I tie my hiking boots on, because I will need the support around my ankles for landing. I’m already dressed, so I fill up my water bottle with ice and water, grab my windbreaker and purse and head out the door. I start my truck, and while it warms up for a minute I apply my eyeliner, using my rear view mirror. I would never do this while driving, but over the years I’ve got into the habit of using this mirror, because its the only one my eyes can still focus enough to see in. I have to wear granny glasses now, because I’m getting oh so old.
It only takes about 15 minutes to reach the field directly below Poo Poo Point! And yes, it is named that for a reason! This is in Issaquah on the side of a Cascade Range mountain, that’s only around 1800 feet high on the west side of Tiger Mountain. But this is a sweet sloping cleared area, with a huge piece of man made turf laid out across it, in the pictures below for all of us crazy paraglider’s to take off from. The local paragliding groups have combined forces and created a shuttle service, using the old forest service road that winds up the mountain, so we don’t have to hike the trail on foot to get there.
I meet up with my buddy, the best tandem pilot ever, a 5th level pilot named Steve Wilson who I literally trust with my life. He laughingly says, ‘I’ve never lost anyone!’, but I trust him completely because on one of our previous trips, he saved my life. A beginner Paraglider, on her first solo flight, was coming right for our lines one day, and I saw her out of the corner of my eye, where I have really good peripheral vision. She was up behind us on our right side. I yelled, and Steve pulled on the handles and spun us around just in the nick of time, as she flew by us within just a few feet of us. If he hadn’t turned quickly enough, or far enough to the left, she would’ve went right through our lines. The lines that attach us to the huge single wing that carries us.
He’s the best, and I’ve sent many friends to him, to have the most incredible hour of their life.
I have flown many times in planes above the earth, but there is nothing greater than soaring above the earth like an eagle at 3100 feet!! This is about as high as you can go, legally, without being hit by a passing plane. And let me tell you… it is the most incredibly awesome experience you will ever have. I’ve done it so many times now, Steve calls me ‘his frequent flyer’, and I get frequent flyer miles! lol Which means basically once or twice a year I go for free, and we just have the best time playing around. He loves to take me as high as we can go, and then spiral down towards the earth, while I scream my head off.
Next spring, when the weather turns perfect again, we are going to hike up Mt. Si, in North Bend, and run off the top of it. This is a mountain that is over 4100 feet high, that’s 4 miles UP, and I can’t wait!!! This will be our crowning achievement. Although Steve has flown over Mexico and Brazil, and some places in Ireland and Scotland too. But for me, this will be the greatest trip we’ve made. The picture at the top of the page is the view from the top of Mt. Si, I thought you might like to see for perspective. The top of the mountain is all rocks, with the huge Haystack of an enormous batholith, normally seen in the picture below… so I have no idea where we will actually have to take off from, because you need a bit of a cleared area to lay out the glider wing and straighten the lines before you hook the harnesses in and run off the cliff. He’s done it before, so I have no worries…I just CAN’T WAIT!!!!
I kid you not folks, there is NOTHING BETTER than RUNNING OFF THE CLIFF OF A MOUNTAIN!!! lmao It is the greatest most amazing feeling in the world, and I have done lots of crazy things in my lifetime, and nothing tops this! So…if you ever get the chance… COME FLY WITH ME!!! and STEVE, of course!!!