Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back from the west

Our trip out to the southwestern corner of Michigan was a bust, as far as rockets went.

When we got there on Friday, which was experimental motor/rocket day, they hadn't even bothered to set up the launch equipment. The ceiling (cloud cover) was far too low and therefore too dangerous to be sending up rockets. And it was raining.

On Saturday Sam and I got out there about 15 minutes before the scheduled start, but we knew things weren't promising. It was raining on the drive there, and although the ceiling was higher, the wind was kicking up and the forecast was for 15 to 20 mph winds with gusts to 30 - far to high to launch anything with any power!

When we arrived there were a dozen or so people deciding what to do. The place where the launch is usually set up in the farmers field was a bad position because the wind was blowing from the north. This means any rockets set off would blow back over us and into the tree area. So a decision was made to move up the road a bit- which gave us some more recovery room. The team set up one 'low power' (motors A through D - basically estes type kit rocket motors) and one mid-range rack.
Sam set off two low level rockets (A 'snitch' and a 'pizza' rocket), the first two of the day. He also tried to get up a slightly larger rocket on a low motor, but there was a problem with the motor.
In this two hour period we spent more time in our car because of passing rain showers, and even two bouts of hail! As we went along the wind was getting worse and worse.

We gave up at noon. Only 4 or 5 rockets, all little ones, had been set off in those two hours. Jennifer's mother and foster daughter came up to watch the launch, as did the entire rest of the immediate family. They never even came out to the flight field (too cold and windy).

But the trip was not an entire bust. We had a good time seeing Jennifer's parents (her dad came up Friday PM), going out to dinner with them, and swimming in the pool in the hotel (Friday and Saturday). We also got to visit Red Arrow Hobbies, near our hotel. The owner of Red Arrow, Dave, comes out to the Jackson Launches as a vendor, and we appreciate his wares and his company. In fact the only time we saw people from our Jackson Club was at Red Arrow! Sam was able to stock up for future launches.

For Sam it was a big disappointment, but he had a pretty good attitude about it all - nothing he could do about it!

I have a highlight video I have to download to my computer, and upload to Youtube. When I do, I will let you know. It is probably only 3 minutes long (not alot of highlights this launch).

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