Monday, May 17, 2010

Flying the Oregon Skies

Last Thursday I had the awesome opportunity to hit the sky in a glider. What you see in the picture above is a glider being towed by a small airplane. I got to sit in that glider!

Down in McMinnville Oregon, across the street from the Aviation Museum - there's a small wooden sign tucked in a big blackberry bush indicating the gliding experience. Big shout out to my step mother Nancy for noticing this sign and bringing me along for the best birthday experience - she said she noticed the gliders in the sky, not so much the tiny signs. :) I think these guys should make a bigger sign! It was a really cool experience!

I love the feeling of flying - its spectacular! When I was in college traveling abroad I went skydiving a few times in Australia and New Zealand - there is nothing like the sensation of being a bird in the sky. Gliding here in Oregon was the next level of fun antics! Literally we sat (me and Tim squished together behind a pilot) in a small plane with no engine, nuthing but some rudders and one wheel to land on (ONE wheel - yeah, this sorta caught my eye)
The glider was dragged by an old crop duster airplane, by a rope connecting the two planes, until we ascended about 4000 feet. At that point our trusty pilot dipped the glider down abruptly (kinda felt like a roller coaster) and the rope unlatches, leaving the glider floating effortlessly thousands of feet in the air. We floated around for a half hour or so. Then the pilot circled the plane to the ground and landed us so softly I was pleasantly impressed (for some reason I thought the one wheel landing gear might make for a traumatic landing). It was a beautiful day and the views of the Mountains in the Pacific NW were inspiring.
Above is a picture of the glider

Below is the plane that towed us up - you can see the rope that they tied between the planes
This is a picture of out pilot - he was a kick!
We took a lot of other neat pictures, on my dads camera... and I have yet to get my hands on them... also we weren't allowed to bring cameras up in the plane (it would have been dangerous if we'd dropped them in all the excitement) but rest assured, I think you can get the feeling from these snapshots that we had a really really good time.

I love when family visits. Oregon is so awesome and its great to get to share in its bounty with my loved ones! After gliding everyone retired back to my house where we had a barbecue dinner in the backyard with the neighbors, old and new. It was wonderful.


Erin said...

fun leah! i can't wait to hear more about your dad's visit...

Slumptown said...

That looks amazing!