Another picture from soaring in the Tetons. This is the L-13’s yaw string pressed against the clean clear canopy. The yaw string is an amazing bit of low technology in high places. Aircraft instrument panels can gauge safe, efficient, coordinated flight, but taking your eyes off the scenery and situation (including possible traffic) is something to minimize when flying a glider. Thus the yaw string: this bit of yarn taped to the canopy tells you exactly what you need to know. If the loose, tufty end isn’t centered, if it’s pointing right or left, then that foot is pressing the rudder too hard. Take foot off tuft. Here, with instructor Sam Lea flying, the yaw string was nicely centered while I did my photo shoot. Teton Aviation with its mountain glider operation offers a fantastic experience whether you’re a pilot or not. If you’re a pilot you learn about mountain soaring. If not the Husky tow plane takes you and Sam directly into the high Tetons and you glide back out again through the scenery. Take a look at the pictures on their Web site!
Right now this picture delights me for another reason too. It was still winter in the Tetons – so nice and cool and snowy. I came back to a Houston June with temperatures pushing 100 degrees, stuck between a devil of a drought and the hurricane-brewing deep blue sea.