Flying, bonfire, wheelies, zipline, hot dogs, beer, old friends and new friends. This is definitely the recipe for a good time.
Things started early for Mariyan and I. After unpacking I quickly bucked up a downed tree for firewood with the help of John. I figured this was a necessity with the cold that was forecast.
Ken and Kris were the next to arrive with their big rig. They also arrived early to help prep for the day. Thanks guys!
After that it was a constant stream of past and current students rolling in. Many there to fly, others simply to be apart of the event.
It was wonderful seeing everyone again as well as meeting the kids and significant others that came along to join in the fun. This sport attracts a really great group of people.
The day reminded me of my wedding, so many people I haven’t seen in a while and I would loved to have spent more time with every one of them but unfortunately there is only so much time in the day.
Kiting on the runway was the first activity for most, just to get a feel for the strong breeze. I was the first to leave the ground. The goal was to test the water before opening the pool for everyone else to jump in. It proved to be windier than most felt comfortable with, so we delayed a couple hours before the mass launch.
While waiting for the winds to settle a bit we headed over to the tow road to give a little high wind paraglider towing demonstration. With the strong headwinds Mariyan and Dimity were able to get pretty high before releasing from the tow line. With the lack of thermals, the flights were relatively short but the boys made the most of them by performing some steep maneuvers for the group of onlookers. With the strong winds their landings looked like they were on an invisible elevator, slowly descending straight down.
Then it was back to the airfield to fire up the paramotors. Once again I was the first to take off to ensure conditions were acceptable for the others. After an impromptu air show for the folks on the ground I coaxed the brave pilots into the sky. Scott and Keith were the first to join me. This happened to be Keith’s 1,000th flight!! Wow!
After Scott and Keith went up without incident the rest of the pilots took to the somewhat calmer sky. I’m afraid to try and name everyone that flew that evening for fear of forgetting someone. Let’s just say it was a lot. Mariyan even took up a couple potential new students on tandem flights. Greg and Josiah both took nice long flight with Mariyan and even controlled the wing for a bit. So cool!
Fun was definitely had by all, all that flew and all that didn’t.
We will most certainly be having many more events like this.
The next gathering will be sometime this summer when the air will hopefully be much warmer. We may even make it an overnight as John and Joel have graciously invited us to camp at the airfield.
Special thanks to Joel, John and their family for permitting us to play at their beautiful home. You guys are awesome!!
I hope to see you all at the next gathering!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict