Monday, December 22, 2008

West Side Story

After missing the early session at Lanikai because of yard work obligations, I joined Doug, Scrappy, Harris, Ray and Portland Nate on the West side to try my new wing in some thermals. The conditions seemed promising for a cross country adventure, but we ended up staying local. Harris did an amazing job on his first thermal flight, getting a valley tour and an XC clinic from Doug.

As we were just starting our hike, the very grumpy resident on the makai end of the street by the trailhead yelled at us and called the police, and I sent the others up while trying to reassure him that we have permission. I waited for a while, but the cops never showed up, and I finally called them myself to see if they were really coming. They replied that they'd be a while, and that I should just go ahead if I have a permit.

So I finally hiked up with Nate to try and catch the other guys. We got a pretty late start though, and Doug, Harris and Scrappy were already headed to the back. Ray waited for me and Nate for a long time before heading to the back as well. By the time Nate and I got high enough to head back to join those guys, the other guys decided they weren't going to head out over the flatlands after all, and they started to race back to the school. Nate followed their lead, leaving me alone to spend a long time working my way up in the back before finally joining the others at the school.

It was a gorgeous day out there with really smooth and easy thermals, mixed with lots of ridge lift. It was one of those days where it was easier to go up than down.


Waianae Jim said...

Nice story Alex - I have to admit I was a litte jealous of you guys out there. Just too lazy to hike up after doing the Lanikai hike earlier. On a positive note I did get a nice launch from the east shoulder at Lanikai - and was pretty happy to get that under my belt. Nice to see that many pilots make the west side trek.

Brazilian Ray said...

it was easy and smooth air... over a hour flight launching from low school side.
Alex stayed behind to represent us, but the cops didn't show up (they had other real priorities). it is a good idea to print the permit and bring with you in case you need show to the cops. Please avoid confrontation since the new resident won't talk or listen to you...
E-mail Alex if you'd like a copy of the permit.