Ha, so, here we are driving out toward Ellenville on Sunday morning in a light drizzle in NY hoping against hope that the forecast will pan out. By the time we get to launch things are starting to look up so I head out for the first extended sledder.
In an hour I am back after John (a new HG pilot flying the North Knob Launch) gives me a ride, the thermals are looking promising, so I set up very very quickly and took off again. What a difference an hour makes! This time I was on the way to three grand in no time. Soon Othmar and Niels joined me on their paragliders as well. The slow burn off of the clouds overcasting the area produced strange lifty conditions with no turbulence to really speak of but no massive lift either. Soon you could see strange pairings of rigid wings and paragliders making their way along the crest of the hill. My brief excursion behind the hill yielded 2 m/s sink so I stayed firmly out in the front venturing into the valley.
Under these strange overcast skies I kept creeping cross wind toward, first, the airport then the prison, then... just kept going. All the while had a fun time listening in to the HG chatter trying to figure who is who in the sky. Eventually, hit sink on the way to a very promising cloud developing ahead and started looking for a landing place. Saw a nice wide green strip along 209 and went for it. Perfect landing and started packing up. A big dude in a department of corrections uniform comes up to me and goes - "Sir, did you know you landed on the State Prison grounds?" - according to him my expression at that moment was priceless... After him and now his supervisor checked with me if I have any weapons on me everyone just enjoyed the humor of the situation. But the best part was my radio coming alive and someone, I was not sure who, saying on the radio - "oh, Sander, by the way, some of those farms there are the prison farms, just watch out landing there..." Apparently I was about 200 ft short of the State Trooper land which would have been far less (or more) eventful. Oh, and for those in the air on Sunday, yes, indeed what we were hearing was the machine gun fire - "boys practicing in the pit" as the guards put it.
Well, after they escorted me to the road and told me never to come back (in the nicest way possible) my fiancee had a dream come true and she picked up her husband to be at the prison gates!
Another great day at Ellenville! See you all during fly-in!