I sit here at my desk and stare past my glowing screen out into the dull gray sky.  It has been trying to snow for the last two days, but is not finding much success.  It is December 13th amidst the Rocky Mountains, and still I have yet to see a real snow flake fall.  After all it was in the mid 60’s yesterday, despite the gray skies and north winds.  It continues to be the warmest, and driest December I can recall in my 40 years on the Wasatch.  Warm and dry is not necessarily a bad thing as it has allowed for some spectacular flying days.  Besides I know the snow will come…it always does.


I realize I have not written in some time, and as I search my mind for excuses I seem to only be coming up with memories.  As summer came to an end I was rather frustrated with the year.  The summer flying season was not that great to me, and I found myself falling well behind my anticipated goals.  All the trips and adventures we had planned for the year seemed to vanish, leaving only a few small scraps to be had.  So I was frustrated…to say the least.  A gnarly motorcycle crash out in the red rock desert didn’t help my spirits much either.  However, the last two months has been some of the funnest flying I can remember in recent years.  Not just because the XC potential was surprisingly good, or the air was perfectly clean, but rather the quality of the people that I have been lucky enough to spend it with.


The Wasatch Free Flight Group, that I started a couple years ago has morphed into a group of like-minded pilots who LOVE to fly, regardless of season.  Ones who still realize the magical fact that we are flying a garbage bag through the sky, with that accompanying feeling of childhood awe which never seems to fade.  It has gathered together a group of pilots who love to share knowledge, do not compromise safety in search of glory, but rather seek out conditions that are safe and super fun to fly in.  It is an honor to fly with you all.  As I look over the last few months, I have to smile as we have had some amazing days of flying together…not to mention pink cookies.

Eric partaking in the "Pink Cookie" tradition.
Eric partaking in the long running “Pink Cookie” tradition.

Instead of trying to recall all the adventures, all the flights, all the people, or all the cookies; I would rather share a few pictures of the memories along the way.  I apologize as I do not have photographs of everyone, but I am thankful to each of you for the friendships and opportunities we have to fly together.

Mike Trottier – Showing us how it is done. Always the first in the air.
Laszlo – Taking a quick look.
Clark Tayler – Shredding the sky over Strawberry
Photo Dec 06, 3 39 31 PM
Shane Swenson – Another “textbook” landing.
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I can’t believe it is December 5th, and I am climbing out of Grandeur.
Eric Townsend – Soaring over the inversion in Bountiful.
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Playing on the new Skywalk Tequila 4
Keenan Ryan – Headed across the mountains.
Trenton Rich – Headed out over the valley.
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Jeff, Clark and Shane – Smiles after 5 days in a row of late November flying.
Photo Dec 04, 4 40 29 PM
Clark – Still folding a glider on the grass!

It has been a wonderful autumn of flying, friends, and adventures.  As I stare down the coming of winter I am excited for the continued hiking, flying, and new adventures that await.  Anyone up for a pink cookie?

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