Chicagoland Paramania

Aug 16, 2007 Naperville, IL: Saturday

This was the weekend I'll try to remember the summer by. If only they could all be so grand.

It started easy enough—a newsgroup note to the local BBS about flying at the polo field, one of our Chicagoland favorites. Then it blossomed.

It is true that we northerners have a 10 minute flying window. Cold settles in for an eternity then June blooms with colored nylon as we all head skyward. Opportunity here doesn't knock often so, when it does, we respond with vigor.

Warmth was forecast. I love morning warmth—even with 65° air at ground level, only a few dozen feet high it's 75°. Flying in the Midwest during these conditions is magical.

I worked all day Friday, arriving home well past midnight. But the plan was for several of us to meet at the Polo field for a sunrise launch. After putzing around, working on my motor and loading everything up, it was 4am. I was in bed by 4:15am. We were meeting at 6 am so my alarm was set for 5am. Ouch, this would be a 45 minute nap.

A faint ringing crept into my dream. When it dawned on me that it wasn't part of my dream I was further confused because it didn't sound like the alarm. And why was it light out? That's not right. When I finally found the phone, it was Harry calling "where are you?"

I'd overslept.

Thank god he called or I'd have slept through the whole morning. I jumped into my clothes and headed out. Bummer though, everybody would be airborne but me and I'd miss that perfect morning light when flying and pictures look their best.

Alas, when I arrived, nary a soul was there. Cool! I'm not the only one who overslept. As I set up others started trickling in and we started trickling aloft. Dave and I got an early flight in while the morning fog lingered in the low spots. It wasn't the layered variety but it sure made for some awesome pictures.

Getting a cross country together is difficult. Morning calm, dewy ground and warm air conspire against the launcher and a few pilots struggled. You just hate leaving anyone behind.

Lance and I headed westward for a cruise and found some interesting spots. Man, what you can do with a PPG is amazing. Exploration just doesn't get any better than this. You'll see what I mean in the pictures.

Row One: 1) This was the most amazing launch attempt I've seen. He started going west, recovered from a frontal (too much A's) then wound up almost making it going east before he slipped on wet grass. 2) Lance and Scott. 3) Eugene.

Row Two: Lance and Scott just south of the polo field. 2) David McGrinny. No, he's not happy. 3) Eugene launching his ancient DK Whisper. 4) Scott launching while Lance looks on.

Row Three: Jay looking north at the field "I have all this room, lets go fly!" 2 & 3) Lance peruses the houses and golf course. 4) Lance heading for the quarry.

Row Four: 1) Lance does a little foot-tap on top of the sand pile. 2) Scott beaming. He's also a professional pilot that apparently doesn't get enough! 3) Dave and I nabbed the early air. Magical. Music was playing in my head all the while, too. 4) Eugene launching.


Polo Field People. This group materialized on Saturday morning in a combination of perfect weather and availability. Harry Rosset came by but didn't get to fly. His place, Harryport, is only about 15 minutes away from here.

© 2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!