I drove up to Wyoming for a special total solar eclipse fly-in weekend. My fellow paramotor pilots and I were treated to some very beautiful and rugged terrain. 

I arrived late Friday night to a camp full of RVs and only 1 group still awake. Wind was dead calm and the milky way was in full view. I snuggled up in the van, woke up a few hours later to hear the wind picking up, and got up at sunrise to see a flurry of activity from the wind socks 😦 so no flying that morning.

Fly-ins tend to be a little slow during the day, and especially less exciting if you can’t fly (as a spectator, or “parawaiting” for the right conditions), so Carie stayed in Denver rather than travel the 3 hours and give up an entire weekend. That said, the organizers did put together a nice “scavenger hunt” of sorts that got us out and about. There were checkpoints scattered through the area that made a 35 mile loop back to camp via the forest and rancher roads, so we got a lay of the land and checked out the local watering hole.

Buffalo grazing,

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Pastoral beauty,

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I was listening to a classic rock station and whistling along really loud to Boston, which got the cows attention,

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One even made a rude face,

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We had an early dinner so we could take advantage of prime wind conditions for an evening flight. I wasn’t in a hurry as the wind was still a little brisk, so I watched the first few guys get ready and take off before heading down to get setup. While prepping my unit, I accidentally flooded the engine… more than an hour later I finally got it running and launched right after sunset for a quick 15 minute jaunt. I was relieved it wasn’t a bigger issue that I couldn’t solve, because we had a really cool cross country flight planned for the next morning.

Morning came and the conditions were perfect. I quickly got setup and launched right after sunrise. I hung around the area before heading out on my own towards our planned rendezvous zone 5 miles away for a cup of coffee.

Looking south, Sheep Mountain,

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Our camp below, with Laramie Peak, Albany Peak, and Black Mountain on the horizon,

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Flying north over the hills and looking west at Laramie Peak,

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A bunch of us landed at the rendezvous zone for some coffee and a quick chat with a big group of local folks who came and gathered to check us out. We launched again soon after to head back, but first a few of us circled up to the top of Black Mountain to scope out the fire lookout,

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It’s the small building on top the rock to the left,

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A lady was on duty and came out to wave hello. By the time I got close enough, she had disappeared. You can see my approach on video around 19 min,

A view from above of the local watering hole we stopped at the day before (Hubbard Mountain Cupboard, light red roof at bend in the road),

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Camp from above. Can you spot Helga in the sea of RVs?

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