July, and epilogue

It’s been ten days since the end of the Nationals, and a little over a week since I stumbled out of Mike’s van at Grove City and drove myself back home. In that time, I’ve managed to shake off the bug-eyed wandering prophet’s stare that I had going for a few days—oh, you think, these people in this grocery store parking lot, the wonders they will never comprehend in their lifetimes! A good night’s sleep and a week back at work do wonders to set your feet back on the ground.

With that, it’s well past time for:

Acknowledgements

Heartfelt thanks to Mike Robison for allowing me to join him on this amazing adventure, and to his brother Joe for his excellent crewing and good companionship. Thanks to John Godfrey (QT), Tip Russell, Reba Coombs, and the rest of the Nationals personnel for running a fantastic contest; thanks to John again and the task advisors for great tasks in a variety of weather conditions; and thanks to Doug Armstrong and Stewart Tattersall for describing those conditions in such thorough detail. Thanks also to Laurie Harden of Soaring NV and Bobbi Thompson and Mountain Mike Harbison of the Minden-Tahoe airport for their seemingly effortless operational support.

Last but not at all least, thanks to the contestants for a great contest and for the fun times we enjoyed when we weren’t flying.

The future

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the 2012 US Open Class Nationals on this blog. Now that that’s over with, there is good news and bad news.

The good news, I guess, is that I’ll still be posting here from time to time.

The bad news is that the pictures and videos will look less like Lord of the Rings and more like this:

N824T lands at Bandel Airport

Southwestern Pennsylvania has its charms. We have hills, ridges, and valleys instead of mountain peaks, volcanic cones, and basin lakes. Occasionally we can thermal on the heat produced by the giant flames from a shale gas flare. In place of a Nimbus-3DM, readers can look forward to a Mini-Nimbus instead—that’s what I’m landing here at Bandel in this video still.

That’s my glider, or more accurately, the glider I own with Lyle Chamberlain. I mentioned it briefly in the post describing JOY. Lyle and I bought it a little over a year ago, and have spent some time improving it since then. Here I am working on resurfacing the horizontal tail, flaps, and ailerons last winter:

Creepy! And who can forget working on replacing the canopy after that hole wound up in the original one somehow (sigh…):

All of those repairs took place in Mike’s shop at Ridge Soaring Gliderport, which is how I got to know him in the first place.

One thing’s for sure: I’m no Mike. I’m a duffer, soaring-wise, but I’m learning. That’s what most of the posts will be about from now on. Like most of what’s been on the blog so far, these posts will be aimed toward general readers—folks with an interest in flying, but not necessarily pilots. And, also, my loving and obliging family.

If that sounds good to you, please read on. And check out Lyle’s blog too—there’s some great stuff there as well.

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