Flight Log
First Couple of Days of Greg's and Dave's Slope Safari 2006
By Greg Smith
Aug 28, 2006, 00:55

Our trip to Soar Utah 2006 began on Saturday, August 26th when Dave and I will left Milwaukee for points west with Soar Utah as our destination. True to Slopin' Safari form we will be meandering out through several states looking for suitable spots to fly en route to Utah. At this point 4 days before we leave we are not sure what route we will take. Depending on the wind predictions we will either head down to Lake Wilson in Kansas for an F3F event or head across South Dakota.

Preliminary activities starting a couple of weeks before the event centered around what planes to take and making sure they are in good shape and airworthy.

I decided to begin a PSS project 2-weeks before we left. Probably ill advised knowing all the other work that needed to get done but it went well. I sure under estimated the amount of finish work required and the time it takes. It will be worth it however, I have a sweet Slope Scale P-63 that will fit right in at Soar Utah. I, in fact, started 2 PSS planes but about halfway through the P-80 I had to choose to get it done or the P-63. The P-63 was a bit further along so it got the nod. Nice thing is I'll have a good head start on the P-80 when I get back.

August 26th

Left Milwaukee and drove 9 hours to Chamberlain, SD. The plan was to fly there if the wind was good. Well it wasn't great but wee still got in some flying. Dave and I started with Weasels which flew well enough for 15 minutes or so of fun. So seeing that the lift was there, if marginal, I switched to the Extreme. I flew it for about 10 minutes but was pretty much just hugging the lip to keep it in the air. Since it was already 7PM the thermal help was minimal but if I ranged out I could get some light bubbles.

Meanwhile, Dave put his Sky Sergio together. A little electric boost would make it more fun. he flew fi for a while and it was looking good. After tweaking the program for the differential on the ailerons he has it turning well.

Dave's Sky Sergio

Going for the grab!

Sky Sergio safe in Dave's hands.

After we flew we decided to head further west so we had a head start on the next day. We ended up in Murdo, SD at The New LandMARK Country Inn. Interesting place in the middle of South Dakota. Reasonable rates, clean room, Wi-Fi and Pillow top beds. Nice.
August 27th

We woke up today to rain. My plan was to roam through the Badlands to a couple of spots I knew from previous trips as well as check out a spot Rob suggested on the outbound road towards Wall, SD. Flying was, of course, the goal.

Greg at the Badlands. Rain and no wind. Bummer!

We stopped at the Pinnacles Overlook where I tried the Weasel but the wind was not right and after a brief flight and a short trip down the slope to get the Weasel, we moved on.

Weasel at the Badlands

Pinnacles Overlook

The spot Rob suggested is about 7 miles south of the front door of Wall Drug. It is on Buffalo Gap National Grasslands land at the site of two radio towers. The gate was open and the road while a bit muddy was fine. Normally this is a pretty dry area so if there is a ENE wind this spot would rock. 300-plus feet high and a great shape. Today, no wind and rain thwarted our plans to fly so it was on to Wall Drug for breakfast. Pancakes are good there if you are in the area!

More rain and no win so we just kept heading west until we broke out of the weather near Gillette, WY. On the way we made a blast past Devil's Tower. Still coo after all the times I've seen it although it was still raining pretty steadily.

In Gillette we weased on a Wi-Fi connection at some hotel and found the wind forecast for Northern Wyoming looking better. A consultation of the Wyoming Gazetter and a route was planned up Upper Powder Rd towards Arvada, WY with a loop back to Buffalo where we planned to stay the evening.

Flying on the Upper Powder Rd. has a lot of potential we checked several spots and had a couple of good flights at a site about 3 miles south of Arvada. The wind was still light but at least the rain was gone. it was mostly a Weasel day today.

Greg flying his Weasel at Kinney Draw, WY

Stayed at the Comfort Inn which was fine if a bit spendy this being the high season and all. If his Wi-Fi were working we'd have stayed at Bill's Hotel, which may not be the name of the place, but was easy to find. Just take a right on Main St. off the 16 route into town and it is on the left. Nice guy.

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