Paragliding is incredible. I can’t say enough how really really cool it is. I’m sure it’s hard work for the pilot, but as a passenger it felt like floating gently in the sky, the whole world spread below you and no other human to disrupt it.
My pilot, Rusten, was a bit of a dare devil as I suspect most paragliding pilots are. His goal was to get as high as possible and he spent a lot of time fighting with the air currents to achieve that goal. The highest you can get while paragliding is cloud level because you are using the same air as the clouds are for lift. Don’t ask me to explain more. It’s some combination of wizardry and science that Rusten understood but was lost on me. He achieved his goal, he got us into the clouds. Did you know that clouds have a smell? It was the first thing I noticed when we dipped inside. The smell is unique and faintly metallic. And then my mind exploded with the realization that I was smelling a cloud. It’s white and silent inside, cut off from everything, it doesn’t even feel like you are moving. Peaceful and exhilarating all at once. Rusten described our flight as “dancing with the clouds” which is fitting and far more poetic that I could have described it.
We even flew with the eagles for a bit. They came along side the paraglider and darted in and out in circular patterns.
After realizing that I wasn’t going to freak out, Rusten started to do some acrobatics. Flips and turns over the lake. He called them “Wicked Spirals” in heavily accented English.
Smelling clouds, flying with eagles, wicked spirals; what’s not to love with Paragliding?