April 23, 2021 at 10:09 PM #12101Jerome DaoustGeneral Member
The Worst of Times… After hiking up and being warned of a rattlesnake on the road up, I launched first around 3:30 pm and the NW side base wind was strong. I found one thermal that took me 550′ over launch but when that petered out, the lack of ridge lift cut my flight time to 13 minutes. Strangely enough I was followed by David and Stan despite my obvious short flight. There was comfort in being rapidly joined in the LZ.
The Best of Times… With the hope that the forecasted wind would finally arrive, we took a quick shuttle ride back up. It was as if it was a different day, with plentiful lift up to cloudbase. I flew close to 2 hours, and the air was smoother than typical. The widespread and steady 500 fpm lift was intimidating for some, but cloudbase could be avoided relatively easily. Max altitude of 5500′ for me but cloudbase had lowered to 4k by the end of the flight. I could hear Jordan over the radio and Gene’s sweet voice from Marshall.
The Soboba LZ is cat-friendly, as the rusty-colored kittens have grown up and running around the grass. But they are also hard-working, as they have successfully rid the LZ of gophers!
Some pleasant surprises since my last visit: Vastly expanded kitchen area, New roof structure providing more shade, More tables (boardroom type) under the shade, 2 more weather stations (LZ and 1400′).
I think we can make the LZ (straight down)…
Playing with the skirts of cloudbase…April 24, 2021 at 7:41 AM #12104David WebbGeneral Member
It was indeed, 2 completely different days of flying, all in the span of an hour.
After seeing Jerome have the shortest flight I’ve ever seen out of him, my ego got the better of me and thought I could make something happen. Wrong-o. A 3:30 launch followed by 15 minutes of struggling, even with a hawk giving me hand-outs.
At 4:19, the base winds were steadier and a more consistent direction. Benched up over the towers in smooth lift the whole way. Cloud base was not far away and it was easy to stay there the rest of the afternoon until it started to push down. Was definitely the smoothest air I’ve been in at Soboba, to date. Lift was everywhere.
Hail to the cameramen (Jerome and Stan):
I second Jerome’s idea about adding “working cats” to AJX – the breakdown area had barely a trace of any gopher activity.April 24, 2021 at 10:44 AM #12109Jerome DaoustGeneral Member
He may look cute to us, but he is a gopher’s nightmare. Picture from Stan…
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