It was an eventful Day Three. I summoned all the courage I required to attempt a forward launch in no winds at 5,000′ MSL on a borrowed wing, with a motor I’d just tuned. Read: challenging.
It took about six attempts but I managed to get my fat ass off the ground! Without breaking anything besides a sweat! And it was a smooth, beautiful flight, with just two minor annoyances: free sunglasses don’t block wind from eyeballs well, and my donkey, where did all this snot come from?
Seriously, it was gushing out of me. I’d pull my face mask off just enough to farm a handful, then wipe it on my pant leg, only to start the cycle fresh again three minutes later.
The snot would be wiped off from my pants, however, by the single worst landing I have ever managed to survive. I was so anxious to land after all the snot that I rushed setup and put myself downwind of a power line and a truck. I truly thought my last words would be, “Shit SHIT OH SHIT.”
I don’t know how, but this little body survived without a scratch. I did break the cord to my radio and my little pack straps, plus this morning I discovered a spar on my paramotor cage was cracked in half. (I brought many spares for this exact possibility 😉)
Hours later I was still shaking. I really wanted to just find a hotel and go to sleep for fifteen hours. Kyler helped me go through my options, repair my pack and let me calm down.
I decided to skip launching from the place I’d just landed and drive ahead to the next point. It was a bit lower in elevation, a less daunting flight, and had some winds projected – all of which meant a potentially easier launch and flight.
I don’t know how but when it came time to decide whether or not to go for it, I was totally ready. Kyler helped check the engine rpms and … off I went. Just like that. And it was the most beautiful flight ever. Gigantic rocky peaks on either side, with wide expanses of golden fields in front.
I took an extra minute to set up my landing and it was beautiful.
We watched the sunset from another awesome rural air strip:
After an awesome day, we headed to a rest stop to camp at, and looked at a map.
We smelled adventure … And my socks, which are disgusting and should be burned. Day Four looked ripe for shenanigans.