On your mark, get set… no.

First, I had a thought that I’d go for another Friday evening flight at Tanner-Hiller. Weather seemed good, so that seemed like a plan. I put my glider on the car to bring it to work, but then I saw a note from Cristina. She had two tickets to see The Nields on Friday night, and the friend who had been planing to go with her couldn’t make it. Did I want to go? Sounded great… hmm, not enough time to do both. But I could do some prep work. I drove to the airport after work, getting there about the time everybody was done, set up my glider, and with Rhett’s blessing, I put it in the hangar to save myself some time when I came back.

The concert was excellent.

On Saturday morning I rode my unicycle down to the auto repair shop to pick up Nancy’s car, and she drove over in the spare car and met me at my house. She had wanted to climb Mt. Monadnock for a long time, and this was finally our opportunity to do it. I wanted to head down to the airport to fly afterwards, and had put the kayaks on the roof in case she wanted something to do while I was in the air. After Monadnock, we headed straight to the field to assess the situation, and I got my glider out of the hangar. Most of the pilots were done, as it was late afternoon, although Dana was on the cart, hoping for some smooth evening air to try pro-towing for the first time. He was willing to defer his spot to me, but like him, I wasn’t that comfortable with what the wind was doing, especially after watching a couple of pilots come in through bumpy air for challenging landings, so I made the decision to stash my wing back in the hangar, and Nancy and I headed over to the nearby state park for some relaxing sunset paddling, with a rising full moon.

Sunday was Father’s Day, which doesn’t mean so much to me, since I’m not a father myself and I don’t have one any more. But there was an orienteering meet going on (my friend Alar decided that what he wanted to do for Father’s Day was to host a meet), so Nancy and I headed there. A scorcher of a day, and I made it around the longest course in a not-embarrassing time, then headed back to Tanner-Hiller one more time to try to round out this multisport solstice weekend.

As I pulled in, Pete J was on a cart and he and Rhett took off. I jogged down to the hangar, tossed my glider on a cart, brought it to the top of the runway, hooked up my harness and did a preflight, and got into position just as Pete landed. Hmm, not a very long flight. Rhett came over and we did preflight checks, then Pete came over and we started considering what the wind was doing. It was distinctly cross from the SE, and despite my hopes, it wasn’t showing lulls or changes in direction. After we sat there for a while, Pete finally asked, “What exactly are you waiting for?”. During the next bit of discussion, Rhett said something about how he hated talking somebody out of flying, and that tipped the balance for me. I wheeled the cart over to the sidelines, and Pete and I broke down together.

You can’t always have things work out, and deciding not to fly is never a bad decision in my opinion. As Pete pointed out, there wasn’t any lift, so I wasn’t missing much. Other than using a little extra bit of cheap gasoline, there wasn’t really any downside to the whole expedition.


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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