Strapped to a Bedsheet with Strings: Life at 18,000 Feet


– Day to day living I find
can be pretty mundane, and you know when I’m out there, you’ve just got a really simple task, which is to survive and enjoy life. My name is Gavin McClurg, and
I’m a cross-country paraglider. Whew! We’re basically flying a
modified bedsheet and strings. We don’t have a motor and
we’re just using thermals. Thermals are kind of
like the gas for a car. We get as high as we possibly can and then we glide and if
we find another thermal, we can keep going. I’ve flown in the Himalayas;
I’ve flown in Morocco; I’ve flown all over the Alps in Europe, in the Canadian Rockies
and we’re just looking at a map in a completely
different way these days. Hurricane Ridge is one of
the most spectacular places for me in the world. There’s this beautiful long ridge that ties right in with the Grand Canyon. It sits right on the edge
of Zion National Park. I was doing this expedition with some of the best pilots in the world, and right as the sun set, you know, the conditions just went bang on and we all launched into the sky and, you know, paragliding
can be really intense and sometimes really
scary and very dangerous, and this was like the opposite of that. It was just playful and
fun and we were doing huge wingovers and acro
and when I’m flying over these really remote places, I think what it gives you is a perspective and an awe that is impossible
to get in any other way. These guys and I are
people that, you know, we really chase records
and we chase huge distances and made us realize that, you know, it’s not about the records
and it’s not about flying huge distances, it’s just about enjoying the freedom of flight.

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