Friday, February 24, 2012

Flying with the 49ers

"There's Gold in them there hills, I just Knows It!" When the Alaskan Air Team is in town, that is their motto, and I am sticking with them. I had not flown in many weeks, due to the lack of experience to fly a mini wing, as well as a jaunt to the forsaken land of the East Coast. I was way overdue for a shot of 'Sky-alis'. Today, at first it looked like it would be Makapuu, but after my dentist visit, Alex proclaimed that Kahana was on.

The masses headed for Kahana, but our infamous leader called with an alert. "Kahana went super east, and we all dirted out at Punaluu beach - spread the word." So I did, as I banged a U-turn and headed to Sandy's for at least a kiting session.

On my way, I followed the King's command and spread the word, first to Mad Dog, who said he would meet me at Sandy's. Then I called the point man for the Alaskan Air Team: "Laddy, turn back and go to Sandy's. Alex said Kahana is no good." Laddy responded: we are up on Koko and it feels good.

They did not get sucked into the Kahana run like I did. Hmmmmmm. When I rounded the corner towards Sandy's, I could see Jerry was already in the air. By the time I got to the LZ, four Alaskans filled the skies. Laddy got stuck on launch. Sucks to be the last guy off any of our launches.

After a cellular consultation with Ike, in California, I decided to hike up. Mad Dog gave me a ride to launch and off I went. Arriving at the launch, I found Laddy picking the last of his glider out of the bushes. It was a thorn bush that ate a couple of tears into his Aspen 3. Ouch. After looking it over, I told him I would fly it with these tears, but keep an eye on it. Though I really don't think what I said would have mattered. He's Alaskan. He's going anyway. Laddy launched with me close behind.

This flight was awesome for me. A little over three years ago, I got my first flight ever: a short sled ride to the beach from Koko Crater. Since then, I have had a few more sled rides to the fields below. But I had never launched from and soared this site until today.

Alex called on the radio: are you up there? "Yup, Just me and the 49ers," I replied. He then said that a whole bunch were hiking and more coming. Wow, we finally got a day, and the monkeys are coming out of the woodwork. Thanks to the Alaskans for leading the way.

After an hour of mangy thermals I went in for landing at Sandy Beach Park. Soon, gliders were launching and landing and the sky was spattered with color. The 49ers supplied little brown bottles of nectar to all that gathered under the wee tree of shade.

Again, this has to be a record number of pilots: five Alaskans, DaveT, one Seattle Pilot, three Japanese pilots - that's ten just for the visitors. Then the local roll call: Sidehill, Alex, Fireman Dave, Gaza, FlyStrong, Reaper, Lake, BonBon, 5-0 Mike, Brent, Big Mike, the tandem duo Jorge and Maui Doug. Mad Dog was there on his bike, but without a wing. Sharky and Joey showed, up but they 'missed it by that much'.

It was great to be back in the air again, especially with my Alaskan Aniqatigas.

It's Time to Fly, The Alaskans are in Town, Get Your Gear and Follow Them........if you dare!!!!


Thom said...

Sorry no art.

Alex Flystong BonBon please provide art. BY 7am !!!!!! I did my part.

Thom said...

Thanks for the art, Flystrong. Hopefully you will have a link to all those awesome photos.

I guess my bitching and pleading pays off some where. Now if I could just get my kids to clean their room.