Saturday, June 30, 2007


Last year in Croatia I stayed in a great house up on top of the hill overlooking the town where meet headquarters was. On mornings walking down the steep hill I crossed railroad tracks and imagined what a beautiful train trip that would be. Today we are on an all day train trip from Graz, Austria to Zadar, Croatia passing through just those mountains and I was right, it is a spectacular trip. We have about 5 hours until we arrive in Zadar and load up the sail boat for the week long trip around the southern part of the Croatian islands.
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Graz Gang

I've been in Graz since Tuesday. My baby made the trip without a scratch! Those guys at LTU are the best. Unlike most days here, we've had little rain, so it's been really nice for showing my friends around. Tim, Rain, Bill and Gay arrived Thursday afternoon and then German (sounds like Herman) arrived Thursday night. We have spent the day today siteseeing around Graz. Here are a few pics before we head out tomorrow morning for a long train ride to Zadar, Croatia.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

They for hunger for home, but they cannot stay....

I'm on my way back home, but only long enough to short pack Damien, do some washing and repack for the next leg. I leave out of Miami for Munich on Monday. Cloud 9 was a great detour. I only got to fly three times - we had a few windy days- but those flights were nice. Tracy and Lisa have a beautiful home and we are very lucky to get to fly out of their front yard.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Name Change

I'm beginning to think the name I chose for my Litesport is not so appropriate anymore. "Damien, Spawn of the Devil" speaks to his heritage, but after today's flight I'm considering something new. Remember Herbie the Love Bug? Well today I'm pretty sure Damien (or Herbie) was in charge. After two hours of one handed thermaling, I came down for a perfect spot landing 2 feet from the center of the circle. God I love my glider! If only I could find a boyfriend this perfect, I'd be set.

Cloud 9 is spectacular. I will try to put up some photos tomorrow. I was too busy flying today. The field is a sod farm so everything is green and soft and you can run around (and fly) barefoot all day. It's great!

I made a short stop in Cleveland yesterday to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I had heard it was a worthwhile stop, but it turned out to be much cooler than I expected. Like many people, I assume, music speaks to me and enhances whatever mood I happen to be in so hanging out at this museum was something of an emotional experience....strange thing to say, I know. But, that's what it was. Many of my all time favorite musicians/songwriters have been inducted and so it was a day of hearing heaps of great music. I highly recommend stopping by if you're ever anywhere near Cleveland. The theater on the top floor shows a year by year, sort of montage film of each of the inductees for the past 20 years. I nearly sat through the film twice, I enjoyed it so much.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike...

Anyone who knows me well knows that one of the things I value most in my life is freedom. I've never had more it than right now and it feels really good. Somewhere near Pittsburg my odometer clicked over 100,000 miles...maybe not the best milestone in the life of a car, but it made me take notice of how much I've traveled this year. When I get back to Quest at the end of the month, I will have driven nearly 5000 miles in just under a month!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Assateague National Seashore

I've never camped on a beach before last night. This is a national park on the eastern shore of Maryland and it's a bit touristy, but nice. We had wild horses invade our camp last night. I fell asleep to the sound of them munching on the grass next to my tent.

We opted for the ultimate tourist activity last night and hung out at the boardwalk in Ocean City about 10 miles north of our quiet beach. I rode one too many cheesy park rides and made myself a bit sick....could also have been the corndog....both bad ideas.

These are some pics of the Nicole and Adam.

Tomorrow morning I'll leave for Cleveland!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Next Leg

It hit me a few days ago that I didn't have any pressing obligations in Florida so I should check out some new territory until I leave for Europe on the 25th. Davis and Belinda are heading to Cloud 9 flight park in Michigan and that seemed like a good idea. So, that's the plan. After a few days at Assateague National Seashore here in Maryland, I'll drive to Cleveland and check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It's suiting after paying homage to Elvis last month. Hopefully I'll wind up in Michigan by the weekend at the latest and do a bit of flying with Davis. Davis just bought a new WW U2 and wants to get some good flights on it. I will see if I can't keep up with him.

Monday, June 11, 2007

East Coast Championships - Prize Giving

The comp finished with a cancelled task on the last day.....wind too strong. We were all in a party mood anyway, so no one was terribly disappointed. Paul Kelley, a local pilot flying a T2 came in first. Linda Salmone was 2nd beating the usual hotshots who didn't do as well as we expected.

Nicole....voted favorite new driver!

Young Moyes pilot.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Day 4

Not as much fun as day, wimpy lift. Just some dorky pictures.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pics from Day 3

Here's Zach, one of the best tug pilots anywhere....21 year old kid who flies everything very very well.

Kevie just arrived today.

Day 3 - We're off to the beach again.....

On days like today I can't help but wonder how anyone could NOT love hang gliding. I'm sitting in a farmer's field watching the perfect cumi's drift by, waiting for my driver. We had a task out to the beach which I was 28km short of completing. But I suppose I am just still high from the lovely flight, because it feels really good to be here. I obviously haven't gone xc often enough in the past few years because I sometimes forget how close it makes you feel to nature and the planet in general to be up there powered by nothing but the sun and the wind. And then it always amazes me that we can pack up this pile of aluminum and sail cloth, put it on top of the car, go back snd do it again tomorrow!! What's not to love??

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Day 3

The forecast called for 27 knot winds by 2pm today. The winds on the ground were gusty enough that we gave up around noon, the day was scrapped and a bunch of us ran off to the beach in Delaware. The sky looked gorgeous all the way to the beach and we worried that the forecast might have been wrong and we were missing a great day. Oh well.

It's fun to have Pete Lehman here. I've only ever spent time with him in Zapata, never at a comp before. Kevin Carter is supposed to arrive tomorrow....I'll believe it when I see it ;-)

Tomorrow is looking better.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Day 2

We got up and started going through the motions of setting a task, rigging gliders and getting ready to go even though most everyone was pretty sure we weren't going to fly. It was supposed to blow quite hard, so we weren't optimistic. But, we just kept pretending we were flying and before I knew it, I was in the air. Well, it did blow quite a lot and the lift was pretty weak at best so they only called a 48km task. Kraig made it the furthest, about 21km, but no one made goal. Many (myself included) didn't get anywhere to speak of. Oh well, we got in the air and I had a great time trying to stay up in high wind and light lift.

There's maybe a 10% chance we'll fly tomorrow. The little tropical depression that blew through Florida is reaching us and bringing super strong wind tomorrow. It might be a (breezy) beach day.

Here's a shot of Frog Man from the sport class.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Day 1 - Rained Out

It seems I woke up in Austria this morning....rain, rain, rain, rain and more rain. No task, no Juan Pablo (they postponed the race until tomorrow because of the rain of course), nothing but some Pirates of the Carribean.

Luckily, we got two reasonable days of practice flying on Friday and Saturday. Here's Paul Tjaden landing at Highland yesterday. There's some hope of a task tomorrow, but I wouldn't put the chances at more than about 30%. We'll see.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Maryland Woods

I finally made it to Highland yesterday. Set up the glider this morning and had a nice flight early in the day before the wind picked up. With no flying to be done, we decided to go out in search of the Blair Witch. Didn't find her, but found some evidence that she has been there.

The competition starts on day after tomorrow, but so far the weather isn't looking so spectacular and I doubt we will have a task on Sunday. But, that doesn't bother me much as I might have a chance to see my favorite former F1 pilot, Juan Pablo Montoya. GW has invited me to come over to a Nascar race in Dover, Delaware, just about an hour away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Last Day on the Road

I finished up the drive yesterday via a cool bridge that connects Norfolk, Virginia to the Delmarva Penninsula where Highland is. The Chesapeake Bay bridge is actually part bridge and part tunnel...kind of a roller coaster ride, first across one section of bridge, then down into the tunnel under the Bay, then back up another section of bridge, then back into another tunnel and finally up over the last bridge section.

The photo with the boulders in the foreground is looking from the first bridge section out across the first tunnel section.

The Heart of the Confederacy

I had a chance to stop through Richmond, Virginia on my way to Highland and was surprised to find my old buddy Joe Johnston(former Quest tug pilot) living there temporarily before heading off to Brasil. It was great to see him and we got to check out downtown Richmond. This lonely drive turned out to be exactly what the doctor ordered. It's been nice to break it up with visits to flying friends along the way. I stayed Tuesday night at Drew and Michelle's place in Charleston.