i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
5:22 PM: the ability to fly
sven & i went hanggliding yesterday! we got up at 6 a.m. to travel to pacific beach and got home around 11:30 p.m. after a stop for dinner. a long, exhausting day trudging up and down the dunes, but well worth it. there were just three of us: sven, me, & an older man named michael, and even with intermittent rain, the weather was pretty good. and when it wasn't, the instructor fed us homemade strawberry pie underneath the shelter of the hangglider.
hanggliding only has 3 steps:
1. get ready
2. get set
and landing, of course, but it doesn't look a whole lot different than flying 4 feet off the ground. i had been worried about the concept of landing since twisting my ankle after skydiving, but in hanggliding, especially on the beach, it's not hard at all.
we had two perfect object lessons: when one hangglider saw us below him he waved and spun completely around in the harness just to prove that you don't need hands to fly a hangglider. another hangglider unpacked his glider, launched himself in a lovely arc off a low dune but as he was landing, overcompensated for a wing imbalance, panicked, pushed the nose over his head as if he was landing, and spun himself onto his back before crashing. he crushed one of the down tubes and had to pack it up and go home.
after dinner and after the sun finally set (we're about a week away from the summer solstice), on the way home we saw cassiopeia rise in the north. that means orion's not too far behind...!