Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chelan and the big Party

Well woke up at the airport and after a nice breakfast at the Apple Cup off to the LZ. Lots of Seattlites and a big group of Canadians (as usual). We paid our registration (which pays for the party, rides up, prizes, the beer, and site maintenance) and picked up our beanbags. Up the mountain and it was lightly NW, which meant Lakeside launch over Lake Chelan, and landing in Lone Pine LZ.

Not many people wanted to bother with a sled ride into Lone Pine, but a few students went, and then it picked up all of a sudden and Gary Hatchey was ridge soaring the NW side! Everyone got excited, but then it died off suddenly and went back to light.

People started looking at the other launches, trying to see if it was launchable on any of them, as the sun was fully out and heating up. It wasn't cold at all. When we weren't looking, a HG launched off Ants (the east launch) and the next thing we knew, there was a HG above launch thermalling! We all scurried to Ants to see if there were cycles, but it was consistently blowing down. He musta gotten a lull...

Anyways, Alex set up on Ants and waited for something like an hour for it to stop cycling down. There'd be the odd cross cycle, but still too down for his liking, so he patiently waited. Finally it went dead calm and he launched, getting above launch easily.

All of a sudden it was lightly blowing up on both Ants and Between the Rocks, and there was plenty of cycles to take off in, vs. the absolute lack of cycles just a few minutes ago. Pilots started lobbing off all over the place and the sky soon filled with gliders. Chelan was on!

Meredyth was around with her Venus, and I was able to grab it for a test flight while she watched her dog. Launched Between the Rocks and was soon thermalling with everyone else in the east bowl. The lift was best in this bowl, over the ridge that heads to the Chelan Falls LZ, and it was a bit punchy but not too bad. Unlike other years, it was not cold at all, and I was comfortably warm and not having to resort to chemical heat warmers like in previous years.

After a few minutes I got a bit more comfortable on the glider and flew around for about 45 minutes, before top-landing on the Lakeside launch to return the glider so Meredyth could fly, and get back on my own. Relaunched and back in the air, doing the same thing.

After an hour or so I got bored and top-landed again to drive Jack's truck down. Since I had never actually flown over the LZ (kept top-landing) I never got a chance to throw my beanbag...I eventually gave it to Jack so he'd have twice the chances!

After landing and meeting up, Alex and I went over to Martina's hotel room to dress up and then off to the party! Once again most people went all out...guys dressed in drag, elaborate costumes, some XXX-rated stuff, and lots of drinking, food, and music.

Then it was time for the judging. Each year the Canadians dressed up according to a theme...this year it was anything to do with "Queen". I went as the Queen of Pop (Madonna), and Alex went as a Queen Bee, complete with tiara. There was the Queen of England (Gary Kinney), Queen of the Biker Fairies (Jim), Queen of the Undead (Colleen), Drama Queen (Nataliya), Dancing Queen, Queen of De-Nile (Gary Hatchey), Ice Queen (Martina), Rodeo Queen, Evil Queen, and of course a Drag Queen. With all that firepower, it was clear who was gonna win the annual Canucks vs. American show!

The party went on late into the night, when we finally left the music was still playing and a conga-line was snaking aorund the room...

FlyBC has some photos on Picasa here.

The tradition continues!

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