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Learning to Fly

by Tyler

A few months ago we realized that we needed a break from building our homestead. After years of single-mindedly pouring nearly all of our time, energy and finances into the project, it took a bit for that decision to really sink in. When it dawned on us that we could fill the coming Spring, Summer and Fall with something other than non-stop construction, our imaginations were ignited.

Temporarily freed from the all-consuming responsibility of creating a self-reliant existence, we started scheming about what our next adventure could be. For a few weeks, we were pretty sure that walking The Long Trail was the right choice. And yet, as we dove into the logistics of making it happen, it occurred to us that hiking across the whole of Vermont would require nearly as much planning, mental fortitude, physical exertion, and project-management as working on our homestead.

Not wanting to replace one difficult endeavor with another, we went back to the drawing board. In the evenings after work, we'd start tossing wild ideas around, trying to find one that felt right.

Us Resting in the Woods

At some point, I mentioned learning how to fly. When I was a kid, I remember watching in awe as someone floated over the cornfields outside of my hometown with what seemed like nothing but a parachute and a big fan. I remember thinking that someday I wanted to do something just like that.

When I shared this idea with Tara, she was delighted. There was a small problem though. Neither of us had any idea what the practice was actually called! Happily, some cursory googling led us to videos of folks doing that very thing. The billowing, colorful gliders, the sheer craziness of strapping a propeller to our backs and taking to the skies, the idea that we might be able do so right out our front door—it was magic!

Once we figured out the sport was called "powered paragliding," we set about finding the right company to help us learn. Ultimately we chose BlackHawk Paramotors, in Valley Springs, California. We called to ask them approximately a thousand questions, and in the process began to correspond with a man named Rob.

When we shared our story, he got really excited, saying they rarely-to-never train young couples. Apparently we were so unusual, he wanted to film our training and make a promotional documentary out of it! If we weren't already sold on the idea of taking a PPG class, we were after that! We have an adventure and somebody else documents it? Sign us up.

We've travelled the world by land, and learned how to explore the sea. Now, it's time we took to the skies! Next week, we board a plane for a week of flight training. We plan to write about the experience every day (old habits die hard). For now, here's a glimpse of what awaits us: