Labor Day, 9/1/03
2 desert flights
Black Hawk to the western mining plant.
Garlock, a few miles down wind to some shade
The crew was game and I was out the door at 6 for Edward. On launch 4½ hours later with time apparently to spare. Cycling up, a bit stiff at times. Good clouds over the upwind high ground, but the valley floor was still. Initially, cumulus bits dissipated after drifting over the edge at close to 20 knots. Later, the valley floor seemed to let off and the clouds bridged across for a little shade.
Felt a little uneasy about the overhead drift, and the up cycles didn't seem to have good trajectory (Chris Paul brought balloons). I scouted up and down a bit, but eventually decided to depart downwind toward the valley edge and away from the east with 400 over launch. Crossed the road. Worked back up to launch height or better a few times, but ultimately made a wrong play uphill and had to limp out low in the shade, past and below the bounce from the east. Chris P may have connected to big altitude, but no one else opted to launch, and I probably didn't help by declaring my distaste for the lee side scenario at launch, and suggesting we may consider Garlock. The air was mellower off to the west under the clouds.
Landed just west of the third cement plant. Chase was able to come up the fan on Crystal Creek Road.
Perhaps it got better later and we could have tried again, but we opted to plow through the Victorville traffic and a run for Garlock. Passed a number of tasty looking peaks on the way, some with towers. It was stiff SW back in Victorville. Garlock LZ was light, SW in the clouds and cross along the SE facing ridge line at launch altitude. I didn't like the local conditions again, and faded out front to flush after a couple of modest bobs quartering downwind.
Chris did better (3K over). All launched. Hesham gave Edward a ride to Ridgecrest. Randall and I rode back to Denny's with Chris.
Team: Chris Paul, Randall, SD, Hesham, Edward