Today was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It was also the best $2.50 I have ever spent. This morning I found myself at Makapuʻu, Oahu's southern tip, with a really big backpack. I set my eyes towards the North Shore and northward I went with my inflatable flying machine!
The gentle climbout next to dozens of smiling spectators from around the world was epic in itself! After I quickly buzzed the lighthouse I pursued my first goal, "The Green Wall." This unique masterpiece of natural landscape consists of a tropical rainforest secluded on a sheer 2,000 foot cliff mountainside. It is home to a mysterious jungle that is often shrouded in clouds. To be fully connected in a three dimensional dance powered by the wind over this most magical tropical mountain range leaves me more than breathless. It was heaven.
After this point my primal hawk brain kicked in. Today is the day. 3,400 foot cloud bases, consistent climbs and winds aloft in my favor. I suppose this is when the rock and roll started playing in my mind.
I'm always fascinated by psychological peak performance. It can often be described as a "flow" with the energy around you and within yourself. Being in the "zone" rids your mind of all things but the task and moment of right now. That's exactly how I felt as I pushed the speedbar pointing north. My Gin Boomerang GTO sprinted downrange in excitement as I connected with my machine.
I landed just short of the state record, and behind my buddy Thom's best, but that wasn't my goal. Today, I was a bird. Regardless of records, track logs, and average speeds, this was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
One of my favorite parts of cross country soaring is the adventure that awaits when you land in the unknown. Today I landed in a tight farm field which yielded the kindest Laotian farmers who offered me tangerines, a fresh cut coconut and a ride to greater civilization. It was a wonderful grounding and organic experience after surfing the skies!
Since I was a boy I was most inspired by those who could read nature like a book, especially those who could read the air. Those who can translate the story and energy of the sky have impossible capabilities; impossible until they do incredible things with that energy alone. I am honored to have learned the language of the skies and I know it is a language that one must actively learn each day. Today, that understanding took me on one of the most incredible adventures.
As for the $2.50, that was for the bus rides back across the island.