By ☮ soaring eagle ॐ, 2016-10-23
Soaring is a sport like no other. So what is soaring and what brought me to this amazing sport to begin with?
Soaring is the act of using rising air to extend the duration, and distance of unpowered flight. An unpowered plane also known as a glider, or sailplane, is powered strictly by gravity. in other words, its forward momentum is created by the downward pull of gravity. Efficiency of a glider is expressed in l/d or lift over drag at a certain speed, which translates into glide angle. This is a ratio like 38 to 1 (the ship I fly) up to 68 to 1 or slightly better for the most cutting edge "racing gliders" these numbers translate to the number of miles flyable for every mile of altitude.
So, in other words a sailplane or glider is always going down, losing altitude, and from 1 mile up will have to land within 30-68 ish miles. So how can a glider, that would land in 20-40 minutes travel 1550 miles and stay aloft 15 hours (world record)?
As seen in this video, gliders use updrafts called thermals to climb in rising columns of air exactly as eagles do. Circling slowly in a thermal increases altitude (the beeping you hear is the electronic variometer, the faster and higher the pitch the stronger the lift source, and faster you climb. You then can turn altitude into distance, and speed.
Other lift sources exist like ridge lift and wave lift, both caused by wind flowing over the mountains. Ridge lift is used in racing to fly very fast, very long distances, very close to the mountains.
In this case, the closer you fly to the ridge the stronger the lift and faster you can fly.
Wave lift is downwind of a mountain these standing waves can carry a glider higher then any powered plane can ever fly. the perlan 2 project is a "space glider" that will soon take mountain waves to a new altitude record..to the edge of space, without power!
Gliders also offer extreme, unpowered aerobatics like this:
But for me, the greatest challenge is cross country racing:
This is my eventual dream, to compete in glider racing.
How did I get involved in soaring? I grew up just below where the gliders released from tow. All my childhood the sound of tow planes throttling back and diving after release, was the soundtrack to my childhood. At a young age, maybe 8 I took my 1st ride. At 14 about I left home and lived right next door to the airport I now fly out of.
But, it wasn't until I was in my early 20s, and broke my back, ending up in a wheelchair for life, that I discovered that very gliderport that was such a part of my life already, was also home to www.freedomswings.org a non profit that teaches people with disabilities to fly gliders
With both disabled students, and instructors, this was something that really opened my mind to the possibilities that lied ahead of me. After listening to long lists from doctors of things I would never do again, here was a group saying you can do more then you ever dreamed of doing.
It was just 2 weeks after getting out of the hospital that I took my 1st flight, and began lessons the very next day.
Due to lack of transportation, after my 1st 2 solo flights I was no longer able to fly, for nearly 20 years.
2 weeks ago I resumed my lessons! And finally I'm back in the sky where I belong.
This video is very informative into all aspects of soaring.
By ☮ soaring eagle ॐ, 2015-10-24
While hurricane Patricia was making landfall in Mexico, supporters of Donald Trump showed their true colors and reasons for supporting Trump who often makes racist and sexist comments.
YouTube had several live feeds of the hurricane Patricia making landfall with people dying on live cam. There was a live chat that was clearly divided along political lines. Although there were people from every nation, including many from Mexico scared for their lives, trump supporters took it upon themselves to drown everybody out with some of the most horrific remarks I have ever seen.
These are just a few of the remarks that I can remember, but there were thousands and they were flying by very fast.
"Donald Trump's fulfilling his promise to wipe out all Mexicans"
"thank God for Donald Trump. I hope there's less than 1000 of those dirty wet backs left when this is all over."
"I can't wait to see some dirty wet backs flying through the air."
"I'm glad Donald Trump's getting his way and will soon be rid of all of those Mexicans and when that's done we can start wiping out the N-word's too. Starting with that N-word. Obama"
There were heartfelt concerns and prayers going out from all over the world to the poor people in Mexico were already struggling and are now facing the largest storm ever. But for every person that tried to express concern, they were drowned out by dozens of trump supporters shouting racist hate, and making it clear that they wanted nothing less than total genocide.
It was the most horrific thing I had seen. I posted about it on Facebook and everybody who replied had seen the same thing from supporters taking over every chat about the tragedy in Mexico and turning it into a racist genocidal hate-fest. All fueled by Donald Trump's blatant hatred of Mexicans.
How can anybody support a candidate's whose supporters are happy to see people die?
One by one each of the lied feeds had to be taken down because of the racism. The trump supporters got their way. Nobody was able to give their heartfelt condolences to those who were suffering and in harm's way.
This year's race, it is clear that one party is taking the high road and talking about the issues and the other party is simply trying to be a bully.
By ☮ soaring eagle ॐ, 2015-06-26
In about a week my dreadlocks will be 25 years old, they started growing naturally at the Vermont rainbow gathering.
What my dreads have taught me.
Growing dreads naturally has taught me a lot of patience. It has taught me to just let things happen instead of trying to force them. It is taught me that those who will hate you just the way you look don't matter. His taught me that people's worth is deeper than just appearance as taught me that many people are very superficial and vain.
The history of my dreadlocks.
My dreadlocks began at the rainbow gathering in Vermont when I traded for some beads and stuck them in my hair, I also added a few hair wraps. This began the dread within a week, maybe week and a half.
The rest of my hair was shorter so took a little longer to dread. It may have been a couple months before the rest of started to dread.
I've never done anything to my hair except for wash it and separate the dreads that were forming too thick or combining. After 18 years, however, I stop separating completely for 4 or 5 years. Only in the last year or 2 and I began to separate occasionally only those that are already pretty thick. Because of this many dreads have formed Congo's, with as many as 6 dreads combining into one thick one. I did not however let them get very thick.
I have never palm rolled, crocheted, used wax or any dreadlocks products other than shampoo, never back combed did any root maintenance or anything else.
Since about 18 years and they started to drag on the ground. My dreadlocks are now about 8 feet long.
My dreadlocks are unique and unlike anybody else's. Growing dreadlocks naturally means they form organically. This makes every dread unique from every other dread. This makes no to dreads alike.
My dreadlocks began at the Vermont rainbow gathering which is a spiritual gathering deep in the wilderness. During that week had spent much time in a silent meditation tepee surrounded by 300 oh to 1000 pound crystals. Growing dreadlocks in this type of environment is a very spiritual experience.
I'm including a couple of older pictures, and will update with new pictures, probably around the Fourth of July weekend which is approximately when my dreads began to form 25 years ago.
This is my dreadlocks at the Wyoming gathering when they were 18 years old.
This is my dreads about last year at 24 years old.
Ok here are my dreadlocks now at 25 years, the longest is i guess about 10 feet