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The clouds are breaking apart, building, and skipping across the Wasatch in the wake of a three day storm.  The amount of rain that has fallen and the sudden chill in the air is a strong reminder that summer is now over.  Like dipping a hot frying pan in a puddle of cold water, the heat stored in the earth is gone, and likely not to return for a season….at least not with vigor.  That makes sense to me, after all it is nearly October and autumn is in full force, but even that season is starting to fade here in the mountains.

The last few weeks have offered some fantastically memorable stories and amazing flying.  With 8 out of 10 days in a row of some demanding flying adventures including spectacular XC flights across the Wasatch.  Some higher altitude sled runs like Mahogany and Francis, hike and fly laps, Jupiter butt kickings, and flights up and around just to view the autumn colors.  I even snuck in one more flight over the Hounds Tooth to bid my home site a fond farewell for the season.  With this storm, it is clear the BIG thermal activity is likely going to be minimal the rest of the year, and honestly I welcome the change.  I AM EXHAUSTED.  I am so looking forward to putting the XC wing away, pulling out the lighter wing and spending the next several months trudging through the snow, hiking, flying, and even strapping on a pair of skis for some ski and fly adventures.

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Clark meandering through the high mountains looking for a suitable launch site.

As I quickly reflect on the last few weeks I am flooded with memories of great flights, great friends, great adventures and the magic that we get to experience because of some fabric and string.  I have not been very good at getting the camera out much, but my friends have filled in the gaps that would otherwise be blank memories.   So I say a big thank you to them.  The adventures and stories will still continue, and I welcome the smoother air of late autumn and winter.  Now, if only I could remember where I put that lighter wing….oh, there it is!  See you in the sky soon.

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