Sam, Tipsy and I arrived in California late Friday night. Saturday I unpacked and settled in, and Sunday Sam took me hang gliding. He wasted no time getting me to Do California.
Sam has been hang gliding every available weekend since arriving in California. He would send me videos of him soaring in the air. He said he didn't get very high or fly for very long, maybe ten feet for ten seconds. I had no desire to do that. It looked cool, but also seemed way to scary. I'm not afraid of heights or flying, but I am afraid to tie myself to a big kite.
On my first California Saturday, Sam told me he wanted to hang glide on Sunday. I told him, that'll be fun for him and to do it. But he wanted me to go along. He signed me up for a lesson and we went to bed early so we could get up early to drive an hour to Tres Pinos.
The drive to the hang gliding site was lovely, not too much traffic and there were mountains! I don't think I'll ever get over seeing mountains. We drove through Gilroy, the Garlic Capital of the World, which smells amazing and Hollister (not just a clothing store).
I had visions of showing up and flying. That didn't happen. We had to walk up a gradual hill what seemed like a mile, but was probably less, to get to the hang gliders. I watched Sam put his hang glider together and talked to the nice guy running the show. Then it was my turn. The first lesson was to put the hang glider together. TBH, it was boring. There were people sky diving above us and I was more interested in watching them fall. Hearing their chutes open was neat. I never thought about the sound a parachute makes. Also, I wasn't sure I wanted to get into a hang glider assembled by newbies.
I told the instructor that I was nervous to fly high, and he said we won't get very high. And he added that most people think learning goes too slow. I assured him I was happy for it to go slow.
After the assembly lesson, we learned to run down a hill without too much movement. Reminded me of my freshman marching band days. Then there were more lessons about turning, and landing, and then I got to the point where I wanted to FLY! I was bored with the lessons. I wanted to do what Sam was doing, which was being launched into the air going really high. I was on the ground, flying for a few seconds at a time, which was just as fun, but Sam was in the air for minutes! The instructor was right, the learning was too slow.
It was a fun experience. I'll go again and one day I'll soar. Check out the pictures here.
If you are interested in hang gliding, check out Mission Soaring Center in Tres Pinos.