Monday, April 30, 2007

There was 5 rigid wings on deck yesterday at Henson's Gap. They were Ollie, David Giles, Steve & Kathy Lee, and James Stinnett. There were almost as many rigids as flexies. The conditions were strong most all day. Some of them made it from Henson's to Lookout in approx. 45 minutes. I think that should be a record of some sort !
This is a picture of James new wing, the Aeros Phantom. Cleanest, and fastest looking wing I've ever seen. He placed 3td this year at the Nationals on it.

I know which one I'd rather be playing on !! ! !

This was the view saturday evening at our party saturday night. Some nice evening glass-offs, and some discovery tandems. The menu for the night: Baked zita, meatballs, salads and some great desserts, and part of a keg left from the night befores graduation party.
I do wish that all of our friends from the Tennessee Tree Toppers would come over and party with us on every saturday nights of the season. All are welcome to come and participate ! We have some Great bon-fires also !
Next saturday night, we are having a major Cinco De Mayo party, with food, kegs, a drum circle, and a bunch of other stuff. Come party with us in the LZ !!!!!

I wonder if Matt Tabor knows about this??? haha

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

If you would like a larger view of the pics, be sure to click the picture.

I put the pictures above first, for my buddy ~~ Dub ! I'm sure he wants to see them more than any of the rest of these. He is always calling me and telling me about HIS fly days when I can't fly,,,,,sooo I thought I would repay the favor. After all,,, what are friends for, haha! SMACK!

This pilot's name is "Stack". He really made me feel welcome while I was there. He is one of the biwingual tandem pilots that works here. I can't count how many "discovery flights" he and the other guys gave just the afternoon that I was there. All of those were paragliding tho', because the wind was wayy to light to try it on a hang glider!
I rented a glider to fly while I was there. He hooked me up with a 195 "Attack Falcon". It was the best flying, and coolest looking Falcon that I have ever flown. The sail was tight, and you could see thru it. Reminded me of a Talon's sail. I flew for an hour 1/2 in some light thermal & nice gentle ocean ridge lift. I made sure that I stayed in the lift band while flying since the walk up their 400' cliff thru sand didn't appeal to me any! ! I knew that it was time for me to land when I started to worry about altitude. I had my first top landing there also. That was funn just in itself, haha. I took a lot of pictures both in the air, and on the ground. I'm just posting a few of them. Maybe you will see some of the rest of them in the Hang gliding/Paragliding magazine.

This is the building that the Torrey Pines Glider Port uses. Maya and David, the owners, are some really special folks. I don't know exactly how many people learn about our sport, and get their first experience here, but I would bet it's in the 1,000s. And sooo many spectators that come just to watch, it's unbelievable. You wouldnt believe the size of the waivers also, haha! ! If you EVER get a chance to come here to fly, I would highly recommend it.

These are two new friends of mine that I met while I was here. Donnita & Brad. When I first arrived to the site, she was on Brad's wires during his launch. I walked up to her after he was in the air, and started asking all kind of wuffo questions, and I think she picked up on it, and we got a good laugh out of it. Anyway, they told me all about the do's and don'ts of the place, where to go for the best lift,etc.... What any great locals do with a visiting pilot. I wish I could have shared more airtime with them. Maybe they will come to Lookout Mtn. Flight Park and fly with us here!! Also met a great guy from Ringgold there, that makes Smitty's beef Jerky. I hope he comes over also, and brings 2 things---His paraglider & yeahhh, some jerky! !

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I had so many pictures to edit tonight that I dont have time to do a good post. All I can say is that in the next couple of days, I will be posting some Really good pics. Here is just a couple. I head home in the morning, so I should have all of them edited by them. I took 269 pics, and after weeding alot of them out, I was left with 180 keepers. I am going to have to find a place other than on here, to post pics so that you can enjoy the ones that don't make it past the final selection.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Huntington Beach is very nice, even at night. I have enjoyed my stay here at the Hilton Waterfront, but tomorrow it is time for me to move further south. Today I should have been at Torry Pines at 11 o'clock come to find out. They were getting about 1,000 over. Figures I was late calling. Going to try and be there about that time tomorrow. If I dont get to fly, at least I will get to see the place and meet them.
I leave out on tuesday, to head home. Time does march on!
At the top left of this picture, I think I was lucky enough to catch another falling star. Looks like a storm moving in from the north, arggg.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

It was a gorgious sunset tonight in Huntington Beach. These two shots are from my hotel room balcony, where I will be for the next 2 days. I'm staying at the Hilton Waterfront beach Resort. I have accumilated a lot of bonus points during the last year, soo I thought I would treat myself this weekend. The Concierge staff here are the best!
I am going to try and get in touch with some Hang glider pilots here to see about renting a glider and flying SomeWhere tomorrow, or Monday!!!!!

The Huntington Beach Pier back in the 70's was full of sovineir shops, restaurants, bait shops, etc.... However, as couple of years ago, a major storm came thru and demolished the pier. This is what it looks like now. It is solid concrete, and I don't think it'll go anywhere now.
What would a stop in California be without going to Hollywood?! It sure has changed. I wish I could say that I thought it was for the better!

I was going to visit Grauman's Chinese Theater today, however there was NO place to park closer than 2 miles away, and they wanted $15. I didn't want to spend the day, I just wanted to take a couple of pictures, soooo, with the traffic as it is on Hollywood Blvd. I just drove & shot them. What a mad house, haha!

I was able to get some pictures of some stars, but I'm not going to bore you with all of them. If you've seen one,,,,,,,, However, these were my favorite growing up,,so I thought I would share theirs with you! Where is Curly when you need him?! haha Post more later! Gentle breezes

Friday, April 20, 2007

Malibu Beach is gorgeous. I can just imagine the view here during the summer season! ! ! !

This is a panorama view of the Port of Long Beach. If you click the pic, on the bigger view you can see a man made island they made about 7 years ago. One of the biggest ports in the world.

This is The Friendship Bell State Park. The Koreans gave this to the U.S. in 1976 to show their hope of continued friendship and peace.

There was a shrine in Hiroshima, Japan like this one at "Peace Park". It was a nice place to spend a little time.

There was an old car show at the Best Buy the other night when I was buying a new laptop after my rental car got broken into. But, that's another story, argggg.

This is the look of some of the cell towers here in sunny California.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is Dockweller Beach State Beach. Bob, the tec for T-Mobile, had to work on a couple of switches today, so I had to just bide my time for about an hour 1/2. I can think of a lot worse places to spend that time!

I thought I heard the theme from the Rockford Files off in the background somewhere. It was kind of cool on the beach, and of course, a little windy. It was no surprise that I was the only one on the beach at this time.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My morning started at 3am today, and anyone that knows me,,,even a little bit, knows that I'm not really that much of a morning person(cough). However, duty calls and I show up. My job has taken me to lovely sunny California for the next 2 weeks. This week looks like it's going to be in and around the Los Angeles area. My flight got me in town at 11AM,(pacific time)arggg. The good part of that---I had the rest of the day to see a little of the area.
Back in the 70's, I was stationed at MARTD~NAS, Santa Ana. To say the area has changed a little bit in those short years,,,is an understatement.
If you don't know where this picture is,,,you must be under a rock somewhere but, It's of LAX airport in Los Angeles, California.

This is Redondo Beach. Notice that the entire hill in the background is covered in homes. I am very sure every one of them cost a pretty penny!

This is the Long Beach area where this shot is taken. This is a bunch of beginning Kitesurfers, kiting on the sand before their instructors will let them get into the surf. Basically, to keep them from drinking too much saltwater unintentionally. Met one of them,Mike, and of course started talking about the wind. He wants to learn to paraglide, and will be in Nashville for school this August, so I plan on hooking him up with the SPPs! Southern Paraglider Pilots. What a bunch of great guys! Dan Beck ROCKS! But, you know me,,, will try and tempt him to get a tandem hanggliding flight before he goes to the silk, hahaha! The way I look at it honestly tho', we are All birdwannabe's! What ever it takes to get someone into the wind !

The Queen Mary across the bay, in Long Beach. The beaches here never end, they just change names. For someone not from here,, you never really know where you're at.
What would a bunch of pictures of California be, without at Least 1 picture of some palm trees?!

Monday, April 09, 2007

These next few pictures are of the Dade County Fire & Mountain Rescue Squad. A bunch of volunteers, and great folks, that rescue hikers and pilots that wind up in places they never intend on being~ever. However, it is nice to know that they continue to have classes & practice to keep in shape and informed of new techniques. Thought this was an appropriate shot for today, with the tug towing someone right over the top of them. They do much more than any of us that aren't involved with it, will ever know.
Click on any of these pics to enlarge them.

Here Sandy and Rick Jr. on-rope during todays excercise.

Katie on-rope. Promised to try and pick out the best one for her, haha!

Here we see Rick (3) assisting Katie in her descent. I really admire what these guys & gals do for our community. Eddie was a big help today with instructions, since a couple of them hadn't done any of this in a while. Chris was the first one down today, to survey the bottom for everyone. Thanks guys ! I hope I Never need your skills !

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It is official~~ The new '07 season has started. Although you couldnt tell it by the weather right now. Temps are in the low 20's tonight. However,, with the coloring of the Easter Eggs, Doris's great meal of baked Zita, meatballs, salad,and desserts, the Easter Breakfast in the morning at 9am,,,,, time marches on.

With all the wonders of a new world, Life thru a childs eyes is a wonderous thing. Maybe that's why we all fly. Whether we fly hang gliders, paragliders, sailplanes, or any other means of getting airborne, we all see things a little different everytime we are at play in the sky above us, with the wind in our face.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bruce & Mrs K. had a birthday party a couple of weeks ago. And what a great & entertaining evening it was ! Here he is with the owner to the Thai Garden Restaurant before our great meal.

These are the two very talented young ladies that performed the traditional Thai dance.

Bruce was the guest of honor. He is a humble man, and I'm not sure how much he liked being the center of attention. But,,,then again, hehe!
You would never know by this shot that he is one of Lookout Mtn. Flight Parks' Tug pilots. He is fantastic in a Moyes Dragonfly !

Tosh, Bruce's wife and good hang glider pilot herself, also catered a wonderfully delicious Thai meal. I can't even imagine how much their little outfits cost, or how long that it took to make them. The food was spicy & very good, and the dance was very impressive.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Judy H. was a member of the Women's World Hang gliding Team and avid ship captain. She now has a blogspot to share all of her adventures with everyone. Happy to post my friends link over on the right side of this page, so that you can visit and enjoy it. Many happy journeys to you !

A couple of us went to the "Bald Headed Bistro" in Cleveland, Tn. last night for some really good food, and live entertainment. The "Just Reeves Band" was playing, and I thought it would make a good night out. I'm so glad that I was able to read a review about the place before we planned it. I knew the band would be rockin', but I was unsure about the food. It was a little pricey, however the quality of the food was superb. I had the Elk steak. What a treat. I was very surprised that the meat was so tender and the fact that there was virtually no fat on the meat. However good that it was, think that I prefer a thick rib eye mid-rare, with some sauteed mushrooms & onions.
Just thought I would let you know about a very nice place to get away for a while!
The Just Reeves Band will be at the flight park 3 times later this year. What a party those times will be. Good food, a nice bon-fire, and alot of friends. Can you tell that I'm ready for the season to start? ha ha!