The weather was good for flying in the Rockies this weekend so I made the 2.5h drive from Calgary and went on a short 80km out-and-return flight. With my late start and having to make it back in time for the World Team fund raiser BBQ, that was all I could do. But retrospectively, thunderstorms blew-up more to the South anyways so it was a good choice to turn around early.
This is CANADA!
So wild, so grand, so engulfing. The reflections on my helmet are the images floating seamlessly through my mind. Up here, my problems fade into irrelevancy.
Cruising in lift on the return leg to Golden. This patch of air was smooth enough for me to take out my camera but I still couldn't hold it steady.
This place is beautiful.
04 July 2007
A German engineer in the R&D group sent this to me after hearing my eagle attack story from the weekend.
While attempting to fly XC from the Muller hill and trying to get a climb from the West end of the ridge, I heard a piercing screech from above. Frantically, I looked around but couldn't see anything until I looked down at my shadow against the trees and saw the faint outline of a large bird with its wings tucked-in moving at a high speed towards my shadow. Moments later a loud bang made me look over to my right wing as I watched a Bald eagle slide, on his back, off my right wing tip.
He tumbled through the air and fell behind somewhat before righting himself, looking me straight in the eyes and flapping vigorously towards me... not towards my glider, ME!
I went into a dive but I was too slow for this killer avian assassin. He was moving much faster than I and just as I thought I was about to be wearing a mad eagle on my face, he got hung up in my bottom rear wires and went tumbling backwards again. By this time I had picked up some speed and watched my shadow speeding across the tree tops with the Bold eagle in hot pursuit. This time he let me go, but not before making me cry for Mommy!
Having narrowly escaped becoming Canada's first ever eagle fatality, I rushed back to top-land at the Müller's. It wasn't even lunchtime on the first day of a long weekend and I had already overdone it! Flying in 50km/h winds, mixed with strong thermals was rough enough, without protected wildlife attacks thrown in the mix!
I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for electronics at Future Shop. Ah... much better.
Do we need a reason to fly?
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