Despite some weather pessimism (or unvavailability) from most other pilots, I drove up to West Rutland myself and met Bob. The sky looked awful when I rolled into town (treetops doing the jitterbug), but it cleared up by the time we drove up to launch (stopping partway to chat with Gary, Don, Mike, and Linda, who were working on road improvements). Bob launched first, but I held back for a while until I decided that the big cauliflower clouds on the horizon weren’t heading our way. We each flew for about an hour, and I had my first experience looking for lift under cumulus clouds.

As we were packing up, PK and Brian rolled in, just back from the comp in Maryland. After all that driving, they were itching to fly, and encouraged me to come along. I had figured that I was done for the day, but I agreed to at least ride up with them and drive the vehicle back down, and I might as well bring my glider along in case it looked good and I got motivated to fly again. That’s in fact how it turned out, the overdevelopment that was threatening all went away, and we all launched, with me going last — first time I had launched from a mountain site with nobody else there to assist.

In addition to chasing clouds for the first time, I also had the privilege of flying near a bird. A hawk of some sort showed up and bopped around, at one point soaring less than 50 feet off my wing, until he could see that I was established in the lift, and then he rocketed away. Flew for another hour, and headed for the LZ when the wind picked up and I decided to land before I got stuck up there unable to penetrate.

I had a camera mounted on my control bar, and took a lot of pictures, of both the other pilots and the hawk. Unfortunately, I had grabbed the wrong camrea out of my bag, the one that didn’t have a memory card in it, so I only got one shot from the air before the internal memory filled up. Oh well. At least I got this cool shot of SonOfBob taking in an inverted view of the world from the ramp.

flights: 2, airtime: 2:07


About cleversky

Hang glider pilot in New England since 2004. Also an avid orienteer, and an embedded systems firmware engineer. And some other outdoor stuff.
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