Friday, May 25, 2012

Kiona (Benton City, WA) to Boardman OR

It doesn't happen very often but every once in a while the conditions set up for a nice flight from the North to the South. Those days are often hard to predict so I don't always make the call broadly. Thursday was that kind of day.

Early in the week the lift profile for Thursday along with projected light winds made it the one to plan for. I put out some ticklers for the sky gods but didn't get much action on my rod. The day before still no takers and in the AM even my close buds decided the chance of OD/Wet was too great to make the trip from the Wet Side.

Undeterred I tweeted my plans for 11:30 at the Rock and headed for Baldy. - I didn'teven entered the canyon. From the Selah cut I could see launch was already shaded over in ODing skies and it was only 11:15.

I turned around and headed for Bob's Bump figuring: maybe the run away from clouds, North to South could start there. On launch I made this little pondering video:

My call was to pass on Bob's

Thinking about how the fast the clouds were growing and how large they were so early reminded me of Gordon Grice's comment on having made a similar run in possibly similar conditions:" I should have died! "

Timidity being the better part of valor I headed South for Kiona figuring the lower Columbia might be lest developed. This was a good call.

The drive took just over an hour and as I went the sky filled from North to South. On launch at Kiona I looked out at filling skies, the run from Bob's Bump would have been great but I just didn't want to risk running scared all day.

By the time I was set up on HG launch Doug Hoffman had arrived and we were off. Doug and I took turns heading out but he had the better day from my perspective. I pimped a fair chunk. We were together until we made the Columbia. He headed East and I went West and just ducked under the 3,500ft MOA at Boardmen as I crossed the Columbia into Oregon.

One more item checked off on my bucket list. And another site record, that is till Doc breaks it, which won't take long. - The video is a little over 10 minutes long. - Enjoy the clouds.


P.S. My second clinic is full and the list has starting for clinic #3 to be held in August, likely the weekend of the 11th. e-mail if interested in Thermal Theroy and XC flying. 8 hrs of classroom and two days on the hill and in the air - $220. - Max 5-6 Pilots. New personal best this season guaranteed.