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Leg 2, Jean to Estrella - Saturday, June 21, 2003:

Now there's a sight you don't see every day....
a bunch of gliders parked in front of the Gold Strike Casino!

Picture courtesy of Doug Jacobs

A southwest headwind at over 25 knots with thermals topped at only 8-9,000 feet reluctantly caused the Jean to Estrella leg to be officially canceled today. The course line was mostly over generally unlandable terrain and without the altitude the task was thought to be near impossible and unsafe. The motorgliders without trailers flew on to Estrella. A few gliders were launched (DJ and ???) and were rumored only to be able to make about 50 miles. More info when available. The rest of us packed up and are on the road to Estrella for the start tomorrow for Las Cruces. Near Tucson there is a large forest fire which will be an obstacle with pilots having to deviate from the shortest path.

Jim Payne

Well, the weather is still not cooperating. Forecast today calls for thermal no higher than 10K, and the country we need to cross has the locals worried if they're below 14K.

For safety's sake, no task is called, but pilots may try to fly to Estrella if they wish. Nearly everyone drove. I hear Doug Jacobs landed at Laughlin, NV, and Kevin Wayt was last heard on final glide for Wickenburg - without ever getting above 9500'.

The drive was quite pleasant, and I got a good look at the terrain from the ground. I'm glad I didn't have to look at it from a few thousand feet above the ground!

Tomorrow, we'll try to fly to Las Cruces. There's a major forest fire on Mt Lemmon, North of Tucson. This is putting smoke right on the direct course, and there is also a TFR over the fire area. Because of this, I suspect we will have a steering turnpoint South of Tucson to keep us out of 'tiger country'. This looks to be a long, but not very scary flight.

Tom Serkowski

And from Martha Jacobs comes this funny story:
When we arrived in Jean, NV, we picked up coupons for a free meal at the local hotels/casinos from the welcome rest stop. They were only valid for tourists, so you had to show an out of state drivers license. When I tried to use one of them, the waitress looked at my Rhode Island license and explained that the coupons were only valid for Americans! This license, according to her, showed I was from some foreign island! Only in this crazy sport of gliding would I find myself arguing with a waitress in Nevada about whether Rhode Island was part of the USA!
And the adventures continue . . . .

Martha Jacobs


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