Happy Birthday to you! Hey, I've got a 1 in 365 chance that I actually wished you a happy birthday. Better odds than if I played that blasted lotto. Bastards. I baked you this cake. I hope you like it. It's got a cow, a ram, and a pig nursing 5 piglets. Bon appetite! Happy Cake!
This post is in July, but I guess that doesn't matter really. You see, my wife gave me a gift certificate to go SOARING OVER BOZEMAN-ozeman-ozeman in a glider plane. I was super excited when I got it, two years ago. It sat on my desk mocking me over that time. The only excuse I could muster was that I wanted the weather to be perfect so I could get some awesome photos from the day. It turns out, any day would have been just fine, just fine indeed. I finally got out there yesterday and boy oh boy, what a treat it was! I'll be putting together a video of the trip for your birthday present. You can watch it before or after your birthday, it's the thought that counts. Happy Soaring!
Unless you're a glider pilot, or you have an awesome spouse who gives you the gift of SOARING OVER BOZEMAN-ozeman-ozeman in a glider plane, then you probably wouldn't know that you have to push the plane onto the runway. They don't have any power to the wheels. So the first rule of fight club in a glider plane is to push your glider out of the hangar and onto the runway. I only had my wide angle 10mm lens with me, so these are bit exaggerated, but the wingspan is like 64 feet! Happy Fight Club!
The second rule of fight club in a glider plane is to put on your seat back/parachute, just in case, you know? It actually had amazing lumbar support, so I didn't mind my junk getting a little squashed before I sat down. Happy Lumbar!
Greg, my pilot for the ride, is a 45 year veteran of gliding. He knows his way around a fight club glider plane or two for sure. Happy Pilot!
The third rule for fight club in a glider plane is to pack your ass into that thing. I'm 6'3" and tip the scales at 215, so I had to squeeze perhaps a bit more than the average glider passenger. But once I was in there I was pretty comfy, which is good because my arms felt they had the mobility of a T-Rex's. Look at a T-Rex, they have very small arms, trust me. I had access to my Nikon D300 and my flipHD, which is all I needed, and this lamp, and this book of matches, and this remote control. That's all I need. Happy Jerk!
We had two choices to get airborne. 1: we could wait for a serious head wind and lean like hell; or B: we could hook up to the tow plane. Which brings me to the fourth rule of fight club in a glider plane, hook your glider up to a tow plane dude. This was perhaps the coolest thing I had done all day up to that particular point in time. Greg and I are sitting on the runway in the glider plane we had pushed there. Then Ursula rolls past us in her tow plane with a rope connected from her plane to ours. The rope starts to straighten out, then bam, we're rolling. We were off the ground in about 40 seconds! We were actually up off the ground behind the tow plane before the tow plane was off the ground. It's no wonder these things can glide so long, they are ready to be up there, like Jordan in the '89 dunk contest. Happy MVP!
After our ride up the ridge we set ourselves free from the tow line and found the thermals that got us up to over 11,000 feet. It's really an amazing feeling to be totally gliding like a bird, with no engine noise, kids crying or drink carts hitting my knees while I'm trying to sleep. The cockpit has a 270 degree view which adds to that feeling of freedom. At one point after we had climbed up to our cruising altitude a juvenile bald eagle totally flew over us and checked us out. It was so amazing! Happy Eagle!
We watched a storm build up just to our east. We were so close to the clouds, I could have reached out and touched them. Happy Clouds!
I got the chance to fly the plane too! I totally didn't, but I did put my hand on the stick and pretend like I was flying it. Either way, it was really cool. If you ever get the chance to do this or you've thought about it and weren't sure, then follow my 4 rules of fight club in a glider plane and do it! Happy Gliding!
Speaking of birthdays, this was a birthday onion we gave to my wife on her 32nd birthday. She's one of those people that doesn't really care about their birthday or christmas, or anniversaries. So when I gave this to her I wasn't sure what to expect, she cried, because the onion was freshly cut. Happy Onion!
This is Dave. Dave got super drunk at my 30th birthday party. For my 30th birthday party we had brats and beer. Dave passed out before the party was over. This is how you get "BALLS" written on your forehead in sharpie marker. Bad idea Dave. Happy Balls.