Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Indian Valley

Saturday looked like one of those days that one might go up to launch and wait all day for an hour glass off, once the winds calmed down to 25mph. So most of us headed for Indian Falls.
It was hot and windy, the water was refreshing. So was the beer :)
There were some large Crawfish in the river too. I think this one is describing how he likes Spagetti Bolognaise.
Sunday was a fickle day. Most of us headed up to the burn launch early noon. We had a flat tyre on the way up. Without a lug wrench it was a challenge to get the wheel off and back on. Fortunately that didn't stop Brian with a spanner and a mallet. Thanks Brian! I believe he was rewarded with an epic flight. During the tyre change a small cold front was approaching, it didn't really look like a front until it passed. It was already cold, but it cooled dramatically as the clouds passed and base rose. A few launched before the clouds and struggled all the way to the Tweetens bailout in the poor lapse rate.
As the clouds passed, the sun came backout and the wind picked up. It was a weakand small front, but you can see the cloudbase much lower to the north east. Mike Soderstrom was enjoying the chilly cloudbase here at 13k. Blow looking North East towrds Susanville. It would have been an easy jump today - just follow the cloud street. Note : you can see the where the Moonlight fire burned last year.
Steve Rodrigues & Steve Inwards. flew into Genesse vallley for a tour. I went toward Mt Hough and back across to Round valley reservoir. The picture below looks back toward the burn launch. Mountain meadows reservoir is behind to the north.
I saw Paul Clayton cirling on Keddie ridge and flew back across to join him. We climbed back to 11k. I headed to Launch one more time, taking pictures along the way. While circling I notice with the sun low in the sky I could get my shodow on the wing. This shot was the best of 5 attempts.
Then I cruised out to Bobby's field for a nice landing.
Ryan got a really nice flight and was not alone. If your name was Steve you stood a very good chance of a nice flight.
With the passage of the cold front, Monday was really cold. The wind was strong catabatic all night and remained north all day. Mount Hough is flyable in this direction but not usually with winds 5+ mph. Steve Inwards showed us another launch site and Steve R. showed us how to launch there.
It was steep and intimidating, trees, a rotor and a bit of a glide out to the LZ in 20+ winds. However it did back off just as one truckload sacrificed themselves to a tourist day. Here is Ryan and Steve enjoying the smooth air.
The regular launch is behind the crater lake on the volcanic rim. It would be amazing to launch there. It is a vertical cliff, across an emerald lake, through a slit in the crater, then out into the valley at 3000 feet above the ground. Here Paul Clayton is flying over the lake.
As the day wore on the shadows got longer and the lift was better out in front.
I headed out across Taylorsville for Keddie point (to the right of this picture). You can see Lake Almanor with Mt Lassen above it and Greenville at the end of the valley.
I returned for a landing at the Mt Hough LZ. I wasn't sure I would make it with the sink I found at Keddie point.
It was a great day that I wouldn't have flown if Steve hadn't shown me how good it was. The scenery was spectacular. With the cold clear air, Mt Lassen and Shasta were clearly visible. I took about 280 photos in three days. Glad that I wasn't using film !

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