Ascutney season opener

[ Angelic Mood: Angelic ]
It came to pass that May arrived, and soon the first weekend.
The questions were posed: where shall we go, and what shall we do?
Some decided to fly at The Trail, and they went forth to do so.
Others suggested going to a barbecue near Boston and eating copious quantities of roast beef, but they were old friends from college, and not pilots, so they were ignored this time.
And others said that we should go to the Mountain, and I was among them.
And one said that he didn’t want to fly in the rain, and that we were apparently reading different forecasts than what he could see, and he either went back to bed or mowed the lawn.

We waited at the gate, and the Director arrived in his truck. He was gruff, as is his wont. “This is a stupid day for hang gliding”, he said. “It’s blowing 30 mph up there, and it’s completely overcast. There’s no point in even going up the mountain, never mind carrying any gear to launch. Wait right here, I’ll be back with my glider in a few minutes.”

When he returned, he said that because it’s still the off-season, the mountain was available to sky gods only. Knowing that I’m no sky god, I offered to just help out if appropriate. We loaded gliders onto racks, and drove up. As soon as we opened the doors and stepped into the howling tempest, we all said “Urgh”. This was a day that put fear in the hearts of the sky gods. It was strong, and very cross from the left. Clearly not a day for a lowly H3 armed with only a Falcon. Since we were already at the top, I offered to sally out to launch and at least see if the trail was clear. I hastened on this errand, and returned with the surprising news that it was blowing straight in, though gusty.

Thence ensued the ritual trudge, carrying the gear to the Rock. For it was the popular opinion that to the West, we could see the Back of the Front, and joyous skies would be arriving soon. So we set up.

Indeed, over the fabled O-Ke-Mo, there was unmistakable blue, studded with tufts of white. And anon the blue arrived, and the gale abated. And the Director, fittingly, was the first to launch in the New Year.

The others followed. I was in the middle, for the conditions had mellowed to Falcon-friendly levels, and the Director had relented. But not camera-friendly levels, for the springtime air kept me too busy, and my camera remained sheathed. So I did not get pictures of the others flying, or the vultures below, or the high-performance sailplane that circled with us. And after a while, several of the band went over the back to Morningside, and one flew to the Forbidden Field, and two of us landed out front, in my case well under a furlong from where I had cleverly stashed my car. For I landed in “Kansas”, which is not actually Kansas, but merely a field that is said to be virtually the size of the Sunflower State. Although, as this freakishly artificial looking (but genuine!) photograph makes clear, not nearly as flat.

And the following day, others, including the one who had feared the rain, flew successfully at West Rutland. And it was all good.

flights: 1, airtime: 0:59


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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