Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina

Clambering the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge was a thrill and a half, as we both looked to capture an essence of the joys of flight experienced by the Wright Brothers from these east coast sand dunes (which are considered the tallest natural dunes on the East coast, fluctuating between 80 and 100 feet above sea-level). Jockey’s Ridge is a favourite amongst hang gliders, hikers and is renowned for flying kites, with its steady constant and somewhat predictable winds. Today the winds steadily whirled from the north-east, creating a cross wind that challenged slaDE~s skills of flight and control as he kited his canopy off the highest ridge, hoping to ground launch with success and airtime. However, many steps clambering across and down the hill made for spectacular photos, brilliant laughs and dreams of another flight / launch anticipating more success. A second pitch off the eastern-facing dune offered a split second of flight, with slaDE continually battling the cross wind, bringing him to a stop once again after scampering down the large shifting knoll. Filled with brilliant smiles, breathless gratitude, and a sand-filled gear bag, we packed up slaDE~s canopy and harness, and sought to explore the expanse of sand and hills. Casting shadows in the brilliant sand pits, we wove wispy paths up and down the pitch of dunes, momentarily carving our initials into the drifts on which we traipsed, trails covered soon thereafter by the wind which kissed the planet.

It was a fun-filled afternoon that we someday hope to recreate with more success and east-blowing winds (fingers crossed that my knee will be strong enough next time for me to have a go at sand launching).

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