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Glider Flight over the Napa Valley

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I recorded this video long ago, mid 80's, to celebrate the Calistoga Glider Port in the Napa Valley. Me and my friends would either ride our bicycles the 25 miles from Napa to where Highway 29 turns east before the ascent of Mt. St. Helena. Although an extinct volcano, flight simmers or pilots know that deep in the earth, the heat from that volcanic area created the Geysers Power Plant, not very well known among alternative energy solutions. Enjoy the Video - if it gets boring, go forward, it gets pretty interesting towards the middle and the end, no spoilers though... :pilot:


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Calistoga is where I learned to fly. Gliders, because I was too young to get a powered lisence. I was 14 when I started, and turned 15 the day I soloed. A week later, I had my cert.

My father had arranged that I could work at the glider port for flight and instructor time. Work I did, too. It was hard for a scrawny, 14 year old kid, shoving gliders around the field, helping the tourists into the planes and strapping them in, carrying ballast weights around, etc etc. It got easier as I did more and more work, though.

But it was the flying I was in love with. Had an awesome instructor, all I know is everyone called him Goldie. He didn't let me make a mistake more than once either. I never knew when he would reach forward and smack my head with his yardstick, but it really sank the lessons in.

I lived on the road out to the geyser power plant, and petting zoo, with my grandmother, and rode my bike to work every day. There was a girl lived next door, Laura Longoria. Most beautiful girl I had seen in my life. Still stands out in mind, but I was too busy working and flying for dating then. Too darned tired at the end of the day, too :rolleyes:


Good times! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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