Eagle Paragliding field trip to Marshall

A fun afternoon flying Marshall Saturday, The Eagle van rolled out off the Mesa a little after 12:00 and arrived at Andy Jackson Flight Park right on time at 2:30. Our club President and Vice President, the awesome duo of Jon Blake and Dave Koski were already there along with the other Dave’s (Bader and Hogan), our students Bryan and Alex and our friend Stan. Bryan Rice pulled in shortly after and the group including Juho and I were ready to head up to launch. I ran into our friend Greg Hunter who had just landed in the LZ and was camping with his kids. He graciously offered to be our driver which would give him an opportunity to show his kids the launch area front he top. The Eagle Van left the LZ fully loaded.

It was great to see Enleau as we pulled up to launch. He had just top landed after, according to him, an awesome 2 hour flight. He gave us some of his local knowledge and we walked down to the hang glider launch area for our preflight. Conditions on launch were perfect. Rob Mckenzie had just arrived to fly a tandem and made us feel welcomed.

Jon, Bryan Rice, Stan and the 3 Dave’s got off pretty quickly and had no trouble climbing up in the house thermal. There seemed to be lift everywhere. Alex and Bryan got ready and both had nice launches and great flights. Bryan is a brand new P2 with very little air time. He did an amazing job. The air was a little turbulent in the beginning of his flight but as the sun got lower in the sky, the conditions really mellowed. Bryan began to feel the thermals and was building up his bump tolerance a bit. He had a great flight of over an hour and 20 minutes and landed perfectly in the beautiful grassy Marshall LZ. Juho and I got off a little late and conditions had changed a bit. Juho had to struggle a bit to get up but finally made it out, got high and played around for at least a couple hours. I was a bit luckier and got up right at launch. It seemed like you could go anywhere and stay up.

Everyone was thrilled with their flights but no one was more thrilled than David Hogan. David flew longer than any of us yesterday and had a great flight lasting over 2 and a half hours. Prior to his flight yesterday I believe his longest flight was 30 minutes.

After flying I ran into Owen and Len who had given up their day of flying to work on the deck at the swimming hole. If you haven’t been to Marshall or haven’t been there in a long time, it’s well worth the trip. Owen and Len have done an amazing job. Owen took Jon, Koski and I on the tour to show us around. The man made swimming hole is unbelievable. The running water is very refreshing. There are deck chairs in the water for chilling out on a hot day after flying. Beautiful koi spend their time swimming around. Len and Owen are in the process of finishing off a 2 story sunning deck overlooking the swimming hole. The campgrounds are incredible and they even have showers.

After we packed up, everyone headed back towards home. Juho and I stuck around for a while to visit. Owen taught me how to play a new game with wooden blocks and dowels. I think they call it Kings. Before we headed out, Enleau invited us to share some dinner. It was a really fun day. We are going to have to do that again soon. Thanks for getting everyone together Koski. That was good thinking.


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