I think it says a lot about our personalities that I marked my morning flights on my hand with a pen, while Tyler emailed them to himself so he could make a database of them that will eventually show markers on a google map. Either way, we got a ton of practice in! And that's a good thing, considering it's our last day at Black Hawk!
As usual, our morning session was over too quickly, and we hid from the sun in the cool, darkness of our hotel room. In the evening, we returned for one last, long flight. Joe had me take off on my own! I successfully launched, then did lots of laps of the airfield, practicing idling and swooping in for low fly-bys. I also did a "touch and go" where my wheels came down as if for a landing, but then I powered up again, taking off to do another lap. It was SO fun.
And then, unexpectedly, Joe let us fly together towards New Hogan Lake as the sun was setting. I wish we had pictures or video of the flight, but instead we'll just have to remember it for all time. Golden light bathing dusty green mountains, rippling on the fractal edges of the lake. Birds made frothy trails on the water. Of course, from our height, the "birds" were actually motor boats!
After awhile, I began to feel nervous. I was far enough, high enough, and suddenly I very much wanted to be on earth. After a bit of radio-ing back and forth, Tyler and I high-tailed it back to base, where Joe had me land on my own. While it wasn't as perfect as I would have liked, I totally nailed it.
As I walked my glider over the dusty orange field to where Joe and the guys were seated at a picnic table, I was greeted with cheers, high-fives, and hugs. WAHOO! Ten flights down! The guys shared their last supper with us—delicious grilled meat, beans straight from a can, and potato salad from the grocery store. We drank beer, told stories, and began to realize we'd miss each other. I'm so glad we had such a good group!
I wish we didn't have to leave, but I'm excited to hang out with Lian!
Goodbye Black Hawk!! We can't wait for our machines to arrive!