"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What the Humans Did on Valentine's Day

Sky Sailing!

For Valentine's Day, Lynn and I surprised our husbands, Glenn and Rick, with a tandem flight in a glider or sailplane at Sky Sailing in Warner Springs, CA.  They had been talking about doing this for weeks, trying to gets us women interested in it. Lynn and I thought it was time to just get on with it, without us. The guys thought they were taking us to Julian for lunch, but we pulled into the glider airport in Warner Springs along the way, and said "Surprise!"

The experience begins (after signing all kinds of paperwork) by meeting the pilot and helping him pull the glider out onto the runway. Gliders, or sailplanes have no engines, so they are dependent on human power while on land or a tow plane to taxi and take-off.

Rick, Glenn and pilot maneuver the glider into position

Lynn and Honey watch on

 A glider is really tiny, as the guys were about to find out. The pilot sits in this cockpit...

...and Rick and Glenn sit where!!!!

Yes, there

Both of them, side by side behind the pilot in a seat that rivals the tilt-a-whirl for cozy with your neighbor.  Believe me, the jokes were flying faster than the plane.

Preparing for lift-off.

The glider is attached by a cable to a small tow plane in front, which pulls it down the runway and into the air. 

And they're off!!

The company, Sky Sailing, mounts a Go-Pro on the wing of the glider that takes a picture about every 30 seconds.  The next four shots are from the complimentary jump-drive of photos they gave us at the end of the flight.

Down the runway.

Leaving the ground!

Getting a bird's eye view.

Still attached to the tow plane. Look at that landscape!

Below you can see their glider behind the tow plane, just before the pilot told Rick to pull the cable to release them from the tow plane. (Can you see the crescent moon in the clear blue sky? It was a picture perfect day,) Once the cable is released, the glider sails on the air currents, circling around, with great views of California in every direction, until it's time to come down.

Their flight lasted about 20 minutes. The pilot told them that during the summer, when the hot air is rising, the gliders can fly for hours! Meanwhile, Lynn and I watched Honey and her new friend Lady play, so we missed the landing. Needless to say it was a smooth one and we all headed on to Julian for a great pet-friendly Valentine's Day lunch at the Julian Grille.  (Thanks guys.)

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