With a twelve hour drive required to get from Kadoka, South Dakota
to Arco, Idaho, only Robin was willing to go all the way to fly from King
Mountain. No one flew on Monday as the gusts were too strong. Only Robin flew on
Robin flew from the regular King Mountain launch to south of Ellis, in the next
valley east of the Lost River Range (King Mountain) and about even with Challis.
He flew north to the east side of Challis then hopped over the range.
Larry is in Dillon, Glen is in Butte.
On flying progress, you may have seen we have been pushed around
by some challenging weather in the northern states these past few days making it
difficult to find areas where we can get a day or two of supporting winds and
soaring conditions. Monday we tried going east to South Dakota but found overly
strong surface winds and later extreme thunderstorms. Monday evening we made a
move west to get out of the bad weather and had a memorable overnight journey
through northern Wyoming and Montana under some apocalyptic storm cells - rain,
hail, lightening, 60 mph wind gusts - it was special. It left our group spread
across four states (SD, WY, MT, ID) Tuesday morning.
I got to King Mountain for a foot launch on Tuesday and after some battling with
the recently repaired track up, got on to take off for an afternoon launch. A
big shout out to my son and driver Sasha, who was stoic at the wheel all through
the overnight weather and again going up the dirt track (backwards...) in the
Standing on launch at King was eerie - it is a majestic, humbling site anyways
and I'd also known it as windy and active at take off. On Tuesday it was almost
zero wind and only occasional weak cycles up the front. I got off around 3pm and
quickly climbed out above the (still snowy) peaks. The lift was strong, fat and
Winds aloft were less favorable being out of the north west, offering no
assistance to progress to the north. I ran down the main valley out in front of
King at cruising levels of 12,000-14,000'. It was an almost religious experience
- breathtakingly beautiful and the solitude of making the run by myself - just
the mountain and me. I stopped around 6.30 to prep for the next day and landed
at the head of the adjacent valley (~75 miles from take off), to be back in time
for Wednesday activity.
Overall we are now some 260 miles from Canada and have a forecast of good
soaring conditions and tail wind on Wednesday for a launch from southern