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By mbadley
Been going to this fly-in for almost 30 years now. Skipped a few over the years with kids on the way and what not, but not many. Had good ones, epic ones, rained out ones, etc. So here's the story:

Arrived late on Friday with Sacramento Valley popping cu's all over at St. Johns (wishing I was there) and a look over towards Lassen/Burney showed a lot there, too (wishing I'd gone up a day sooner). Arrived at the Hereford Ranch RV campground after passing the desolation of the fire season a year ago - and thanking the fickle fire gods for sparing the camp-ground. I did not come last year (just AFTER the fires) when it looked horrible with the burnt homes, structures and fire black trees - but this was bad enough with all the stumps. It will take a lot of years...

Some Ya-hoos (Mike, Bob, Dean, Jim) were up on launch until almost dark when they said 'Hey, it's soarable!' and took off. Little did they know they were in a total shear with more than abundant lift taking them up to almost 9 grand and very little going down anywhere. They fought for some time to get down and landed in strong wind coming directly from the direction of launch (headed east!) Anyway - they were safe and sound and regaling us all with their TIWTIWGD stories at the campfire that night... Saturday was a bust with light winds out of the north. A couple set up, but in the end, opted out.

Sunday looked more promising - and I thought I would get an earlier flight. Arrived up top around 3:00 and it looked good for more thermal flying. It actually was lightening up by the time I launched and had a little scratcher of a short flight to end up looking into LZ1 heading north, but wait.... heading SOUTH (and this after I had flown quite a ways south to set up that north approach. Anyway, I booked it down to the north end, hooked around the tall pines and landed nicely to await a retrieval and another try. Headed up and set up to watch Reto and Pete get off in good lift (classic glass off starting) and a continuous host of other HG, even some PG before I got off into light lift. The earlier guys were getting above and behind the ridge, some quite high - but it wasn't happening for me. Spent a half hour boating around the rim in 200 - 300 up before heading over to the LZ2 and giving up.

Upon checking out, I found out some Yokels reserved my campsite out from under me for 2016. Arrrrgggggh!!!!

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