I realized, after that last post, that I have only been talking about cycling and running. I decided I needed to at least mention the sport that has been #1 in my life for the last 36 years.
I started flying hang gliders in 1975. I have continued in that sport ever since with a few periods of inactivity. Flying is a sport that lets you participate with friends but it is for the most part a singular activity. I find I am drawn to sports that require you to concentrate on the task while paying great attention to many different things going on at the same time. It forces you to discipline your mind to take in lots of data and to make decisions quickly and decisively. You are moving in three dimensions, while reading the weather, looking for lift and maintaining your flight based on the power of mother nature alone. The sights sounds and experience are unparalleled
The last flight I had was Labor Day Weekend in Indian Valley. I went up there with friends to fly a site I hadn't flown in several years. It is one of my favorite flying sites and a great place to spend a weekend. I've had many wonderful hours soaring at altitude with my good friends, ending the day with dinner in Greenville accompanied by good cold beer. This weekend was no exception although there was a special task that needed accomplished.
The first day we went to the mountain it was later in the day and my fellow pilots all decided to spend the afternoon working on clearing all the overgrown brush on launch. The launch is a very shallow slope and can be difficult. It is easy to underestimate the difficulty and your launch technique must be right. Too many doink around and wind up breaking gliders and body parts up there.
The next day found us arriving at launch a little earlier than many. We set up and didn't waste any time. My launch was good and I caught lift right away, taking it up to 8K quickly. I flew around up and down the ridge but never made the jump across the gap. A storm front started blowing in and several of us decided to leave the air before it got there. A wise decision as several people reported severe turbulence. Landing was not good but not bad either. Bottom line was nothing was bent, broken or damaged.
I will continue to fly as long as I can still launch a hang glider. It is something I love and I cannot imagine not flying anymore.
- Just a guy on lifes journey
- Vacaville, California
- I started this to chronicle our first tandem bike tour. Not sure where it will go from here. I do know that where I go I hope Deborah goes. "Life is not just a destination but a journey. While the expedition can be long and arduous, it can be full of beauty and pleasure as well"