Saturday, May 20, 2017

Oregon Paragliding

landing after a two hour evening flight at Pine Mountain, Bend (photo by Shelley)
Leaving Astoria, we stopped in at Sunset Beach to see if Brad and Maren from Discover Paragliding were flying (we met them in Costa Rica). Sure enough they showed up with a few students and we hung out with them for the day. Unfortunately, the wind wasn't right for towing on the beach, but we got in some good ground handling and flying off the dunes. The wind picked up a bit in the afternoon and we moved down the beach to near the shipwreck in hopes it would be soarable but it never quite got there. Regardless, we had a fun day on the beach and got some good tips from Brad on our ground handling and launching.

The next day we headed inland to Bend. It sounded like Pine Mountain might be flyable that evening. We met up with Jeff, a flying friend we met on our Europe trip who lives in Bend and he drove us out and gave us a site intro. (Thanks Jeff!) It turned out to be fantastic glass off conditions and I had a 2 hour flight. The air was smooth and there was lift everywhere. In the end, the challenge was to get down, which is unusual since most of the time paragliding you're struggling to stay up. I was trying to be patient, assuming that eventually the lift had to end, but the sun was setting! We definitely picked the right day to arrive in Bend!

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