Today I was able to collect on one of the fringe benefits of my new "job." While some may think it is work I still consider myself retired because I am doing what I want to do. For those who don't know I retired at age 34 and have been living a dream every day since then - but that is a different story.
Today's story is that of flying a perfect evening. First hats off to XCSkies. As we move from the thermal season to the ridge soaring season the eye start to focus more on the little arrows and wind velocity than on the color which represent lift above the ground. XCSkies had it dead on - Both Saddle and Kiona were predicted to be great and they were. CJ and George will have to give us a report on Saddle but I can tell you that Kiona was 12 to 18 NNW.
We like winds to be NNE but it was just fine. When I got to launch, just after making a "work" stop in Benton City - now I am getting paid mileage to drive to my second favorite ridge site. (that is the fringe benefit) - I found Curt twisting his hiking poles ready to hike.
He put the poles back in his Toyota and jumped in for a ride in the Tundra. I was planning on RC launch for a nice double ridge run but on the way up I learned he had his speed wing. PG launch it is. We came back down the ridge top to PG and found winds just at the bottom of his soaring range and wonderful for my XL - Ooops no 76s - no track log and the Vario still remains dead so I just flew - dang what a pity.
I had forgotten what laminar felt like, easy lift to 2-300 over and a nice big cushy band to play in.
Back at the ridge I played hover over the mouse games and held position 6 feet over and 8 feet to the right of the boys as we chatted about the wind - Curt had his go pro on so I hope to get some video to post. Curt pushed off and we soared and top landed and hopped about until dark. 30 minutes before sunset all wings were out and got some great "high" wind launching and kiting practice - by sunset we were down to 10 to 15mph and we played with kiting, working D's until well into the flashing light time period.
If there are any FAA inspectors reading this post you can check my SPOT ok time with the official 30 minute after sunset rule. = How late can you go - or is it how low can you go - I always get confused.
I followed the good Dr.s advice, practicing my snake charming arts. I finally got one to lay down on it's back all the way till I had a a 5 foot head held frozen in place and then a rise to overhead with a smooth transition to launch. Is that considered a double cobra when you do a cobra with a cobra?
In any event it was just great fun to hang out in smooth winds with a good group of guys - all while Doc was enjoying a special evening with his wife.
All the Best