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Sequatchie Skies
by Dan Shell
May 23, 1996

Another from Nancy Smith!

Hello from Henson's Gap!!

So you want to hear about day 4 of the world's greatest vacation? Wednesday brought NW winds to Sequatchie Skies, so I got to soar here too (37 minutes) :-)

Winds were even stronger than yesterday.. I'm getting some good launching experience. I was glad to have Phil Proctor and Barbara there since I know and trust them completely. There's a lot of intense concentration while you're listening to the feedback, "light up, neutral, up, up.." Time stands still. This is so cool. Off you run, nose down, ease it out, up, up, up, the ridge lift just pulls you right up over the mountain. I love this!! The lift wasn't quite as consistent today, and I learned you can't always just cruise up and down. You have to find where the lift is the strongest and hang around there. At one point my glider just dropped... it felt like I lost several hundred feet in seconds. I have no idea what could have caused that! Topology does some weird things to the air!

NW winds brought out a lot of the local Tennessee Tree Toppers. A couple of the pilots buzzed the ramp which was a lot of fun to watch. I've never been able to watch thermaling up close before. It's quite interesting. Flying is a much closer sport in the mountains.

I met so many really really cool people yesterday, including Dan Shell and Kathy Lee (definitely a kindred spirit!) I would guess around 15 pilots flew. They cooked dinner over a campfire and ended the day with lots of beer and stories. We sat on the ramp while the sun set (have I mentioned how great Clark's massages are before?). It is so very beautiful up here in the mountains.

The only problem I have now is deciding where to be Saturday night! Quest Air is having "Jamaican Me Crazy," Tennessee Tree Toppers is having Mayhem, and Lookout is having Jim Hooks Memorial Fly In. Isn't there some rule about having all the great parties on the same night?

Life is very very good.

Nancy (seriously considering giving up my job and becoming a bum) Smith
Ridge Soarer
Mountain Pilot