See how much I love you? I wrote this story up last week, and I carried the bytes one by one by hand to a place with internet so I could present them to you... This is a story of hang gliding, true as I heard it.
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Hang glider pilots are prohibited from flying at night by FAA regulations. When I first started, I asked if they sometimes ignored this for fun, like they ignored the reg that keeps you below 20,000 feet. No, came the answer, for hang gliding is a long graceful exercise in What goes up Must come down, and you want to be able to see where you're landing.
Also, the thermals die down at night.
This is a story I heard from a pilot a couple years back, and it's got an extremely amusing moral. He started thus: There are three types of people in the world. There are people who don't even notice poison oak... They could cook hotdogs on spits of poison oak and go blithely on. This is about 15% of the populace. There are the normal people, who encounter poison oak and itch and bitch; these are about 65% of the populace. And then,
he said, there are the people like me, who are deathly allergic to poison oak, such that even a touch will cause the affected skin to fall clean off.I was flying at Big Sur,
he said. Growing up in Colorado, I saw hundreds of TV commercials for "Big Sur Waterbeds"... Surf crashing and spouting in the face of craggy cliffs. Green wooded hills and valleys. Apparently, in the fabled land of California, this place actually exists. And you can hang glide over it.
Alas, it cannot help but be right next to the Pacific Ocean. ( The pilot's tale )