Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Camping/Flying/Road Trip

Scott and I left for a hang-gliding/camping road trip across the country last Wednesday. We soared over Mt. Nebo in Arkansas on Thursday, then drove non-stop to Denver where I got to over 10,000 ft launching off of Lookout Mtn. in Golden on Friday. Saturday we drove up to Dinosaur, CO and after finding launch and setting up camp, we spent the next two days camping and waiting on good weather. After a coin toss, Scott won the chance to fly first. He had an awesome flight and I drove down to pick him up(it takes an hour to get down to the LZ). After getting back to launch, it started rain/sleet/hailing and we had to wait it out in the car for 2 hours. Finally the weather cleared as we started a fire for dinner and the sky opened up for a great view of the stars with the milky way visible from horizon to horizon. Simply breathtaking. Monday the rain finally moved out and I launched around 1:30pm. Everything worked out great and I flew for over an hour above the most beautiful terrain I have ever seen. After landing we drove to Draper, Utah where we set up camp on the South Side at the Point of the Mountain.

After some advice from Jeff O'brien, I set my alarm for 4:30am and woke up to steady south winds and set up my glider. I launched in the smooth pre-dawn air and flew around watching the sun-rise over Salt Lake city. The wind picked up a little so the paragliders didn't show up and I had the ridge to myself most of the time. This place is an aerial playground. You can definitely let the monkey play a little. After packing up we left for California. We are planning on getting to the coast tomorrow and visiting Fort Funston for a hop. Then we are heading down to Big Sur in hopes that the fog doesn't come in. Finally, we are scheduled to fly Yosemite this weekend. Obviously I am very excited about that one. So I have left a lot of the great details out including near golfball sized hail that hit us in Golden, CO after my flight, the tornado that developed 3/4 mile behind launch at Dinosaur (I have video I can upload later), and the batten that I broke on my wing. (Thank you Wills Wing for overnighting me a new one!!) I hope to share some of these things on other posts. Scott and I are using our cameras and I hope to put together a video of the trip on the way home so stay tuned. In the mean time, here is a small sample of the adventure. Check out the short clip below.

3 comments:

Dean said...

Nice!

ken said...

Eric: you are probably one of the most incredibably cool people I've ever met. You, your family, your business, your Web site, (heah, your glider) ... I have a lot of respect for what you do and how you make it all work. Keep the blog updates coming. Ken Berry

Eric said...

Wow! Thanks for the wonderful compliment. Hope to see you this weekend.