4-04 Red Flag's Greatest Hits (March 21-26, 2004)

Marsdrifter and I turned onto the ET Highway about 8 PM Sunday, March 21. We camped in his camper that night and got up around 7 AM Monday. The Black Bus came barreling down GLR about 7:50, quite a bit later than I've seen it before. Oh well, who wants to hurry on a Monday morning?

We went on to Rachel and hooked up to power and water behind the Inn. In a camper next door and in a couple of the rental trailers, there were about a dozen sullen cowboys staying for spring calf branding. I don't know what put burrs under their saddles but they were the most unfriendly group I've run into for awhile.

Lone Wolf and BlackF150 were correct in their reports in that most of the action occurred at night. There was only 1 daytime session starting anywhere from 2-3 PM and ending by 5. There were 1 or more jets tearing around each morning. Until Thursday, I never saw 1 close enough to identify it as a F-22. Thursday there were 2 Raptors out playing tag around the mountains, flying over Area 51 air space and in 1 instance, 1 flew low over Rachel and tipped over on his wing to give me a look at his underbelly sans rockets, bombs or pylons. 1 Raptor was flying South to North and when he flew over the other Raptor flying West to East, fired 2 flares at his buddy.

Tuesday night, Marsdrifter, BlackF150 and I were sitting in lawn chairs at the south end of Rachel watching the night games and listening to BlackF150's scanner. In the middle of the usual chatter among pilots, ground crew and ATC's a stern male voice intoned "Stay out of the container!" You could hear 100 internal voices respond "Yessir!"

Over the 5 days we were there, we saw the usual parade of colorful folks from around the world there to visit the Inn and watch the show including 3 from Germany, 1 from Switzerland, 1 from Austria and others from Chicago, Seattle and a tour group from Atlanta with a tour operator from LV. I was privileged to meet hank and Joerg face to face and see our old friend and Sherpa, the Oracle of Rachel, Chuck Clark.

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