25 February 2006
My Friend Psycho
Psycho- don't take his bone!
The third and final day of the Millennium Cup brought some more good XC weather. A 70km spider web, back and forth across the high plateau and finally to goal by the lake at Valle.
Every so often a Monarch butterfly shows up in your thermal at 10,000ft. It's crazy.
Pushed a headwind glide over the plateau too hard and landed in a gusty field at 8000ft- pulled it off though. The bunch of guys that were gliding behind me aborted the crossing attempt and turned downwind to start over. I could feel that I was close to something good or something about to be good, so I kept gliding upwind... watching and feeling. A bit of grass flew by, a turn here and there in zero and then I was over the tiny sheltered valley that I was aiming for. I could feel a ripe thermal about to burst but my timing was off. As I did numerous S-turns over my landing field, against a 100ft tree covered bump, the bits of lift that were holding me at 200ft kept me optimistic. Finally I had to turn away from the bump to clear a powerline to the good field.
I love the feeling of lingering in the air so low over the ground. You know that you'll have to land eventually but since the moment is so worthwhile, somehow how you are given a few more chances to take it in, in case you missed it the first time.
Suddenly kids came running out from every direction to check things out. They helped me pack up and there was a guy there that decided to drive me back to Valle, with my hangglider tied to the back of his pickup. Just got it tied down when Jeff showed up with the retrieve truck. I have no idea how he found me in that lonely field in the hills, I wasn't even using my radio!
Made a new friend too, this white dog that they call Psycho. This is the roughest, most nasty looking, friendly dog that I've ever met.
Rodrigo came out of nowhere to win the day and make goal for the first time!
Overall results: Dustin, Rudy, David
I've been impressed with the Mexican pilots here. There are about 10 pilots here with some solid racing skills. They're not worried about holding speed down low or landing out, and make good decisions too. Most of these guys are really motivated to fly the Worlds in Big Spring next year so there might be a nasty fight to get on the team.
After my 1000/1000/244 point performance I was looking forward to a night out to shake the grumpy outta me. After the previous night out clubb'n and getting to bed at 4:30am I had to take it a little easy but it was Saturday night so why not eh?
First stop was to a fine restaurant where my new Mexican friends introduced me to ant eggs and worm wraps... the ant eggs looked like a bowl of rice but with curved grains- Mexican caviar. The worms were about 3" long, about the size of an index finger and looked like caterpillars. A tortilla, some guacamole, ant eggs, fried caterpillars, then roll and enjoy! I liked it although the acidic aftertaste gave a distinctly 'insect' impression.
Then club hopp'n and to bed by 5am.
Today a bunch of pilots setup their gliders in the landing field for me to have a look at. Turns, performance tuning, or hardware issues covered most of it.
A few more hours of hammock-time and I'll be ready for the drive back to Mexico City to catch my flight back to reality- the reality of winter.
Do we need a reason to fly?
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