Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Le Triangle

This was my first GREAT flight in eastern Washington it was flown on July 3rd and was my second flight in WA.  I called it this because as you can see it was a triangle... but not all of it was flying...

View Le'Triangle in a larger map
The Green leg was my first flying leg, the Pink was hitching and Blue was flying. Also on the map is the Purple pin which is our new house.

Working for the Department of Energy is great - they let us off 3 hours early to celebrate the 8 hours we were already getting on the 4th. When I left work, the weather looked good and I ran home and picked up my wing. Unfortunately, I had no driver.

So, when I launched and hooked the first thermal I knew as I drifted over the back I'd be doing some hitching and hiking to get back to the truck now on launch. The first let was almost 20 miles and it took about an hour and a half flying from dusty to dusty never really getting "high" but never really low. The landing was at a winery with lovely grass and shade to fold up in. It was a short walk to the highway and just a short hitch before I was picked up.

The guy who picked me up was on his way to Sunnyside which is the opposite way I needed to go once in Prosser. I had previously flown from the overlook above Prosser and know I could at least fly to the freeway which I figured would be an easier place to hitch from than Prosser so I got out and hiked to the edge. It was about 5 pm when I launched but the wind was cycling nicely and it looked like easy ridge soaring. About 2 miles into the flight I hit a high plateu I could not get high enough to get over and pushed out to the freeway to land. On my way I stumbled across a nice mellow thermal that took me back over the lip on the butte and allowed me to connect with 2 or 3 more to get home. I landed about 1/2 mile short of the truck but on top which made for a short hike which is always nice when its almost 100 degrees!

A cold beer and some friends would have made it a perfect day...I miss the gang. I hope you all are well.


Berndt said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Doug. I guess the definition of a comp pilot is someone who catches a ride after landing out but doesn't care which direction the ride is going! Do you have any other local pilots where you live (no, not the feathered kind), or do you have to drive to Chelan or something to find others?
By moving to Washington it looks like you traded in cold beverages and retrieve drivers for a place where they make hundreds nice grassy, perfectly round LZ's for you to land in...

Anonymous said...

Sweet flying, and fun adventures. Also, I like the river park and boat launch right across the street..

you should call Motorhead Paul, he's in Woodrat now, and may be able to visit and fly with you. he's retired now and all he does is fly? Paul's # 253-732-8374

have fun, Doug


Alex said...

Doug, that is the craziest flying story I've ever heard. Hitching a ride in the opposite direction, to another flying site, and then flying back to the original site. That would be like launching Makapuu, ending your XC in Kaneohe, hitching a ride the other way to Kahana, and flying back to Makapuu from there. It's like a hitchhiking version of the x-alps, only it's not alps, so maybe x-flats. I know, we could stage an x-alps style vol-biv race from the west coast to the east coast, with hitchhiking allowed after bombing out, to get to the next closest launchable spot and continue. It would require some pretty advanced hitchhiking skills, but that's what XC flying in the US is all about anyway.

Jose said...

Hi Doug,

I'll be in Eastern Washington in the next few months, Moses Lake, which isn't far from Prosser. I'm bringing my gear & would like to join you. PM me at jose9878@yahoo.com .