Monday, August 16, 2010

This soooooo made me want to do this again...

Blackhawk - Why I Love Soaring the Desert from NMERider on Vimeo.
36 miles from Blackhawk Mountain (Lucerene Valley) to Daggett. Song: Bardo by Vas from "Feast of Silence". 4/14/2010.

Had some free time during a render today at work and thought I'd see what the hang gliding scene was like these days. I flew for about 10 years, mostly in Ellenville NY, but flew tons of other sites and contests around the states. I hit 17,000 feet in Colorado (I had an oxygen tank so I wouldn't get hypoxic). Did tons of XC mostly around the 30 - 40 mile range (stupidly tough out east, much easier out west - the conditions are much bigger. Most of my flights were between 2 and 4 hours if I didn't immediately sink out or intentionally take a sled run. Almost like playing a poker tournament. The strategy was to know where the next thermal was going to pop off, how much glide you have between you + the next thermal, where a decent LZ was if you had to land out. You watch leaves, trees, birds, other gliders and all kinds of other crap that floats to find out where the air was moving.

There is nothing in the world like floating around a few thousand feet off the ground. I miss it, but it was SUCH a huge time suck. You're committed for the entire day, and good days happen very infrequently in the east. It's also not a cheap sport. Once you have your equipment though, it will last you a long time if you take good care of it.

It's not as risky as most folks think... but there is risk involved (obviously). I decided if I wasn't going to have the time to fly consistently and stay in practice, I wasn't going to fly at all. So that's the way it remains today. At least I can relive the dream through videos like this....

I didn't know this guy (not sure if he was flying when I was), but he makes a pretty good film - though I did turn off the music... it looks like he has a mic now - I like hearing the wind, cars, kids.... the wings act as giant ears - you'd be amazed at what you can hear on the ground from 2000 feet up.

For anyone at all interested in a full flight, he does this one narrated from start to finish. Not sure why he's on a single surface glider (essentially a training/noob gilder) but he does pretty well with it given the conditions, and there a couple of spots where he's scratching close to the mountain that are entertaining.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


6 out of 5 hundred something in a $3 KO tonight.... really all I could think of was sleep. The entire tourney was pretty standard, got the fucked end of a cooler when my 2 pr went down to an 88 runner runner flush to the typical monkey that wins every hand he enters, no matter what cards. I was at his tables for a lot of the tournament and I don't remember 1 hand that he was ahead on. I win that one, I'm leader and probably take down the tourney (yeah, how many times have we all said THAT)

Anyway...still working like a mad man, so not so much time for poker, but when I do play I seem to do OK in the tourneys and sngs. Ring games are still a bitch, gotta work on that.