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Old Jan 20, 2008, 01:34 AM
more casual than stylish....
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Joined Jan 2003
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PM's and phone calls

Well, as usual, Reed was right. At the Jartfest, we started talking about work, and flying, and the big days.

"It should be a Mavericks style call-out" Reed said. "Drop what you're doing and get to the slope".

We had a bit of a dry run at Vollmer and Rattlesnake on Thanksgiving. We had some decent winds, but I thought it might be light so I brought a Gentle Lady rather than my Higgins plane...big mistake. It was rockin'. The lift was huge. Infopimp took some good video, and I think the die was cast.

So we got some good south winds, and I PM'd BillO, Checkenbach, and a few other guys. This spot is an under-the-radar-special, but i figured these guys could keep it under their hats, and had the chops to fly at a really good spot. Unfortunately, the wind sorta clocked around to the SE, which makes this spot less-than-stellar, but we all got some good high-speed passes in. Best quote of the day was BiilO, as I came blasting through the compression-zone with my Alias "..don't hurt me Tony"

Then new years day rolled around. I headed out to Tilden but I brought some heavier planes. I flew my Shredder at Vollmer, then BillO called from Rattlesnake..you could hear the wind blowing in his phone. I put away the Shredder and scurried down to Rattlesnake. It was blasting and freezing. It was amazing air. I flew my Destiny, and my Starlight there, but the starlight was in reverse the whole flight. I kicked myself...I should have brought the Higgins plane.

Sooo..Jan 17th rolled around, and the winds were rocking up at Tilden again. Phone calles were exchanged. I took a half day, but I had to go back to work later that day for some training..I would have to make the most of it, and get there early.

I grabbed a Jambajiuce, and headed up 24. The parking lot at Tilden was shaded and cold. I saddled up and put the Alias in the wingbag, and started up the hill to the peak. I passesd a couple of women joggers who said "Oooh, youre going to have fun up there, the wind is howling!"

They were right. As I got closer I could see the trees bending back and forth hard. I walked past Vollmer and headed for Rattlesnake. There was ice on the puddles on the side of the trail, but the sun was out and it wasnt too bad. I got to the spot and set up. Right behind me was birdsnbats, with a Bird and a Jazz.

I threw out my Destiny, and the air was flunky at first, but very quickly it started getting lifty. I landed, and by that time Checkenbach, BillO and Marktm were there, and Joe Strakowsky was calling from Marin- he and Matt Galland were coming to fly at Vollmer.

It was time to fly the Alias. Its a tank, at over 70 ounces for a 60" span plane, and needs serious lift to "work" I'd never flown it there before, and I didn't want a long walk to recover it, but my fears were unfounded- it started picking up speed very quickly, and soon I was half-piping to my hearts content. I was able to do my favorite slooooow rolls along the jagged lip.

If you read the thread, everyone keeps saying "What a great day"..We were repeating that all day there too. At one point we had my Me109, a hombuilt plank, and BillO's Firecracker doing pumps in a "loose" formation (we'll work on it..). The sun at our back, the snowcapped Sierras in the distance clearly visible, the lift cranking, Perrigrine Falcons coming by for the occasional chase, I wish that day could have gone on forever...
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