When I was working toward my pilot’s license, a friend of mine, a paraglider, was always chiding me: telling me I was working on the wrong thing, I ought to take up gliding, on and on. Only trouble was, every month or so, this guy would show up with his leg in a cast or his arm in a sling or a bandage wrapped around somewhere. Plus all his paragliding friends were missing body parts or on crutches or in wheelchairs. One even flew into a mountainside and got himself killed. “You guys are the worst advertisement for paragliding ever,” I told them once… which somehow they didn’t find all that funny.
However, the truth was, I was charmed by the bravado of it all and always wanted to try it out, so this past vacation in Aspen I visited Aspen Paragliding where the owner Alex took me on a flight off what I would guess was a 3,000 – 3,500 foot high mountain. And I have to admit: it was a pure thrill, an absolute joy. For those interested, here are some pix:
More seriously, I had the time of my life. I won’t take it up too regularly due to a vague yearning to live long enough to see my grandchildren, but I would like to do it solo one of these days. Anyway, I truly recommend the experience for anyone who feels he has lived quite long enough.