CLOUDBASE!!!! Full Tank, Money in the bank, The big carrot!
Thane and me in a Wolcott, CO glass off.
Above(front to back): Sam, Ross, Sparky and me(walking). Snow ended, about to get good at Lookout!
Serendipity saved my life in the above picture at Reeder Ridge (by Grand Junction, CO)… I almost flew before the wind velocity ramped up into infinity. I backed off launch with lots of help from my wife, fighting to keep the glider from taking us both… If I had been ready 15 minutes earlier, Ida been in the air and had no options. Those were the dangerously eager and relatively ignorant days!
About to take a morning sled ride for my first flight on the Atos that turned into 2.5 hours of bliss… Note the short sleeve shirt mistake… Landed because I couldn’t stop shivering.
On my way to the white room over Telluride. 2008 was my first Telluride flight, and I WILL BE BACK! My previous flight was the 235 mile world record flight in TX. 2 lifetime checkboxes filled in 2 weeks! I could die now a happy man. Seriously!
My last flight in the beloved Atos-C, photo by Sam Crater
A beaut of a day, getting ready with the dog in my shade. Villa Grove, CO.
Fantastic 2008 fall flying in Colorado. This was from Williams, looking WSW toward the Gore range.
July in Dinosaur pushed back my bump tolerance a bit. Landed 101 miles away, 25 miles shy of Steamboat Springs, CO. 1st triple digit flight!
Snowy launch at VG. All those nice clouds had lift all day and it was a buffet for us! No waiting for thermals, just walk off the hill when you were ready and boat up to explore like superman. Like a dog with filet mignon.
Every HG Pilot in Lima took Gwen and me on a 3 hr drive south of Lima, Peru to Paracas and hooked me up with a Falcon and lots of help. The extended HG family knows no borders. Even though they spoke Spanish, I could tell they were railing each other in perfect hang-waiting form.
Won’t be landing in any trees here at Paracas! The cliffs/ocean is just to the right for our soaring. It was my first coastal soaring and it was awesome! See the gliders out there, and a truck coming our way. Not even a cactus lives in this place. Fascinating.
Sam the sky Photographer and I sharing a narrow lift band
Hang Glide Training for Maddie Herring.
High over the desert at the Santa Cruz Flats Competition. My first comp ever! This picture is Johan in his Atos VR that I didn’t know would be mine by the end of the week! She’s gorgeous, yet I sense a wandering look in her eye…
Thermaling up with Andy over Lookout
The friendly skies over Big Spring, my second competition. I learned lots about flying the clouds here and realized which cute puffy things are the 5 star buffet’s and which are serving stray cats in the egg rolls. Look at all the meal tickets in that picture… and that was all day every day!
Playing hooky from the last comp day and launching early to try to beat the Rigid Wing Declared Goal World Record. My course: Big Spring, TX to Pampa, TX airport; 235 miles. Previous declared course to beat was 220 miles by the esteemed David Glover.
7+ hours later in Pampa, TX airport!
Just before Christmas, the Oz Report mentioned that my big flight was now officially a World Record. I’m glad he put it up there or I wouldn’t have known it was official! Here it is on the tongue of the horse. My record is the 2nd from the top. http://records.fai.org/hang_gliding/current.asp?id1=331&id2=1
Somehow, the World Record flight justifies all I’ve sacrificed to the gods of Hang Gliding. Regretting time apart from family and from adventures with old buddies is always on my mind.
Here’s a flightlog summary of my flying career.
This year was the most fun yet in Hang Gliding. I really had my priorities straight and got 101 hours airtime in 89 flights! All told, I’ve racked up about 300 flights and 250 hours. It’s all possible b/c of my fantastic wife’s support. I’m unworthy although she says I’m great when I’m around, LOL! I love you Gwen!
We wrote down our goals for 2009 so we can help each other make priorities happen. I just have one, but it’s to get a 436+ mile flight to break the open distance HG world record… I’m forced to give up on my World Team aspirations since vacation time doesn’t grow on trees. I wish SO bad these lottery tickets would pan out so I could do it all though! Either way, I’ve got lots to do in preparation to even have a chance at at 436 mile flight! Here’s to the journey of 2009.