Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

What a beautiful Sunday today was.  It started with a wonderful church service, then grocery shopping with my wife.  After that we had lunch and took a nap.  After a quick check of the wind I packed up the powered paraglider and headed out to New Jerusalem Airport.

There was a gentle breeze just barely causing the windsock to move as I pulled up to the gate.  I pulled up and parked between the taxiway and the runway.  As I got out I enjoyed the warm autumn breeze and listened to the redwing blackbirds call to each other.   I retrieved my wing from it’s stuff sack and laid it out near the end of the runway.  A family pulled up on the other side of the fence and watched me setting up.  I walked back to the trailer and offloaded my trike.  I did an engine runup and then drove the trike over to my waiting wing.  Trike centered between the risers, clip on the risers, check to make sure the clips are locked shut.  Leg straps, shoulder harness, chest strap, anti-torque strap, radio clipped on and secure.  I called on 122.9 Mhz announcing “New Jerusalem traffic, powered paraglider departing runway 30.”

I gently squeeze the throttle and guide the wing up with my thumbs, as it starts to come overhead I pull on the brake lines to keep the wing behind me.  Wing looks stable so I squeeze in full throttle and my wing gently swings me into the air.  At 50 feet off the ground I begin a right 180 degree turn.  I fly over the family parked on the other side of the fence, I wave, they wave back.

I only climb to about 150 feet this evening.  The sun was just sinking behind the tops of the Diablo Range on the west side of the valley.  Over the Sierras I could see the super moon starting to rise.

I didn’t really want to fly anywhere in particular, just fly around, enjoy the feeling of being up in the air.  Sometimes I just want to be up, it’s my happy place.

I flew around the orchards for a while and then took a couple of turns around the airport.  Then it was time to land.  (I didn’t want to get home too late, after all, Sunday is Columbo night at our house.)

I slowly circled back to the other end of the airport where I took off.  The family was now out on the runway flying a model airplane.  Not a good idea guys, this is an active airport.  No matter, I decide to land between the taxi way and runway where I am parked.  When I am sure I will hit my landing spot I shut my engine off.  There is small child with them.  I don’t want my engine running anywhere near them.  They are about 100 feet from me when I set down.  As my trike rolls to a stop I pull my brake lines all the way down and my wing gently rustles to the ground behind me.  I sit and listen to the the evening for a moment.  The sounds of the family talking, the birds,  the buzzing of a late bee trying to make it back to the hive before it gets dark.  A wonderful end to a wonderful weekend.

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