mfwilliams's blog View Details
Archive for June, 2016
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 12, 2016 @ 01:18 PM | 9,813 Views
Friday Day 7
Temps had dropped into the lower 60’s so flying was much more comfortable. We spent our last full flying day, shopping again. Some of the guys were still looking for T-Shirts so we searched most of the morning. It was 12:30 before we fin ally left Hood and drove up to Lumber. Tom had left earlier and was up before we even parked at the base. The wind didn’t look great down in Hood, but Tom reported we had plenty on the slope.
By the time all of arrived on the slope, the wind was howling at a good rate. It had a little North component in it and Lumber works best with a West wind. We had quite a bit a turbulence in the first 100’ of the slope. Once you got past that it was a vertical elevator. We put up quite a few planes and at one point the sky was filled with Gulps and Moths (no pics of that because I was flying my Gulp). We had some tremendous pumps and climbouts. Most of us were running 2 bars of lead in or Gulps and it was reflected in the energy retention in the pumps.
As you can see in the pictures, we had a storm hanging out on the West side of the Hood river valley. It played with us for quite a while and then shortly after 4PM it reached us. Between the drizzle and the cold air (temp was about 60deg with a wind chill closer to 45deg), we choose the better part of valor and headed to the rental SUVs. Hood was filling with weekend warriors (it was Friday evening), so instead of packing at the rooms, we headed to Double Mountain for...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 11, 2016 @ 12:22 AM | 10,392 Views
Thursday Day 6
We spent Thursday morning shopping downtown for gifts for family and friends. After yesterday’e epic flying at Tri-Cities (Eagle Butte) the crew needed to recharge before heading out to a slope.
The choice for today was Grayback. It was after lunch before we headed across the Columbia and up to Klickitat. We stopped at Klick for a moment to check out the winds. It didn’t look great, so our expectations for Grayback were low.
We were surprised by the conditions at Grayback. The lift was turbulent from the lip, but was very strong as you ventured out over the valley. We flew our brains out until we noticed threatening clouds over Mt Adams. At about 6:30PM we aborted our flying with the storm approaching. 30 mins later, after shooing the cattle from the road, we arrived at Huntington’s steakhouse in Klick.
With a hearty steak dinner in our tummy we made the final run across the Columbia and into Hood through a light rain shower.
...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 09, 2016 @ 11:11 AM | 10,294 Views
Wednesday Day 5
Winch Doc met us at Char-Burger for breakfast at 8AM. After a hearty meal we headed out for the 2-1/2 hour drive to Tri-cities (Richland, Pasco, Kennewick) for a day at Eagle Butte.
When we arrived at Eagle the wind was about 20 mph and rising. Temps were in the 70’s. A beautiful change from the light wind and 100 deg temps we had seen this week in the Gorge.
The lift stayed great, eventually the wind increased to the 40’s. Outside of a couple minor rain showers, the flying was “epic”. Everyone flew everything they had and flew until they couldn’t see straight. As more rain threatened, the temps dropping to 65 and the wind now howling, we packed up with smiles on our faces and started back for Hood River. After a dinner at the Full Sail brewery,
we marked this up as a nearly perfect day and called it a night....Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 08, 2016 @ 01:01 AM | 8,742 Views
Tuesday Day 4
We had a small drop in the temp. No more 100’s, only middle 90’s. The wind was still great, so we headed to a spot we had identified last year across from Wishram in Celilo. The wind was a little too cross at the site. We then tried to check out another spot in Lyle, WA above the high school. It was too difficult to access so we aborted and tried to decide on our next site.
We took a vote and Lumber won.
The walk in was a little tough for some of us older guys.
But, it turned out to be a great choice. We flew three solid hours. The lift was fantastic with some slight turbulence in close.
After backing up our gear we headed into Hood for dinner. As we entered Hood we ran into Mike Stubbs on the way to the Passport Pub. We stopped and had a few beers with him. We let him know that we’re heading over to Eagle Butte in the morning with Winchdoc and we had room if he wanted to join us.
We closed out the night with a dinner at the Thai house. After dinner we headed to the Vagabond to charge our planes and get a good night’s sleep.

...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 07, 2016 @ 04:15 AM | 8,300 Views
Monday Day 3
Finally the wind has returned. Once we awoke to wind whitecaps on the Columbia, we knew our “curse” was broken”. We planned on heading to Bald Butte, but aborted when we discovered that the road has now been closed and gated. Now we proceeded to our second choice of Diamond Ridge. Unfortunately we found the winds from the gorge were not reaching up the White Salmon valley to Diamond Ridge. Now were forced to our third choice of Klickitat. The third time was a charm. Klickitat had plenty of lift. Sink was virtually non-existent.
At “Klick” they are building a house across the road in the cattle field. They have set up a large entrance gate/frame. We spent almost an hour shooting “limbos” through the gateway and having great fun.
Finally after several hours of this we were too wind/sun burned to continue (temp again reached 100deg).
On the way back to Hood, we diverted to the Dalles and let Dan and Ed try a few passes on the slope above I-84 and the dam.
We finally decided enough was enough and proceeded to the Clock Tower Ales in the Dalles for food and beer tasting....Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 06, 2016 @ 12:35 AM | 7,488 Views
Day 2 Sunday
Wow, it was a tough day. The temps reached 104deg! The winds gods did not cooperate. We still flew though. First stop of the day was Rowena Crest Viewpoint since the wind appeared to come out of the East. We had a little difficulty accessing the site due to the recent train derailment (the Mosier exit was closed). Since Larry was only with us for one day of flying, he took the first and only flight. After a few passes his Gulp promptly descended onto the winding road below the face. Luckily for Larry he was able to place it on soft grass just between the roadways. This was definitely the “highlight” of today’s flying.
After Larry’s lucky flight we decided to move on to Klickitat and see if we could find some alpine thermals. We caught some luck here. Lift was light, but flyable. Everyone got a chance to fly. Eddie, our NW noob got his first flight in. He was all smiles afterwards.
To cap off the day, we headed to our favorite Mexican restaurant for some Dos Equis’s and ice cream.


PS Larry just sent me two videos from our day at "Klick".

Amadeo fun (2 min 16 sec)

Day 1 Tom @ Klick (1 min 7 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by mfwilliams | Jun 05, 2016 @ 10:31 AM | 7,459 Views
Day1 Saturday
Our merry crew has finally arrived in the NW for our 2016 soaring trip. Only seven in our group this year. We arrived fairly late and their was virtually no wind. We ended up hitting Double Mountain for dinner and sealing the deal with some Mike’s ice cream. The wind report for tomorrow, Sunday, looks weak at best. Monday appears to be shaping up for a better day.
We’ll be watching the wind report and make a decision for Sunday's flying. It looks like we’ll be flying Diamond Ridge above White Salmon.