Saturday, February 5, 2011

Last day - Nice flight - a thorn of a landing.

Last entry for the comp.

Today looked bad and turned out great. – At the start a number of us looked at the clouds / winds and projections and determined not to fly. – But as the launch window progressed it looked better and better.

The start line had formed and it was looking like it might take more time than I wanted to wait so I checked in with the launch director who confirmed the priority line was for the top 50 pilots. Cool – I was 47th at the start of the day so I got to slide right and move ahead of the line. – It made a difference – I made the start gaggle just fine and had a great start.

The glide across to Kings was fine and a very easy push in lots of lift avoiding clouds and pulling big ears on occasion made for an enjoyable Divisidaro run – 2 k cylinder there and then a push to the 4k at La Pila. – Lifty line to start with then cratered near the tag.]

My next call was the mistake for the day and the only one I got. – I dove for the ridge at 3kings. Those who stayed out in the valley with the light sun got up but I didn’t on the ridge. – After a valiant effort I bailed for a ridge top where two other pilots had landed.

I didn’t give myself enough height to land with the boys and I slid a bit farther down the ridge top. – No problem with the terrain but it was covered in bushes – let me put that a bit different covered in the El Diablo’s thorns. – These bushes which reach 15 feet in height are covered with spike like thorns about that are about an inch long, tough as steel and sharp as a needle. – they are so sharp that at the thick end they are less than 64th of an inch in diameter.

How do I know these details? My right ring finger has intimate experience with the little buggers. It entered in the top flesh center left of the middle phalanx. – It skewered the flesh to the thumb side and almost came out the anterior side of the finger. – 2/3 of an inch and fully buried.

Ouch – but not near the pain one would expect. – We tried to pull it out on the hill with my Leatherman with no success. So we hiked to the road where the first rig to come along was the event ambulance. – They were so excited to have a patient that the truck behind which had the recue crew had their lights flashing as we drove a few miles looking for a safe place to stop on the mountain road.

The E.M.T. wanted to work on me with the rig moving but after a couple of shots he gave up and waited till we stopped. – We worked on it for 5 minutes until while trying to pluck it out the sharp end started to hurt against the EMT’s fingernail. I complained and when I did both EMTs realized at the same time they should be pushing from that side against the sharp end and the dull end which was what they were trying to pull out would pop out. – Sure enough – pop it went and my finger was whole again.

They kicked me out of the ambulance – I didn’t pay – so it wasn’t professional medical attention and I was now on retrieve at the side of the road like everyone else.

Flight home now – Took my penicillin which I always travel with and will get a good night sleep.

Think I finished about 50th or so.

No comments: