Finally, the day we’ve been waiting for for like six months now. The windgrams chart was volcanic and the reality was some good, strong lift. JD got this day going for all and insisted we start early. That turned out to be a good call as it was lighting up by noon at CL. We avoided the Crestline launch wasps by traversing well in front of the nest to get to the launch ramp. JD and Mario discussed several XC options but settled on an east round trip. Unfortunately for them, JD’s mic was not working and they did not have two-way communication to coordinate their plans. So JD headed off on his own and Mario sort-of followed, at his own pace. As a side note, JD’s bad mic made for a fun afternoon of radio chatter as me, Mario, David and Gavin could communicate at will without JD scolding us to keep quiet.
Anyway, I headed east and got as far as this odd triangle-about, just past the high school. This thing is a road intersection that is triangular in shape, rather than round, and it was painted white, with some sort of black lined pattern. It looks like some strange alien spaceship signaling monument, like the Nazca formations down in South America. I was generally in the 7-8k range on my way out, with Mario 1-2k over me. I was getting weirded out by the wonky winds out there and decided to turn around and go play on the west side. Mario kept going east and found some great altitude, one report being over 11k.
Going west was fine until Sugarpine. I wanted to go tag Cajon and I felt I had the altitude to do it comfortably, but the winds got wonky again. They were mostly wsw and maybe the flow coming around Cucamonga was disagreeable. But it was rock-and-rolling me pretty good. I got tired of that and headed back to Pine and caught a good thermal. I decided to go back across CL, over to RnR, then down the ridge to the Arrowhead, over the old mansion and then out to Little Mountain. From LM, I turned back to the front hills and eventually got back up and over to BB. Along the way, as I was heading east, across the gap from CL to the Interchange, a rather large airliner (not Southwest) came across the ridge in front of me. It looked like it flew right over RnR and the Arrowhead and was not any more than 500’ higher than I was there at CL. If I would have been over RnR, I would have been either sucked into the engines or rolled into oblivion by the vortices coming off the wings.
Sometime around here, Mario reported that he saw JD heading out to the Brewery and was going to follow. Gavin had already landed there. I went over to Pine and Sugarpine again, and the winds were still disagreeable over there. It was a little over 3 hours at this point and I decided I was done. What was the issue this time? It wasn’t my bladder, it was my knees. They just ached from being trapped in the harness all that time without changing position. So I headed out to the freeway and took a left at Palm, drove down to Walmart, then back to AJX. It was a pretty active time wind-wise to be landing. There was a fairly strong west wind and it was thermic. I did a pretty good job of flaring lightly and coming down on my feet. I almost blew it by flaring a little too much in the strong headwind, but I was able to hang on and bring it down on my shoulders, with the right wing dipping a little. Fun day.