Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Windy Washington

Wind, wind, go away.
Come again another day.

On our way back up the coast we wanted to check out a couple paragliding sites in Washington State. We took the ferry across from Port Townsend to Coupeville on Whidbey Island. 

An absolutely gorgeous soaring site, views of the Olympic Mountains across on the Peninsula. As you can see from the hood on Andrew's jacket in the photo below and the string from the wind meter straight out to the side . . . it was a tad windy! (We checked back the next day and it was lighter winds but the direction was completely wrong.) 
Winds . . . a little strong at the Whidbey Island soaring site.
Sailboat at Port Townsend.
Mt. Baker in clear skies -- on the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville.
It was fun to see Mt. Baker so clearly. Andrew and I climbed it with his friend, Ian, many years ago.
Sail boat near Coupeville; Mt. Baker in the background.
Since the Whidbey Island site wasn't working, we headed another hour north to Mt. Blanchard. Not surprisingly, it was windy there as well. And the direction was wrong. There were several hang glider pilots hanging around hoping for the wind direction to change. (It eventually did.) They can launch in much higher wind conditions than paraglider pilots can.

The nice thing about this site is that the road to launch can be driven in a car with low clearance like ours has! And, if push comes to shove and we weren't able to find a retrieve driver, there is also a hiking trail that we could take to get the vehicle back.
Checking the winds at Mt. Blanchard. Sadly too strong and across the launch.
Looking out from Mt. Blanchard west launch.
A hang glider after taking off from west launch on Mt. Blanchard.
From west launch, Mt. Blanchard.
The day after this was very cloudy and sprinkling rain so we headed back up to Chilliwack area and hope to get some more flights in around there. We'll definitely come back to these Washington sites though. They look amazing! 

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