Hey Team,

“So, all this talk about how cool hang gliding was and how incredible the folks at Highland Aerosports were…what’s the whole story?”

Wow, thanks for asking! I didn’t know you cared so much, Disembodied-Voice-of-the-Masses. Here it is!

I wandered into the pilots lounge at the airport shortly after my run in with the five-oh and met up with Jim, one of the instructors at Highland. The weather wasn’t great. Lots of cloud cover, and it was a slow day so I spent the first few hours talking with Jim and Sonny, one of the owners.

Both had left mundane jobs for the exciting (read: strange) life of hang gliding instructors and had some interesting stories to share…you know, I was going to tell you a few of their stories but I’m still kind of fresh off the hang gliding high and I’m having trouble focusing on other people’s lives right now. Suffice it to say they’re both awesome guys and hang gliding is SO FREAKIN’ INCREDIBLE!

Getting towed

Jim spent a few hours with me going over all the parts of a hang glider and how they work. We put one together and got it prepped for flight and then did some exercises on the ground to teach me the basics.

You get kind of used to thinking of hang gliders as big kites strapped to people’s backs when you’re not “in the know” but I was really impressed with all the ingenuity that goes into the safety precautions built into them. They’re incredibly strong and well built flying machines, even the low-end stuff.

Above the clouds

After I spent some time running into the wind with the glider on my shoulders and learning how to turn we went through the tear down and packing process.

This was followed by some good solid sitting around waiting for the weather to not suck, which seems to be the basis for most hang gliding days.

THEN, just when we thought we were going to have to postpone the flight for the next day…the clouds parted.

Look, Ma!

The rest of the day is nearly indescribable. Sonny towed Jim and I a mile above the Earth. No sound but the wind (and my constant “wows”) as we looked down on the clouds…crap, I’m getting goose bumps just writing about this. Seriously guys, do not hesitate to go hang gliding if you’re given the chance.


In fact, drop whatever you’re doing right now, book a flight to Maryland and go have the guys at Highland show you a good time.

Adam, the other owner, Jim and Zach, one of the other pilots, were even cool enough to let me join them for dinner and crash at there place! I owe them big. You too, Alek!


That hang gliding video is right around the corner and the Amtrekker Podcast is finally live on iTunes so go check it out and subscribe (That’s what all the cool kids do. You want to be a cool kid, don’t you?). It still wasn’t searchable when I checked earlier today, but this link should take you there.

Okay, I’m done.


Welcome to the wonderful world of the kindness of strangers:

Why NOT be a kind stranger?