Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Way Home

From Washington we had a choice of routes home. Checking them out in Google maps I realized one of the routes went by a potential paragliding site in Saskatchewan that I'd scouted in the spring. Just for fun I checked the wind forecast for when we'd be driving by. Amazingly, it was showing light winds from the right direction. Based on my checking in the past, this was fairly rare, so we figured we might as well drive home that way and check it out.

Our first night's stop was Missoula where we had a nice supper at the Red Bird Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Although a lot of the fires were in Washington, if anything the smoke got worse as we went. Southwest Saskatchewan was the worst of all. We woke up to a layer of ash on the car, and scenery like this:

forest fire smoke

We got in a couple of flights from the site I'd found. Although the total vertical is about 200m (660ft) the slope gets pretty shallow after the first 100m. We tried to get some ridge soaring but the wind wasn't strong enough to stay up. I really like the adventure of locating a suitable spot and flying off it. We found a good open grassy slope to take off from, and there was lots of clear pasture to land in.

There were lots of hawks around. When you drive by they calmly sit there and ignore you. But if you stop the car and try to take photographs they immediately take flight. This was a lucky shot just as it took off from the pole. Now if only we could fly like these guys!


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