Monday, 25 June 2018

June Road Trip (1)

Andrew found a random hill in Montana to fly off of.
I'd been wanting to get out to Air Adventure in Drayton Valley to get in some short tow launches to test out my ankle. The timing worked out perfectly as Jon (a pilot/instructor who just moved back to Saskatoon after being in California for 10 years) was working on getting his Canadian instructor rating and needed a couple "students" to join him there.

Humorously (or not) I came in hard on my very first landing and definitely tested the ankle. It survived! I was way more nervous than I thought I would be and felt like a complete beginner again. Ugh! Hopefully things will come back quicker next time out.

Due to rainy weather, we only got in one day of towing and then spent the next half day re-packing reserve chutes. It's always comforting to have someone knowledgeable overseeing this process when we only do it once a year and it's a vital safety backup.

Jon instructing under the watchful eye of instructor examiner Claudio.

Re-packing reserve chutes
From Drayton Valley, we headed south and stopped for the night at Back to Nature Retreat, a lovely B&B near Water Valley, AB. We spotted a couple fox who were busy hunting for their supper.

This one leaped high in the air and dove head first to the ground. Presumably he found some supper!
They have such long tails.
 From there we headed down into Montana, spotting various deer, hawks and other birds.

A deer in a colourful flower patch.
Andrew kept looking for suitable hills to fly from and he spotted this one just south of Choteau. I hiked part way up while he went up higher and along the ridge to find a good place to launch from. The wind wasn't quite strong enough to soar the ridge but he still got a nice 3-minute flight which I managed to do a decent job of videoing.

Andrew hiking along the ridge to find a launch area.
Just one of the many wild flowers near Choteau
Further south we stopped at Three Forks for the night and went for a short hike at Headwaters State Park. This is the headwaters of the Missouri River where the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers meet (hence, Three Forks).

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