Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chris Cullers Perspective From Above the Chuckanut Range

Within all of us is a varying amount of space lint and star dust, the residue from our creation.  Most are too busy to notice it, and it is stronger in some than others.  It is strongest in those of us who fly and is responsible for an unconscious, subtle desire to slip into some wings and try for the elusive boundaries of our origin.  ~K.O. Eckland, "Footprints On Clouds"

Editors note:  On Oct.1  Chris Culler and several friends launched from Blanchard Mt.  While in the air these pilots experienced an extraordinary sunset. An obviously fine pilot Chris is equally artistic and is able to capture the essence, the feeling of flight with these wonderful photos that he has agreed to share with us.  Thanks Chris!

©Chris Culler
A little about me:  I have been day-dreaming about flying my whole life.  I imagined flying ultralights, planes, helicopters and such, but every turn to make that dream into reality was thwarted by costs.  It was one such blow in 2002 that lead me to hang gliding.  My brother, Jimmy, had been flying hang gliders for 8 years, and told me how little he had expended to get started.  I did some research into hang gliding and paragliding that winter.  The next spring (2003) I hired myself a USHPA-rated instructor, and in early summer I made my first solo altitude flights at Blanchard Mountain.  Seven years, hundreds of flights, and hundreds of flying-hours later, I made that flight in which you see the pictures.  Flying with me in those photos are Jimmy Culler (my brother), Darren Fox, and Ben McBroom.  I now live in Mount Vernon with my wife, Christine Nidd.  She is also a hang glider pilot.  We met 2 years ago at the Chelan Cross Country Classic hang gliding competition, and she beat me!  It's OK though, because I beat her the year after that, and then I married her.  :o)  At this point in our lives we could easily afford the cost of a private pilot's certificate, but why bother?  When you feel the wind in your face, soaring thousands of feet high, for hours on end, and it all starts with an un-powered foot-launch from a grassy mountainside,'s as close as you can get to flapping your arms.  
©Chris Culler

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