It's been a while since I was last at Mara Lake, and most of my flights there have been SIV-related, so I was excited to go XC and try to fly back to the car parked at the Walmart in Vernon. The cu's looked yummy, but the cycles on launch were very north and the corresponding lift was tough to find initially. I was lucky in seeing a hawk coring up in front of launch and joining it to 2000+m, while most other pilots were forced to either wait for better cycles, or scunge around launch height in search of lift.
|The skies are calling!|
However once on the south side of Enderby things started to change. The climbs started getting easier and higher, but at the same time, the local airspace started coming down and I began to find myself approaching restricted airspace! So instead of having to slow down for climbs, I found myself leaving lift in order to stay legal. I could see Swan Lake in the distance with the Walmart at the south end and the lake was looking like light north wind...perfect for final glide and landing conditions. Now just have to find a place to land...
Fortunately Walmart, despite not being landable itself (unless you spot land in the parking lot, avoid the long-weekend shopping crowds, and probably get a bylaw ticket) has lots of suitable fields 2-3 blocks away. Perfect places to land and it's a 5-10 minute walk back to the car, easy-peasy!
|At Swan Lake, on final glide to the Vernon Walmart (the large white building east of the highway interchange). Kalamalka Lake on the left, Okanagan Lake on the right.|
Mara Lake to Vernon Walmart flight.