Monday, January 23, 2012

Cave Creek, AZ

We are now in the Cave Creek Campground on the north edge of Phoenix, AZ where we’ve been close to spend some time with are friends Ron and Jane. We will be here until the 25th when we leave for Quartzsite, AZ with plans of spending several days in Quartzsite to visit with our friends Steve and Sandy, Mark and Sue and Richard and Patsy. If anyone else is going to be in Quartzsite the 25th, 26th, 27th or the 28th let us know and maybe we can get together for a visit. We need to shop for a few things in the big RV vendor tent and flea markets.  Hopefully, Mark and Richard haven’t snatched up all the bargains before we get there.
In past years we have driven by the Turf Soaring School just west of where we camp in Cave Creek. This is something I have wanted to do since I was stationed in Germany in 1968, so it’s been a long time coming. Sandy, however, says “it may be a lot more time coming” for her. Sandy prefers to go “Soarin” in Disney’s Epcot.
Rick, my flight pilot, is giving the sailplane a preflight inspection.

Dave with Rick doing a preflight.

Whew! This sure is a tight squeeze.

It sure is a tight fit.

Rick is giving me last minute flight instructions.

Getting last minute instructions.

Lift off!!!!

Lift off.

And away we go, heading for a 5000 foot release point.

No turning back now.

My view as we head up.

Tow plane pulling us up to 5000 feet.

Here we are still heading up with a view of Lake Pleasant.

Still be towed to 5000 feet heading towards Pleasent Lake.

After being released from the tow plane I got to take the controls for a while. Except for the quiet, it was not much different than flying a regular airplane.
This view of the cockpit shows the altimeter on the left showing 3000 feet which is 1400 feet above ground level. The speedometer to right of center shows we are cruising at 40 MPH. The instrument on the far right is called a variometer which shows our rate of ascent or decent which at this time is showing 50 FPM ascent. The big red knob in the center is what you pull to be released from the tow plane. That was my job.

Cockpit showing 3000 feet (1400 feet above ground level), Doing 40 MPH with a rise rate of 50 feet per minute.

Here we are coming in for a landing (the one in the sky). It was kind of weird because in an airplane you never land until all planes are off the runway, let alone parked on the runway.

Coming in for a landing.

I sure hope we stop in time.

Are we going to get stopped in time.

Yup, we stopped in time.


After Quartzsite we are headed to Ramona, CA (near San Diego) to spend a few days at Dos Picos County Park before going to the Lazy Daze factory in Montclair, CA (the LA area) to have a new awning installed. Our awning was damaged when a big gust of wind came in at our first campsite in Zion NP this summer. Although or plans are somewhat fluid we plan on going to Death Valley, Joshua Tree NP, Lake Havasu, Tucson and then back to Cave Creek, AZ for the rest of the winter.

Until next time,
Dave and Sandy

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