amazing views of our area that is the greenest I can remember. Was a
day to tiptoe and be in the right place at the right time.
It has been nearly month since that epic flight Ramy and I had doing the
Bay Tour in grand style. As we start to leave winter behind, we are
moving into the best time of year of X-C soaring out of Byron. March is
normally when things start kicking off, but this year it has been pretty
flat compared to one of the best February's on record. With lots of
rain in the forecast for the next week, I was getting disparate to
stretch my wings.
Thanks to Rolf and Ramy I decided to take a day off of work and take
advantage of the brief window before the next storm came in this
evening, timing is everything.
Getting to Byron the sky was showing promise with lots of blue in the
valley and nice cumulus clouds over the high country just as RASP had
called out. If the forecast was to pan out we could have cloud bases as
high as 6-7k. Early on it was more like 3-4k local and getting better to
the west and to the south in the Diablo range. The day was definitely
dynamic and was changing rapidly with the next front moving in producing
rain in places and good lift in others.
First thermal was over Byron at 3-4 knots up to a little over 3k. I
worked towards Diablo and Concord I found the cloud base increasing to a
little over 5k. I stretched glide to the Delta and then headed back
south in the Livermore Valley. I could see good looking clouds in San
Antonio Valley with bases near 7k and had little hope of reaching them
until I found the cloud step where I could climb above the lower base by
over 800 ft. I rode this shelf to Rel1 and then connected with the
higher bases. About this time I heard 1JH (Matt) out of Hollister doing
well near Lick Observatory. I continued in the Valley, sometimes
referred to as "Tiger Country" to near Hoover Lake before heading back
north. On the way back I flew over Lick Observatory for some cool
pictures of that classic facility surrounded by snow. By this time the
sky was getting darker as the front was coming through, I headed back to
Byron near cloud base for a easy run.
Attached are some pictures to help tell the story.
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