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Flying Support for the Trans-Sierra Adventure Race

October, 2011

A flying friend, Allan, invited me to help fly support with him for the Gold Rush Adventure race (www.goldrushar.com).  The race is a five day race that starts on the east side of the Sierras in beautiful Bridgeport and ends up in the western Sierra foothill town of Columbia. The teams can’t use GPS, and must make their way hiking, swimming, biking and kayaking.  It is a grueling race to say the least.

Flying support mainly meant taking photographers up to get some video footage of the course.  Allan and I did a couple of flights one evening, but I suggested to the head photographer that if he really wanted some good shots then we should meet in the morning just before dawn for a sunrise flight over the crest of the Sierras.  Allan and I got up early and headed out to the airport in the dark, and at first no one showed up.   But a photographer did show up, and it was one of the most spectacular flights I’ve done.

I was concentrating on giving him a good photography platform and also keeping the plane away from the rocks so I didn’t get any photos myself.  But two moments were especially memorable, and I can’t wait to see the video.  One was a slow 360 that I did near the crest of the sierras just as the sun was coming up.  The other was a steep power-off descent down the Twin Lakes canyon next to Matterhorn peak.

Bridgeport Airport

Thanks to Bill for these evening photos taken from my plane:

Bridgeport Meadows

Sierra Crest at Dusk

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