Glide path

The second of two birdmen sails in for a landing.

Some days it’s not about the bike.

No, that’s not me up there, banking in for a landing at the Menaul trailhead yesterday afternoon. You won’t see see me leaping off the Sandia Crest until the cops have cornered me up against the ragged edge and all is lost.

I was just out for a brief hike that turned into a longer one because it was a preposterously gorgeous day in the foothills. Also, I wanted to keep an eye on these glider pilots stooging around over the Sandias.

At least one of them was up there for a couple of hours, because that’s how long I was on the deck watching them. The other was packing up trailside as I headed home.

“Flying today?” I asked.

“Yep,” he replied.

“How long were you up?”

“Not as long as I wanted to be.”

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13 Responses to “Glide path”

  1. SAO' Says:

    Does anyone hang-glide anymore? Looks like everyone figured out paragliding was 1,000 times safer, and you got the same view.

  2. Pat O'Brien Says:

    I can also watch them for hours. It’s a fascinating thing to see. Riding the thermals must be like descending but without the climbing. But, I will watch from a distance. My wallet can only sustain one hobby at a time.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I bet they have to keep their eyes peeled for drones now. Lots of those boogers around.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      Crowded skies, heh? Do you see drones around when you hike or ride? Got some good news this morning. Los Lobos is coming to Bisbee in October for a charity concert. It will benefit the Bisbee Coalition For The Homeless. The Warren Ball Park is the venue. Tickets are $30.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        I see them now and again. Hate ’em. They sound like giant mutant mosquitoes to me.

        Gonna catch Los Lobos, are you? That’s money well spent. Charles Pelkey and I saw them years ago at Interbike Anaheim and they crushed it. Those dudes got chops, is what.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    When we lived in the back of Kalama Valley in Honolulu, I used to watch people hang gliding along the crest of the Koolaus behind our house. They would launch off of an old military platform up behind Hawaii Kai and soar for hours it seemed.

  4. JD Says:

    Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
    And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
    Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
    Of sun-split clouds, – and done a hundred things
    You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
    High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
    I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
    My eager craft through footless halls of air…

    Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
    I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
    Where never lark, or ever eagle flew –
    And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
    The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
    Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

    “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee

    No one has said it that well since! 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I remember that poem with a video backup being used to end the broadcast day at some TV station; don’t recall if it was San Antone or Bibleburg. Both had substantial USAF populations, of course.

      • Shawn Says:

        Perhaps it was Bibleburg. I recall the sign off poem as well and I believe it was in Denver. I believe that may have been one of the last places I lived that actually had TV stations sign off for the night. I think now they just continue. I don’t know. It’s been a long time since I stayed up all night watching regular TV.

        I guess you have to recite that poem mighty fast when you’re in a wing suit.

        … face of God. Rip cord! Rip cord !

  5. khal spencer Says:

  6. carl duellman Says:

    off topic: i’m really enjoying the desert oracle podcasts. the guy’s voice takes a minute to get over but i like is dry delivery.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Me too. I don’t mind the voice so much, being a fan of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Christopher Lloyd. All of whom had/have interesting takes on Life Its Ownself, now that I think of it.

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