I was a Live Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Dulles Annex, Udvar-Hazy Center,
March 25, 2006

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Taylor Farm February 6

What a great day on the training hill! Arrived at Taylor Farm about 1:30 to see Mark C setting up, Bob P breaking down, Matt I surveying the slope, and John M running two students through the paces on the flats at the bottom of the hill. Matthew and Karen arrived shortly after I did. A neighbor came by to watch, and Mrs. Taylor came out into the backyard to visit.

I have been flying Taylor Farm for about 15 years, and had never met Mrs. Taylor before today. What a lovely lady! She told us of an artist friend in Fredericksburg, who she has encouraged to come paint a scene of gliders on the hill. Last week she hosted the local Boy Scout District Camporee, with 600 tents and multitudinous Scouts on the farm; her artist friend has painted a view of the campers in place. She described it as a Grandma Moses style painting.

News flash: Taylor Farm no longer has cows! Mrs. Taylor had her son take them all to auction. That ought to make spot landing practice better next spring and summer.

Back to flying: Winds were light, but all over the place. Temperature was sweet - most of us were in (long) shirtsleeves all afternoon. None of that Smithsburg snow for us! We would wait for cycles in the right direction, and then all hurry off the hill. Matt, Matthew and Karen were all flying their bags, while the rest of us had our plumbing out and in use. Bob had arrived at 11:00 a.m., and after four flights, declared victory and headed home, departing as I was finishing set up on the Pulse.

I managed four flights on the Pulse. Not great flights, but safe and I was in the air. Others had from five to seven flights. Matthew bummed the U2 from Mark for a couple of biwingual flights late in the day. John M even got in six or seven between student flights. Students Dan (yes, another one!) and Joe seemed to be enjoying the day, Joe flying from 1/3 up the hill and Dan from the top.

As sunset approached, the wind picked up and went solidly catabatic, denying John the last flight of the day. Sunset over the distant trees, red sun sinking behind them was beautiful.

Matthew, Mark, Karen, and I stopped at Hard Times Cafe on US 1 in Fredericksburg for dinner. Our arrival brought the customer count to 6, so we almost outnumbered the staff! I guess any place not a sports bar is gonna be dead on game night. We enjoyed chili, fish, poppers, beer, and wine, and declared the day a resounding success.