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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gold Crewing Pt 2

Here is Summer's take on chasing me across Kansas last month.  Stolen from our club newsletter:


Ok, You wanted a story? Here ya go, the story of a overly extended day of chasing Tony's GOLD distance. Feel free to forward to who ever you like.

Well Sunday started out like any other FANTASTIC looking glider day, with students on the ground and instructors (and licensed glider pilots) in the sky. (no hard feelings of course, just a bit of green eyed envy) That is, until Tony asked Shea and me if we would like to experience some good old fashioned glider chasing, so him and I figured "what the hay?" we are always wanting to see ALL of the ins and outs of gliding. So equipped with fabulous KANSAS (and for some reason TX) road maps, a radio to Tony, and a half dead pick-up truck hauling and overly long trailer we set out. Now, let me say neither of us expected it to be a short day, what with the magnificent fluffy cumulus leering over head, and the experience of Tony, but NEVER did we predict that we would be arriving in NEBRASKA at 12AM. However, I must say it was a lovely day, and I personally have no regrets, about agreeing to be on the chasing crew.

I also must say that thanks to my mad navigating skills, we only got turned around about once or twice. We did, however, have a TON of fun stopping at an old ghetto, small town gas station where Shea proceeded to break the prepay gas device on the pump which put us about 20 mins behind Tony about half way through the day. (Don't let Shea tell you any different, he broke it)

Another fun point was when we were getting closer to the north eastern end of Kansas. We were making good time and were picking up Tony on his transponder (radio thing) again...until we hit Limestone road...which both Shea and myself now believe to be the cursed road among chasers. To start out with, when we started to drive down it I began looking for my usual identifying roads to make sure that we were going to right direction, but then the fact that there were pretty much NO intersecting roads for the next 5 miles really helped out.

Then when there WERE intersecting roads they were no where to be found on the map. So eventually we drove through a town that I personally had no idea what the name of it was, because I don't think it was even listed on the map. It was so tiny (and creepy) that we thought it must be deserted, because most of the houses looked run down and there were no people or cars anywhere.

Well as it turned out the Town we passed through wasn't deserted, because we eventually saw some people working on a boat, where when we drove passed them the promptly started to wave happily at us (we actually got waved at a lot when passing though smaller towns, kinda nice, but kinda weird too).

So, we eventually pulled ourselves away from the evil powers of that cursed Limestone road, and found our way up to Falls City, Nebraska. And believe me, I was really happy that Tony had decided to stop there not only because we were just a LITTLE bit tired, but also because thats where the maps that we had stopped as well.

In the end our times were roughly: we left Falls City around 12AM, got back to Wichita around 3AM where Tony lent me his car to drive back to the glider port where my car was parked, and then after I had exchanged Tony's car for my own, I drove back to Hutch and went to sleep around 4:30ish AM. Then I got back up at 6:30AM (and literally drank five cups of extra dark coffee(or as my mother likes to call it "motor oil")) and went to my 7AM ZERO HOUR at the high school. YAY!

I will say though that the entire trip was a BLAST. Good people+GREAT Soaring+A funny clunky old truck= Good Times.


Jerry and I are hoping to get started on 373Y's trailer next week.  The axle has arrived.  Otherwise I'm going to be out of town the next few weekends so I don't anticipate flying it anytime soon.  Perhaps the last weekend in June but definitely the first weekend in July for the Kansas Kowbell Klassic free distance contest.

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