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New and Improved Winds of a Hurricane
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:30 am
Years ago, early in my flying days, Grant Hoag put together annual flying trips to Hurricane UT. We had some great groups and great flying over spectacular places with some XC flights over a hundred miles. It's one of the best flying sites in the country and has remained one of my top places to fly.
At first we went over Memorial Day weekend but that time of year gave us some weather issues and limited flying. The date was moved to the July 4th weekend and the flying was terrific but the summer heat was pretty tough and some unpleasant camping experiences for some made the trip impossible for them.
That brings us to the new and improved part. Kathy Moacanin, someone always game for an expedition came up with this house near a little reservoir lake that is visible from the Hurricane ridge launch:
https://www.booking.com/hotel/us/sand-h ... map_closed
Five bedrooms, though one is like a bunkhouse, air conditioning, a swimming pool, big kitchen, showers, ping pong and comfort. Hurricane without the dirty ordeal, or at least with the option of recovering from one. Take the spouse and spend an iffy flying day hiking in Zion or mountain biking on the mesas.
I bit the bullet and reserved the place for July 4-7, Wednesday arrival, Sunday departure. I have the option of cancelling for a refund through May, which I will do if we don't reach a quorum of around 10 people to make it affordable. The place can sleep up to 18 so the more the merrier and cheaper. We'll save the big bed bedrooms for the first couples who commit and give a little discount for the bunk beds in the 5th bedroom but we'll work out those details once we have an idea of the numbers. Cost I'm guessing should be somewhere around $55 to $85 per person per night, depending.
So act now, first come first served and you'll need to put some deposit money where your mouth is pretty soon or I'll dump this and just drag my little trailer out there with whatever die-hards want to come. Ask me any questions by email but post here if you are into it because you know pilots and their "Looks great, you go first." attitude.
Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:50 am
Currently we have 9 definitelys and several maybes. I'll need a $100 deposit per person to make it real within the next couple weeks.
If other couples want to come there are other houses available nearby with multiple bedrooms.
Posted: Tue May 08, 2018 8:32 am
An easy and probably the best way to make your deposit is to use Paypal.
You can transfer $100 to secure your spot by sending it to me at gregangsten (at) gmail.com. This way we will both have a receipt for your payment.
I need to make a go, no-go decision sometime this month and if I don't get the deposits it will be a no-go.
Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 8:34 am
...one more thing. If you send me the deposit with Paypal, be sure to choose the friend or family option, not the payment for goods or services option, otherwise Paypal will take a cut.
New and Improved Winds of a Hurricane
Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:05 am
We are going, barring some kind of catastrophe. There is still room for a couple more people, H3 P3 and up.
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:37 am
We're planning to leave Tuesday evening and spend the night at a Primm NV casino. $32.61 through Priceline -- just the thing for world class cheapskate hang glider pilots. We'll get to Hurricane in time to fly on Independence Day.
Then fireworks in the Park at 10 PM.
Let's meet up at the house in the morning sometime if you want to do the same. See you there.
BTW, there are still 2 empty beds if anyone wants to jump in at the last minute.
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:03 pm
Well, how was it?
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:47 pm
The trip was excellent, even though the flying weather was capricious, and we got less air time than in previous years. That’s the short version of the story; the long version follows.
Will Ramsey, Marshall Robin, and I left Altadena promptly on Wednesday morning, July 4, and pointed the car directly towards the Hurricane launch. We arrived there late in the afternoon, where we found Greg Angsten and his wife Nurit, Joe Petrosian, and Arthur Simoneau and his wife. They had departed the previous evening and spent the night in Primm or thereabouts, and that gave them a few more hours to stand on launch and kick rocks while the wind alternated between too strong, and too cross, and too weak. We were under a clear blue sky, so I don’t know what was driving the wind changes. Arthur decided not to fly, while Greg launched as soon as the wind started becoming rational, which won him a sledder to our chosen LZ at the local municipal airport below launch. Those in my vehicle hadn’t yet run out of patience, so we waited longer. Eventually, Marshall, Joe, and I got very nice ridge-soaring flights in smooth air and beautiful scenery until sunset, while Will generously drove down. That left just enough time to grab a take-out pizza and beer that we won’t mention, this being Mormon country, and find a patch of lawn at the local baseball fields to eat and watch the fireworks. Late that night, we returned to the house that Greg had rented just west of the town of Hurricane. We were joined there by the Moacanins (Mike, Kathy, Aly, along with Katherine Yardley), and Steve and Pat Murillo.
Will served as our weather guru, and he accurately predicted unflyably strong south winds on Thursday. Since most of us had been to Zion on previous trips, we opted to spend the afternoon in Bryce Canyon National Park. Indeed, the drive proved long and slow, but our hike among the fractal-like hoodoos was well worth it.
The weather forecast on Friday looked better for wind, but worse for thunderstorms, so we were exceptionally disorganized in the morning. We eventually got ourselves to the Virgin river for swimming and splashing, followed by lunch at the nearby Fort Zion Trading Post (they serve good burgers of every sort: buffalo, venison, elk, even jackalope!), and a drive out to the Hurricane launch. There, we inexplicably stood around for a long while in the rain and lightning and gust fronts, wondering if it would be flyable, before we called it a day.
On Saturday, we were eager for cross-country flights if at all possible. The wind forecast looked good, but even at 9 AM, there were scattered thunderstorms in every direction. We spent a long time debating what to do, and when we finally decided upon a hiking trail in the nearby Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, we found that the storms had mostly dissipated, so we changed course to the Hurricane launch again. Most of us set up gliders, while Mike looked askance at the storms that persisted to the south and east. Joe, Will, and I launched and slowly circled up to 9000 feet MSL. Then the wind on launch turned south and kept the remaining pilots grounded for a long while. Greg finally got a marginally launchable cycle, and again, got only a sledder to the airport LZ. Marshall and Steve waited longer, and were rewarded for it with better flights. They weren’t flying with radios so I don’t know much about them, except that they chose to stay local, as did Joe, and they all landed at the airport with Greg. Will and I headed north together, a direction we’d never flown before, until I got delayed by a frightfully low save at the whitewashed rock Ã¢â‚¬Å“LÃ¢â‚¬Â� on the hillside above the town of La Verkin. The south wind picked up so our ground speeds reached 45 to 50 MPH, but the lift quit, and with storms around, I was satisfied to land 25.7 miles out, at the I-15 exit to the town of New Harmony. Will had landed less than a mile beyond me, and just a couple miles short of Kanarraville. The terrain climbs a couple thousand feed as one goes north, so Will’s entire flight was above launch level! Mike Moacanin promptly retrieved us, and the whole crowd gathered back at the river to swim and swap stories.
Sunday was dedicated to the drive home, quite uneventful aside from a traffic jam for a few miles between Jean and Primm in Nevada.
I’m sorry that Greg got cheated on the flying with only two sledders, which is doubly unjust after he took the initiative to coordinate everything. Aside from that, it was a great trip, and positively luxurious with the rented house that provided air conditioning, showers, a large kitchen, and innumerable bedrooms that readily handled our crowd. I’m already looking forward to next year!