AdventureFlying

Epic Motor Thermal Florida

January 6, 2017 — by Ian Ritter

main

AdventureFlying

Epic Motor Thermal Florida

January 6, 2017 — by Ian Ritter

Some days,

we get up, drink our coffee

Open our hearts to the goodness of the universe, and the universe graciously delivers.  I didn’t know it, but I was going to have one of those days. 

I didn’t go paragliding with the intent of thermaling, if I had, there would have been a cozy jacket on my body so that I didn’t turn into a popsicle at higher altitudes.  Instead, my mission was to just fly, to cruise around the trees, swoop through canals, and enjoy the perfection of life under a canopy.  But the world had other plans.

As my wing caught the breeze, and my feet left the ground, I noticed the vultures gracefully circling to the south.  In the middle of them, was a bald eagle and he looked like he wanted some company.  As I neared the group, they were obviously out-climbing me (a sure sign of huge lift.)  The moment I was near them, I hit the column of rising air, well, it felt like it hit me.  My wing shot far behind me, the feeling of air across my legs changed and suddenly, I knew my day was about to be amazing.

From that point, it was non-stop lift.  At one point, I even got directly on top of a towering cumulus that was climbing like a home sick angle.

This rising air is here almost all the time, but so few people ever get to experience just how powerful it is.  Thermaling towering cumulus is like surfing big, beefy swells; sketchy to get into, but once you’re on it, the ride is unforgettable.  So on this day, as I rode the rising, invisible waves in the sky, shivering like crazy, but smiling the whole time through, I felt so lucky to experience a little slice of the world that so few know.