It started as any other Saturday, if waking before 6 am and getting home around 1 is a typical Saturday. SMU OA trip leaders Danni and Dexter took the “barely awake” group consisting of Guy, Whitney, Fernanda, Perry, Jon and Ian to Lawton, Oklahoma, for a day of riding the thermals … Oklahoma-style.
Oklahoma-style hang-gliding is a little different from what most people visualize. No mountains or large hills, just flat Oklahoma farmland, a straight deserted road and a flat-bed Ford with an odd contraption on the back. Because there isn’t much to stop the “winds coming down the plains,” this area is ideal for hang-gliding.
After a short ground school where participants get fitted and instructed in what and why, the instructor straps himself and the participant to a “kite” on the back of the flat-bed. The truck then starts down the road, and eventually, at about 20 mph, the “kite” is let loose from the contraption and begins to float into the air on a cable. When the “kite” gets up to 1500-2000 feet, they unhook the cable and the “kite,” instructor and participant glide back to a landing area.
The weather for the day started nicely, but high winds kept the group grounded for a short period of time. Of course, in the wilds of Oklahoma, this may seem like an eternity. Eventually, everyone got a chance to “float like a butterfly,” and gladly, no “stings like a bee” this time.
The long drive back (think a total of 8 hours in a vehicle to and from the location) was interrupted with a stop at a local restaurant on Hwy 82 & 287 for dinner. A long day, to say the least, but full of memories.