#187 Monument Valley Quick Abort

The drive from Saint George to Monument was a little over 5 hours. I decided to let the GPS pick the fastest route which ended up taking me through Zion National Park. Beautiful drive and amazing terrain but on Sat in August it was a bit of a traffic jam. I made the mistake of stopping at a tourist Rock shop and buying gifts for the family and store. Very cool stuff but almost non of it came from the area. I’ve seen the same inventory in gift shops and mineral shops all over the world. Ah Well. I did need the petrified shark teeth for awards durning the Commodores Ball. I finally got thru the park and arrived at Gouldings Trading Post about 5:30pm. After making arrangements I drove down to the airstrip and pulled out a wing.

The wind was blowing so I kited for 70 minutes before it came down enough to attempt a launch. Sometimes the wing would come up and hang there like an obedient puppy and other times one side would collapse and the wing might or might not be recovered. So…

I launched and decided almost immediately that it was time to land. The wind was popping me up and down slewing me to the right so I continued the turn and set down almost right where I has started. The Google image (dark Blue Line) shows very clearly the track bouncing around. I might have been able to climb into smoother air but I had not sent up any test balloons because I didn’t think the Navajo would appreciate it…so I really didn’t know if the air was going to get better or worse at altitude.

That night, I had dinner in the Lodge and said hello to a group of Italian families. It made me smile to think it had just been two months earler that Vivi and her family were doing the same thing with us in Riminni.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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