We are on our way home! In some ways we are happy. In other ways, we are sad.
After leaving Mexico we had two nights in Santa Barbara to pick up our paragliding gear (Thanks, Lorenzo, for the storage space!) and we were hoping for one more day of flying. Unfortunately, we both felt sick! And, of course, we got a message from Chris in the morning that Pine was on! The place we really wanted to fly while we were here.
There was no way it was going to happen though. Andrew, who pretty much has to be on his deathbed before admitting he doesn’t feel well, spent the entire day in the hotel room. I drove to Ojai and headed out to Pine with other pilots but there was no way my stomach and head were up to getting into the air. I figured a retrieve driver would be appreciated and I wanted to see the area and check it out for a hopeful “next time.”
But flying didn’t work out for the others either. We enjoyed the view and “parawaited.” The winds were wonky and even the birds weren’t flying smoothly so after a couple hours we gave up. The guys thought a ridge near the landing zone might be flyable but, after hiking part way up, determined the wind direction was wrong for that too. Chris managed to scrape out a short flight on a small hill but with various bushes and dead trees in the way (I heard him say "oh shit!" as he got close to one particular obstacle) and wind not really the right direction, he set it down fairly quickly and no one else gave it a go.
|The launch at Pine Mountain is just below the road.|
|Fabulous view from Pine Mountain|
|I love the look and design of the train station in Santa Barbara.|
|It was built in 1905 . . .|
|. . . and has been beautifully restored and maintained over the years.|
|Beside the station is one of the largest Moreton Bay fig trees in North America. It was planted from a seedling in 1826. The circumference of the tree is 41 1/2 ft, the average crown spread is 176 ft and the height is 80 ft. (As measured in 1997.)|
|The view from the train.|
|Panorama of the train while stopped at San Luis Obispo.|