take that extra second to make good decisions and break that tie for first place!... but nothing else... :-)

    By Anonymous John Bilsky, at 9:06 AM  

  • hey you! wow - so you're tied for first!!!?!?! hot dang!!

    love your posts. keep 'em comin'! thinking about you....

    it's super lonely here without you - so i took 10 days to work in boston. i just got back. ;-(

    By Blogger amber, at 10:44 AM  

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