Sunday, July 22, 2007
I was lucky to have a flying host to take me around to a few new sites in Austria and Italy this summer. No record breaking flights, but it is always a good thing when I can muster the courage to try a new place. The Monte Cucco area was gorgeous. The first few days the wind wasn't quite right, so we spent a bit of time hiking around and taking in the crisp clean air. But, eventually things turned around and we flew both Monte Cucco and another nearby launch site (can't think of the name of it). It was quite entertaining watching the Austrian team tune their gliders and prepare for the worlds next month. Out of respect, I won't post the best pictures ;-)
We flew Gerolf's home site just outside of Graz on a couple of unusually hot Austrian days. While the landing field left a bit to be desired (somewhat small, surrounded by trees and not the least bit flat), I managed ok and my reward for pulling it off was a long hike back up the mountain to retrieve the car :-/
Yesterday and the day before I spent in Greifenburg with Corinna. Friday was crazy windy and of the 50 or so gliders set up on lunch only 5 flex and 2 rigids flew. Oddly enough all of the flexies that flew were Combats. Boy those Aeros pilots must be the really tough guys. We used the no fly day to put Corinna's new sail and stickers on. Neither of us exactly knew what we were doing, but I had watched Gerolf a few weeks before replacing his sail and so I had some vague idea of how it was supposed to work. In the end it didn't take us more than an hour or so and with three test flights, it flew perfectly straight. Corinna was very pleased.
Happily the winds mellowed for yesterday and I got two flights in - one a bit too early when there was pretty much no lift yet and a second one midday when it was beautiful. I see why the Europeans love this site so much. When it's not windy or blowing out of the north (which seems to be a lot of the time), it is spectacular. The bumps up high made me think of Kari and Seppi and most recently Oleg, so I tried to say around mountain top level where it tended to be much smoother.
We finished off the day with a hike into the mountains to look for mushrooms to cook up in Corinna's risotto for dinner. They weren't as easy to find as I would have expected, but this last one popped up just as we were giving up and called out our names. These are quite expensive both in the US and in Europe. We estimated this one would cost about $20.
at 4:24 AM