I've recently learned Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' and, God, I love playing it, atheist that I am.

It was onshore today, so hang gliding from Marshall Peak and Crestline was doable and it was actually really good soaring for December. I hiked in from the highway with Dexa (while the others drove in) and though the 25-minute hike meant I was sweaty and clammy in the breeze at Marshall Peak where we set-up our hang gliders, it was cool. I'm fat and need the exercise; Dexa's fit and exercises to keep it that way. Dexa's husband, my co-worker, Peter, had laid out our gear and started setting up Dexa's glider and then his. The hiking warm-up meant that I was already keyed-up and focused before I got in the air; I think it helped.

So there was plenty of lift and there were many hang glider and paraglider pilots out enjoying the conditions. I got high and tried to go back to the higher Crestline ridge, but there wasn't much wind back there, so I turned tail and ran back to the front range of hills. Still fun trying. Did many circles in weak lift near the low hillsides while a crowd of gliders soared above the ridges hundreds of feet above me. Eventually, as I hit 1,000 AGL and prepared to land, I bumbled into a strong thermal and I climbed back up to 4,000 feet MSL (launch height) and then even higher. I thought I'd been flying for an hour and a half at least, but it had only been 45 minutes. That's when you know you're having fun.

Tried for that high ridge again, but didn't find the lift back there. Enjoyed the view for a bit and then went in and landed, 1:10 after launching. Walked around the LZ talking to the other pilots about how great it was. Packed up my glider, etc.


Excellent Day!