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Eli Goes Paragliding

4 April, 2012

The snowboarding was kinda crappy this year, so Alissa thought
the boys should go paragliding during their Spring Break trip.

She is radical!

Camera on a steeek
Arranging the
laundry
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Next in line
for take-off
4 April 2012*
Photo by Alissa
Eli & pilot David
awaiting departure
4 April 2012
Camera on a steeek
Eli & pilot David
airborne at last
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Turning East with
Bellyache Ridge behind
4 April 2012*

Alissa & the boys met David Champaign, one of the operators
of Vail Valley Paragliders, and night manager of the hotel where
she and the boys were staying. Eli and Taylor were keen to try it out.

Camera on a steeek
Gliding high over
Interstate 70
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Eli enjoying the
sensations of flight
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Gullies, cliffs and the
open slopes of Spring
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
View to the West down
the I-70 Corridor
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Game trails and human
trails appear below
4 April 2012*

Basically, after working out a few details, Alissa & the boys
joined the paraglider pilots on Bellyache Ridge East, at an
elevation of about 9200 feet above sea level. On its open slope,
everyone harnessed up for their flights, except for Alissa!

Camera on a steeek
Trees of White River
Nat'l Forest below
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
The beetle kill is
apparent from the air
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Nice view of the
sun shining today
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Flying toward Red
& White Mountain
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Over Squaw Creek
drainage, descending
4 April 2012*

Eli and pilot David launched first. Taylor and pilot Tom launched
next. Alissa tells me that Tom was able to find thermals - masses
of warmer uplifting air - while he and Taylor were gliding down from
the mountain, which lengthened their flight time. Consequently, Eli
had a few extra minutes to observe his brother's air foil in flight.

Camera on a steeek
The Gore Range is
spread out below
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Bellyache's high point
beyond the big grin
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Turning above the
Squaw Creek watershed
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Gliding southward,
looking for thermals
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Everybody's taking a
picture today!
4 April 2012*

Eli's handheld camera-on-a-stick tells a dizzying tale
of his flight down into the valley. Personally, I don't know
how these guys do it without getting a little touch of
vertigo. I commend the pilot's inner ear.

Camera on a steeek
Over the river,
spotting for landing
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Steep turn over
the landing zone
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Birdseye view of
the Colorado River
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Eli displaying the face
of sheer delight
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
David lines up for
the final approach
4 April 2012*

The Colorado River flows westward down the I-70 corridor from
the high country in this section of the Rocky Mountains. That's
the ribbon of water below you are seeing in these photographs.

Camera on a steeek
Getting ready for
touchdown in the L.Z.
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
Flight path: North slope
of Bellyache Ridge
4 April 2012*
Camera on a steeek
A very satisfied
young man's face
4 April 2012*
Photo by David Champaign
Pilot David & Eli
down by the river
4 April 2012*
Photo by David Champaign
Eli watching Taylor's
descent to the L.Z.
4 April 2012*

From the top of Bellyache Ridge, one can see Vail to the East,
and the little town of Edwards down beside the river. Farther to the East,
if you know what you're looking at, you'll see the Mount of the Holy Cross.

Photo by David Champaign
Eli & Taylor with pilot
Tom Keough, by the river.
4 April 2012*

Images 2012 ABoykin, except for
* Images 2012 Vail Valley Paragliding

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