Canyon Lands - Now just 15 km south of the Grand Canyon, I was charging towards it, ego burning white hot.
As I neared the massive gap I found myself scratching low above the lunar landscape on two separate occasions and realized that I simply did not have enough flat-desert flying experience to stay reliably high. And while it would save me several days of walking across Monuments and Parks, landing amidst one of these would not just hurt the expedition and I, but the US paragliding community as a whole.
What would you have done?
Expedition Press Release
Mind Blown - I couldn't believe it. These seemingly simple butterflies from my youth, insects I had taken for granted and assumed were just permanent fixtures of Ontario's landscape, were in fact heroes of the insect Kingdom.
How, what looked like no more than an orange piece of paper folded in half, could fly from Canada all the way down to a specific mountain in Mexico, year after year, several generations between them, blew my mind.
A whole new world - Never having flown, or ever having been, in the desert before, I often felt like I was stepping foot on an entirely new planet. Similar to the earth I knew in terms of gravity and oxygen, the heat, lack of water and strange formations told me that this was something completely 'Other.'
This feeling was only intensified upon taking the skies. Floating above the matte, brown and red landscape, my childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut had finally come true.
Jasper is North America's only park to allow paraglider travel. Despite this, its remoteness and mystery have caused most pilots to steer away from her vast potential. Over the past couple years, I had become fascinated with Jasper's diverse terrain and last summer, obsessed with the idea of becoming the first person to fly her crown jewel. The Endless Chain is an unmistakable series of unbroken peaks, stretching along a razor thin, 25 km ridge line and, with it's perfect, southwestern aspect, appears to be the most straight forward sections of Canada's Rockies to free fly. So why hasn't anyone flown it then? That's what I was on a mission to find out... When I first learnt that humans could travel great distances by paraglider, I imagined myself becoming the first person to float down the entire spine of Canada's pristine Rocky Mountains. Ironically, the more I learnt about the sport, the more distant that dream became. Between their remoteness, unpredictable weather systems and sheer butt-puckering size, I spent the first decade of my piloting career running from them, flying as far as I could from my country's legendary, Rocky backyard. Two summers ago, all of that changed when I mustered up the courage to fly, vol-biv, from the city of Vancouver, BC to that of Calgary, Alberta. This 39-day, 1000 km trip, crossed the entire span of Canada's southwestern mountain ranges, ultimately leading to the final hurdle, Canada's Rocky Mountains and my first ever crossing of the Continental Divide. That fateful, West to East flight across the Rockies caused a sort of stimulus overload. Feelings of terror, amazement and pride all flooded my senses, then spat me out on the other side, their majesty, leaving me feeling just as grand. Fast forward two years and I'm walking across the border from Montana into British Columbia, about to take my long lost dream by the horns. The plan: The first ever, northbound route straight up the spine of Canada's Rocky Mountains, leading me from the United states, all the way to Prince George, the capital of Northern BC. If I succeeded, this would become the first and only expedition to cross the Continental Divide twice, the first complete crossing of Jasper National Park and the longest ever vol-biv in the Americas. Did I have something to prove? You bet I did! But what, was anyone's guess... Curious to find out what happens next? Find out in issue 198 of Cross Country Magazine, or the May/June issue of Hanggliding and Paragliding Magazine (for USHPA members) Better yet, why not check out my latest documentary about this expedition at [url=http://theendlesschain.com]http://theendlesschain.com[/url]. There you'll find the film trailer and if you become a film sponsor, you get a sneak peak and extra gifts only available to supporters of the film.
The incredible Monarch (Monarca in Spanish) is our planet's furthest migrating butterfly. Over the course of just one year, and four generations, this magnificent insect travels more than 7000 km (3000 miles) from Mexico to Canada and back. In Mexico they reunite at one of just a few special over-wintering sites, each offering sanctuary to millions of butterflies. As if travelling so far wasn't enough, exactly how they manage to reunite on the same tree branches that their great grandparents had rested on the previous year, remains a mystery to scientists until this very day. [show:image:23564]Though these butterflies often appear to be blowing around in the wind at random, there's nothing random about their incredible migration. Like birds their north-south movement is due to their narrow margin of temperature tolerance: Canada works in the summer, Mexico in the Winter. That seems simple enough, but there's more. Monarch butterflies are only able to lay their eggs on milkweed plants which grow in specific parts North America and only at specific times of year. This is because their larvae are only able to eat milkweed and why the greatest migration occurs through the 'Corn Belt' of the United States, where the plant is most common. [right:image:23565]But there's a problem. Milkweed is disappearing, and fast. Industrial-scale farming as well as herbicide application and increased mowing in roadside ditches is one of many challenges causing this pollinator superfood to retreat. Because of this, Monarch's are down to just 15% of their population in less than two decades and, with such low numbers today, one bad year could mark their end. But here is hope. And that hope, is you! If you plant just one seed this year, make it Milkweed! This vital food source will attract not just Monarchs to your yard but other beautiful butterflies as well. Even cooler is that [url=https://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/milkweed/free-milkweeds/]Monarch Watch[/url] is offering to send [b]FREE seeds[/b] to schools and restoration projects (of 2 acres or more) ..OR if you're like me and just down to make a difference while summoning all the Monarchs to your yard, get your seeds from them here at the [url=https://shop.milkweedmarket.org/]Milkweed Market[/url]! This is a great thing to do with your kids, students or on your own. [show:image:23947]NEWS: We are building a photo gallery of the Milkweed that you plant. Please send us a photo or two to [url=mailto:email@example.com]firstname.lastname@example.org[/url] so we can include your plants and inspire others to take action as well. Thank you for caring and taking action! [group:image:23877][/][group:image:23878][/][group:image:23880][/][group:image:23879][/][group:image:23954][group:image:23882][group:image:23881][group:image:23951]
Adventuring into the heart of Africa, a paraglider instigates a young man's potentially deadly quest to release the weight of poverty, social taboos and self doubt, and take to the skies. In doing so, the traveler is confronted with unsettling truths about his own racial and cultural identity.
In a country where no one flies, two friends can inspire a nation by putting everything on the line.
Fly along as Benjamin Jordan sets a new World Distance Record (10,000 km) as he crosses Canada by Powered Paraglider. Along the way, you will land at summer camps and inspire thousands of children, while raising funds to send less fortunate ones to summer camp next year! The 71 minute, Documentary Feature contains 15 chapters chronicling the epic successes and failures of this unprecedented journey. Each chapter focuses on a unique aspect of Canadian geography, culture and the exact mix of team-work and blind optimism required to pull off such a daring stunt. Since it's release in 2010, A Canadian Dream (formerly "DREAM") has screened in theatres world-wide and, through it's proceeds, has allowed almost 100 children, from low-income homes, the opportunity to attend summer camp.Watch Now..