A journey with a friend always tops the journey made alone.
On July 11th, Mark and I towed up with the mindset of get high, go far. I had going east around Austin in mind.
After I finally got a good climb, Mark came in way under me, eventually climbing over me at 6500ft. At that point, string was pulled and miles were covered. 5 miles out, I turned in lift, gaining 1000ft, then raced off into what turned out to be the ground at Dale, Texas – a mere 15 miles straight distance. As a dog leg, more like 20 miles.
In true form, I was picked up by a local drunk, taken to the beer store a mile away and went off in search of Mark who was gracious enough to land near me.
1. Every day is different. This day was higher pressure with sharper edges and severe sink. Being cavalier on buoyant air days can work….. on days with severe sink, despite higher than normal lift, being cavalier will put you on the ground.
2. Beware of which car you get into. The operator may be drunker than you think!
What we do when we are tired determines our capacity the most.
Being tired, having started late in the day, plus not having communications or a ride, something simple seemed logical. I love LZ unknown. I think even more I just love letting go of one point when flying. For me, that greatly increases the amount of sky to play in. It also opens up the reality that your reach is further than your glide.
I ventured downwind to Lockhart, played with lift there, climbed, then decided to return. And return I did. I learned much more on the return than in my prior downwind cross country trips.
Buzzards helped me pick a good lift line on the way back.
Normally I am a hang in zeros and hope to find better type guy, but with a head wind, it forced me to be more judicious in the lift I chose – it also forced me to be quicker about the decision.
I’m not calling it a comeback, but while I’ve had very little flying, what I have had has been full of personal bests since some recent life changes that have greatly decreased my stress and increased my decision making capacity. Too soon to tell, but at some point, luck will start getting less credit.