Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Adventure #40, the grand po-ba: Paragliding

Drum roll, please...
Here it is, the grand finale, number 40, a lifelong dream... on July 7, 2011 I flew off the side of the point of the mountain solo with a bright yellow paragliding chute over my head and nothing but air under my feet! It was incredible, better than I imagined!!!

This is something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Every time we drove from our home in Layton to visit Grandma Harkins in Pleasant Grove, I eagerly looked out the window as we approached the point of the mountain. Watching all the colorful hang gliders sailing overhead stirred something inside me and cemented a desire to join them. Each time, I thought, "I'm going to do that!"

My surety diminished briefly when I was between the ages of six and eight and I shared my dream with my parents. After driving by, I blurted out, "I'm going to learn how to do that!" My Mom wisely and calmly responded, "Not as long as you live with me:)." Then when I had moved out and mentioned it to Todd he said, "Not as long as you're on my insurance:)"

Well, I no longer live with my parents and I found out that it doesn't matter whose insurance I'm on because paragliding, scuba diving, and sky diving are excluded anyway :) so it is game on.

We are sooo excited we just can't stand it! Aimie, Margie, Tonya, Tracy, Doug, John, Liberty

First Ken from Two-Can Fly (801) 572-3414) suited us up.
This is a funny video of me trying to figure out my pack the first time. I know, it is amazing I made it through without killing myself.

After our introductory instructions, they took us up on the hill just far enough for us to do the chicken run down. We looked like a flock of geese trying to take off.

Each time, we had to gather our chutes at the bottom of the hill and hike a little higher up the mountain side.

Aimie and her lovely new square dancing skirt
Tracy, laying out his shoot for the next run

Me, trying to keep all my chords untangled

By the third run down we caught our first air. I was so giddy with excitement that I forgot to quit running until the instructor came over the radio, "Uhm, you can quit running now."

Those first moments are magical when you realize you are actually soaring through the air. There is no way of explaining the elation. There is no engine, no significant structure, no other person at the controls; it is just you, a chute, and the air. I'm addicted!
After that there was no stopping us, we climbed higher and higher up the hill each time until by end of the morning we were 2/3 the way up and would have continued even higher if the winds hadn't picked up and the clock hadn't ticked so fast.

Wow, what a perfect morning, what a great way to celebrate my birthday. I would highly, highly, highly recommend anyone try paragliding who has ever wanted to and Ken with the company Two-can Fly is great. Skip the tandem, I think that would have been boring now, and go for the introductory lesson that lets you feel the air beneath your own wings.
When are we going again?!


  1. you guys are totally awesome and such an inspiration! Thanks for all these fun posts! I know the 40 didja's are over, but I still am waiting to hear what comes next ;)

  2. That picture of the 4 chutes in a row is so cool, you should get it framed :) Looks like it was an excellent birthday!!