Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Flying Chilliwack

It was a last-minute trip, even though we knew it was coming. The new car finally arrived in Vancouver. Let's go! We booked the train, packed our paragliders and away we went. 
View from launch on Mt. Woodside near Chilliwack, BC
The train is always enjoyable and relaxing. This is the first time we've taken the train during the busy high-season months but, other than being a very long train, it didn't seem to make a lot of difference. They had extra staff, dining and observation cars so that it wasn't overly crowded. The "Artists on Board" program always showcases some great Canadian talent and the couple (Tiger Moon) from Kelowna who played guitar and mandolin were no exception. 
The train always stops for a while at Jasper which gives a chance to get out and wander for a while, grab a coffee and enjoy the view of Mt. Edith Cavell (when the clouds allow it).
We went straight from the train station to pick up the new car. I'm so glad we waited the extra time to get the "absolutely red" colour! We got in a couple quick visits -- lunch with my niece, Julie, and coffee with Andrew's friends, Larry & Angela, before heading to Chilliwack.
The new design of the Prius gives it a more sporty look than the one we had the past 10 years.
The weather was very good for flying the entire week but the winds were mostly quite calm (with a too windy period in the afternoons) and the daily inversion layer blocked the thermals from going very high. So while we got lots of flights, we didn't get any really long ones. Andrew managed 35 minutes on one flight but most were around 15 minutes.

Our first day there (Sunday) was extremely busy with students from at least a couple different schools and some independent instructors. We caught rides up to launch with Jim at FlyBC.

We sat back and let the students go first. Watching and listening to some of the instructors made us even more thankful that we had such great instruction from Chris at Fly Above All when we first started, and from Nick at Paracrane who recently gave us some more advanced instruction. Both are extremely patient and are positive in their criticism when you screw up (which happens often when learning to paraglide!!)

Even a year and a half later, I still screw up on occasion but flying at Woodside was a confidence booster.  All my launches and landings were pretty good. Even the landing where I had to dodge a couple hay bales still sitting on one edge of the LZ  wasn't disastrous.

We'll definitely come back and fly here again . . . for the amazing scenery if nothing else!
The colourful lineup.
Mount Baker is the snow-capped peak in the distance.

Bob, the handsome calico cat, likes paragliders too!
I strive to be as good a pilot as "Teddy." :-) 

Andrew in flight.
"Para-waiting" for the afternoon wind to calm down!

My pretty wing!
Andrew coming in for landing.
Spot on!
We might have enjoyed a local cider or two . . .   :-)

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