Wednesday, January 28, 2009

::soaring with birds::

I don't have many regrets in my life; but one of the things I've always regretted is not trying Paragliding when I had the chance.

Who doesn't dream about flying, soaring with the birds? I've long thought that some day I want to try sky-diving. But as I get older, I realize that there's just something inherently WRONG about jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. Paragliding seems not only considerably safer, but much more like actually FLYING as opposed to just hurtling toward the ground at 180 mph.

When Eric and I lived in Pacific City and owned our coffee-shop/bookstore, every summer Saturday morning a group of Paragliders would meet at Migrations for coffee and to establish their plan for the day. Pacific City, specifically Cape Kiwanda, was a GREAT place to Paraglide due to the safety of the sand-dunes and the wind currents coming up off the ocean. One young couple were the instructors, and they told me that they would take me up for a tandem-flight any time I wanted, for free, for "allowing" them to use our shop as their meeting place. At first I was busy working every Saturday morning...and then I was pregnant....and then Eric convinced me that I would be a baaaad mother to risk orphaning our small, helpless child.
Whatever. It totally would have been worth it.

But I'll NEVER forget this one day: It was during what would turn out to be our last year in Pacific City. It was Mother's Day and Eric was working. So Anna (who was two and a half at the time) and I climbed up to the top of the highest sand-dune overlooking the ocean. It was a glorious, uncharacteristically warm and sunny day. We could see for what seemed like hundreds of miles out to sea. We wandered down to a little saddle between sand dunes where there was no wind at all and it was just the perfect temperature. We were laying on our backs, looking up at the beautiful blue sky....when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a Paraglider with a beautiful rainbow-canopy came soaring right over our heads. Anna squeeled with delight and the guy gave us a big smile and wave...and he was gone...soaring out over the Pacific ocean. It just felt sooooo magical.

Shortly after that we moved away from Pacific City forever....and I never got to take the instructors up on their offer.

Someday? Now that Anna is able to feed herself and, according to her, doesn't even NEED me anymore? I am going to Paraglide.

Anyone want to join me??


Dee said...

Go for it ! Its time you started doing some of the things you've always wanted to do and haven't--yet.

That would be a glorious feeling. However, it just could be that you might not want to do it only once.

robyn said...

I think I'd paraglide with you, if I could.

But I've NEVER believed I'd jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I've always said I might not mind the fall, but there's no way I could make myself jump. Somebody would have to throw me out. And that's probably not the way they like to play it.

Jodi said...

I'd do that in a heartbeat!!!!! Now that would be waaaaay more fun than getting our noses pierced!

Oscar Meier said...

Pacific City is a little less without Migrations. A tandem ride sounds pretty risk free way to go. I'd do it if I were human.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I feel ill just looking down in heights from a movie character's point of view, so I'm going to say no thanks personally. But you go for it if that's what you want to do!

Andrew Beevers said...

I've been paragliding for almost 20 years, no regrets! Depending on chosen location and weather, paragliding offers either moments of high adrenaline or just pure, floaty relaxation. Usually it's somewhere in between. If that sounds like your cup of tea, go for it!

Here's a flavour from my blog of paragliding on a good day.

Currently the World Championships are on in Mexico, the USA team blog
has some cool video interviews.

Go for it and good luck!