The start today was an hour later than on other days, which allowed us to get higher than usual and cross over the flats for the remote start over there. It was so nice to get over the flats nice and high and not scratch next to the high-tension power lines like we so often do :)
The climbs were strong and plentiful on the flats all the way to the canyon and Palisades and Appledale, and on the other side it was also fast and furious all the way to where the plateau drops off to Ephrata. And then it was a different animal!
|About to drop off the edge of the plateau. Ephrata is to the left.|
I could see the gaggle ahead of me on a giant glide over the greenery and as I continued to watch them I could see they were getting not much, and the wind had switched from a north tailwind to a south headwind, yay! Our gaggle spread out and went on a similar glide towards Saddle Mountain, which was about 40km away still, but we were getting nothing either, and pretty much everyone lawn-darted into the ground around the town of George, about 25-30km short.
|A big change from the dry and dusty plateau! Saddle Mountain in the distance on the left.|
It was a fun task despite not making goal and cool to fly over the plateau and drop down to the Ephrata valley, but I think it would be a good idea to have that task on a day with some more clouds north of Saddle Mountain, so we'd know that the green valley was actually working. Also, had the wind stayed north once we were south of Ephrata (and not south like it turned out) I think we could have made it, as that would have made a huge difference in our glide ratios and we would have covered the green valley much quicker and made it to the brown hills nearer to Saddle Mountain.
We did have a reserve toss today near the Ephrata turn point but the pilot was totally fine and in fact was messaging and WhatsApping other pilots on his reserve ride down, so he must have chucked high!
94 km flight to George.