MIKE’S LATEST

I took off from Crystal on Friday, July 15 and had…. A Nice Flight to Nephi: 492 mi

It’s nice when you’re retired and can go soaring on Friday instead of Saturday when Saturday is forecast to be too windy and Sunday is no better.

It’s nice when you can sleep an extra 2 hours (until 6 am) because Dr. Jack says the lift won’t start until late (correctly it would seem) so there’s no reason to take off before 11.

It’s nice when after being shot down on two attempts to mount the third ridge you suddenly realize that the second ridge is closer to wherever you’re going anyway.

It’s nice when you can leave your McCready set at 2 knots (my personal minimum) without needing to make any adjustments all day.

It’s nice when it’s windy enough that you’re making pretty good progress even while circling in zero sink.

It’s nice when on what must be their busiest day ever, with the sky nearly full of all manner of military aircraft and the controller talking a mile a minute, Nellis Approach provides a separate controller (supervisor?) just to talk to you and he clears you through Class Bravo under own navigation (even though after each of your replies you can hear giggling in the background).

It’s nice when after struggling in ridge lift to climb a peak that will give you final glide by a narrow margin (flying modified figure eights, swooping through the sink and pulling up in the lift) you finally reach the summit and find an eagle 100 feet upwind, maintaining position with his wing locked, no doubt watching your gyrations the whole time and laughing his head off.

It’s nice when you realize you have three quarters of a moon high in the sky to help you pick a field in case your glide comes up short.

It’s nice when by nothing more than serendipity, a little voice in your head says “Mike, you need to deviate to the upwind side of that ridge” (a ridge running toward Nephi, even though the ridge is only a couple hundred feet high and more than a thousand feet below you and the deviation is going to cost you precious altitude) “Because if you don’t, you’ll be flying along the sinky side”, and that makes all the difference with continuous lift the whole way.

It’s nice when your wife is still willing to crew for you after 38 years.