[Amigo] > [Randall's flight index]
Flight Articles from Saturday 9/2/06 (in order of posting time stamp)
[Chip Bartley] [Randall] [South Side] [Robb Milley] [Ron Meyer]
Pine SS to the Truck Stop at I5
For those who had the bad luck or bad timing to miss it, let's just say that Saturday at Pine was one of those days where the blipmaps didn't lie; everything was as good as it looked on paper. Most everyone got to altitudes of around 15k or more (including newbie Chip, whose previous high was about 7k). All but Milley (who chose to land early due to several bouts in a row with very nasty air) got to Lockwood Valley or beyond. Faoro, Brendan and Ron Meyer got tired of fighting the strong south wind at altitude and bailed north of the San Emigdios to land past the Grapevine. Mini Mike and Bob Peloquin both (I believe) landed by Lake of the Woods. OJ put down in the foothills below Pinos and hiked out to Lockwood Valley Road (where he spent several hours graciously waiting for us). Chip blew all our minds by successfully top-landing on a clearing atop Mt. Pinos (the first and probably last time that will ever be done). And Pipkin... well, I forget where Pipkin landed.
I had my personal best altitude (15k) and distance, landing at the truck stop in Gorman for the first time. I was at 11.5k and still climbing over the truck stop, but was cold, tired and feeling a bit nauseous from turning 10,000 circles in a row and probably hypoxic so I pulled big ears and went on full speed bar and turned tight 360s to get down and it still took me 15 minutes.
The air alternated between butter-smooth cloud-suck at 1,400 up and really nasty, rodeo stuff. Not a "fun" day, but challenging, thrilling and rewarding. A special thanks to Fast Eddie and the crew for coming back to retrieve me after abandoning me at the Grapevine rest stop, despite the fact that (as Ron Faoro, I think, put it), "We didn't have to, you know." Your generosity will not soon be forgotten.