147th Monument Valley First Time

To Awesome for words

The Desert Turtle

Drove straight through to Monument because it was blowing like hell in Glenwood … Grand Junction… and Moab.

Gouldings Village is a wonderful place to base a fly in. Everything you might need Hotel…Campground … RV Park…Gas Station Grocery Store Restaurant Hotel. And…Best of all the is a private airstrip with the only traffic being a couple of tourist flights mid morning.

#147 May 29th 2008

Blew first launch…Second was fine, flew an exploratory flight until I got cold and landed on the strip. 45 minutes

#148 May 30th 2008
My first and I hope my last turtle. I watched it blow most of the day. Not bad , about 10 kts and gusty. At 4pm I gave John Fetz a call and talked about the best way to fly this area. What to watch out for and how to avoid the dirty air on the lee side of the monuments. He told me of the time he landed on a monument and flew off. “one of the proudest days of his life”. He didn’t say anything new but it was good to talk it out with an experienced guy. Stay away from the lee side or stay 100 feet over the tops. He advised me to wait till the “magic Hour”…one hour prior to sunset and the fly till you just have enough light to land.
I didn’t…2 hours before sunset I was out there with a photographer who is camping close by. The wind was up … I kited a bit and decided to go for it. Big mistake… The wing came up hard and fast. I damped the surge and when it fell back it pulled me right over. Luckily I was able to kill the motor and there was no damage other than a few scratches on the prop.
I flew for 50 minutes and returned to the field. I did a couple of touch and go landings because it was so nice I really didn’t want to quit.

May 31st 2008

Best Flight So Far !

Stayed in bed a little longer and noticed the photographer dude had already gone. It was a Nil wind launch so I lined up on the runway and tried to see how fast I could go before lifting off. Wow ! It’s easy to be spoiled by a smooth surface. I could feel the wing loading up and the pressure on the brakes was a nice firm touch. I could go into a hard clean turn as soon as my wheels left the ground.
I flew out past the welcome center and into the valley itself. Since I had taken a jeep ride the day before with a Navajo kid I knew where I was going and …Well….the pictures tell the story.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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