XC from Mission to Evergreen

Sunday, September 25th, 11:00 am. Zac calls me and tells me to come to Mission, meet at the parking lot at 12. I told him that it looked too north, but he said it was ok, and we should try to go XC, maybe Gilroy or beyond. I said “I don’t know…” he said, “why not?”, I said, “ok!”. Right after that, I got my gear and went to Mission.

We set up and launched by 1:30 or so. And as soon as I launched, I went down. As I kept on losing altitude, I headed over to RC Hill and fond a small thermal. I worked it and slowly climbed all the way to the towers. Zac launched before me and Patrick after me. The three of us struggled to get high, but with patience, we got over the towers.

We were on the radio the entire time, and Zac was super helpful. I left the towers towards Ed Levin at about 3,000ft and got a thermal over Ed Levin’s launch. I had never seen Ed Levin from up there before. It was weird. I climbed up to about 3,500ft, while Zac and Patrick made it to 5,500ft. At 3,500, I decided to head South, way before Zac and Patrick did. I was low but had faith that thermals would pop up once in a while.

Eventually, Zac and Patrick caught up with me, way higher, and passed me. They made it to Alum Rock about 10 minutes before I did, and sunk out a lot right after that. I came in slower, thermalling once in a while. I crossed Alum Rock at about 2,700ft and kept going. Jumping from one thermal to the next, never reaching 3,500ft again, but always getting high enough to continue. I hear on the radio that Patrick and Zac are next to the EvergreenCollege and very very low. What happened??

As I kept on going, I saw the college and a couple of huge fields to land on. I had them on glide, and I was low. I told them on the radio that I was going to land there, and Zac responded that Patrick was on approach as well, so I glided a bit further and landed next to Patrick. Zac landed about 10 minutes later.

I was surprised that even though they both were higher and faster, we all ended up in the same place. It was an awesome experience; not knowing where to land or when it was going to happen. But, for whatever reason, every single hill next to a road was a possible LZ for me. I never really got scared.


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