This weekend I was gifted a dream come true. Russell took me to Chattanooga, Tennessee to go hang gliding for my birthday.
This may have been the most epic thing I have ever done. I could have stayed suspended in the breeze 4,000 feet above the earth… with wings spread…. forever. The view was nothing short of breath-taking… Look-out Mountain to one side, rolling rain clouds on the other, light fog, green farmlands, and Chattanooga laying below.
The only word that kept forming in my throat and becoming trapped in my mind before I could sputter it out was, “Wow.” I ohhhhhhed and ahhhhhhed and then ohhhhhhhed some more until I was convinced I had lost all capability to manage a thought let alone a full sentence.
If you’ve ever stared off at the birds in the distance and been hit with a second of longing…. you should try this. When someone asks if you were a superhero what power would you want, and you immediately think… OH I would FLY…. then you should really try this. I could go on and on… but once again, I must tell you… the words that I can give this…. will never begin to do it justice, but I will give it one last shot:
I felt the world leave us as the ultra-light pulled us down the run way as if it were a child running and we were their kite on string. We were off immediately, soaring as the distance rapidly became greater between us and the ground. Looking left and right I could see my wings above my back and instantly a smile spread across my face. My insides felt like they might just explode with all of the excitement and joy I was feeling. As the realization that I was flying above the ground attached to a kite began to sink into my head, the sunlight bounced off the clouds as we rose above them and a view like no other poured out in front of me.
The land below was brilliant green, with rolls of hay scattered. A river ran through a field full of cattle and the lazy day below me seemed so small and far away. Looking up I watched the storm clouds in the distance as they threatened a land too far off for me to be concerned with at the moment. I was flying. The ultra light let us go at 4,000 feet, well above Look-out Mountain. Our shadow fell on the clouds below us and caused a gorgeous rainbow effect on the cloud. As we started to drift back towards the earth in lazy circles, like a bored hawk in mid afternoon, we went through the clouds taking mild turbulence and cool air pockets.
Once back on solid ground, I knew I would never be the same. I have flown…. not falling with a parachute, or in a plane… I’ve donned wings… and now walking seems oh so very boring. Here are the pictures, I hope you enjoy them.