Monday, August 2, 2010

is it a bird? or a plane?

No, it's paragliders!!!! All pics are clickable if you want to see more detail.

We stopped for a few days to visit hubby's parents and there was a big paragliding competition in town.

We drove out to the landing fields and watched the action from the ground.

This is Peter (already landed) and Hugo (still hovering). They're part of a group that takes the general public out for tandem paragliding flights. They take off from the top of Mount 7 - the leftmost pointy peak just under the rightmost wispy cloud. Each ride lasts about 20 mins long. It's pretty neat to see them floating around for so long.

You can't really see it in the picture but my in-laws live about halfway up Mount 7. If you can spot the 20ft high white cross, that's their place.

While we were waiting to see the pictures & videos from the tandem flights, the competitors took off from the launch site.

I'm not entirely sure how many were in the air simultaneously but each of us counted at least 17 paragliders.

Before we left the landing fields, I couldn't resist taking a picture of the gophers. They were everywhere. My FIL said that someone broke her ankle when her foot got stuck in one of the gopher holes.

We drove up to the top of Mount 7 for a different view of the paragliders. I took this picture the minute we stepped out of the SUV.

I couldn't believe how high up they were after they were in the air for over 15 mins. They were way above our heads and we parked almost at the top. See:

The competitors are given their flight specifics (i.e. gravel pit, then airport, and back to the gravel pit) before take-off. The gliders use GPS to mark their positions and times and the judges use that information when awarding points.

We watched lots of people take off. The landing field is the green/brown patch nearest the Kicking Horse River and directly below the paraglider. Speaking of the river, we went into town the following day and visited our favourite timber-framed pedestrian bridge.

A plaza, garden, and water feature had been added since we'd last been there.

I really liked the ironwork around the plaza. In a few years, the climbing roses will make it look truly spectacular.

A trip through the Rocky Mountains means wildlife sightings. One morning, I was sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast and a movement just past the flower bed caught my eye. I thought maybe it was a deer or maybe the dog, Jemima. Noooooo! It was a massive black bear. I pointed and shouted, "Bear! Bear! Bear!". Hubby came running followed closely by my MIL. The bear looked at us (probably because I'd been yelling) and then continued up the mountain. My MIL was very impressed and she thinks it's the largest bear she's seen on their property. It's the closest that I've ever been to a wild bear. Of course, there were gophers everywhere. We even saw a gopher sitting on the concrete barricade by the side of the highway on our drive home. Hubby saw a coyote in the slough.

I picked up the cats from the boarders. Phoebe was perched on a shelf way above my head and I couldn't grab her so I had to bribe her down with treats. Ricky was on the shelf above the window and when he saw me wave the cat carrier around, he zoomed down the cat condo and hid in the bottom. When I pulled him out, his tail was all poofed out. Both of them cried the whole way home - one very long hour.

When we got home, Phoebe gave us the usual cold shoulder. Ricky is usually fairly clingy but this time he was super clingy. Followed us everywhere. Both of us were outside doing stuff and he sat at whatever window he could see us from and yelled at the top of his lungs. When we came inside, he'd rush over to us and meow his relief that we came back. I couldn't go anywhere without him driving me nuts. I finally lay down on the bed for a few minutes to see if I could get Ricky to sleep. He jumped up and settled on his blanket and was asleep in seconds. I quietly got up and went downstairs into my sewing room. Less than a minute later, he was crying and pawing at the door. And when I was doing dishes, he head butted the back of my leg and made my knee buckle. I almost fell over. By 10pm, he was exhausted but happy that everyone was in bed. He slept like the dead all night long. I am happy to report that Phoebe is back to loving us and Ricky is sleeping solo on the washing machine.

1 comment:

PurlingPirate said...

Just goes to show ya that no matter how wonderful the trip is, it's great to be home where the kitties love you.