Hang Gliders and a Vulture

We were driving through La Jolla a couple of months ago, and on a whim, decided to check out the Torrey Pines Gliderport. . . .


This is where it all starts. On tall cliffs overlooking the Pacific. The shot below gives an idea of the surrounding cliffs, taken at Torrey Pines Reserve just north of the gliderport:



I would have liked to get closer for photography, but the area was fenced off and a burly-looking guy was making sure no one stepped over the line. He turned out to be really nice and we had a conversation about Nikon vs. Canon. (He prefers Nikon.)


There were a lot of hang gliders that day, but the whole operation ran so smoothly, almost like it was choreographed.


That’s a radio control airplane at the top of the photo.


They get up high so quickly.


Blooming ice plant near the take-off area.


No collisions, no crash landings.

Then, we noticed a small crowd gathered around a young guy with a bird.


He told the crowd the bird was a turkey vulture and let me take a photo. Not something you see every day, but kind of appropriate at a site where humans basically fly.


Have any of you ever tried hang gliding? How was it?


About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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12 Responses to Hang Gliders and a Vulture

  1. Caroline says:

    I have never tried it, I’m not so adventurous but I could imagine it’s a wonderful thing to do. The bird and the man look funny together. As if they were looking at the same thing.
    I wonder why those planst are called ice plants. Very pretty.

    • The thought of crashing into those cliffs was enough to deter me.
      I don’t know why they’re called ice plants. They do contain a lot of water in the stems, so are basically fire-retardant.

  2. Nice images, thanks for sharing. I photographed paragliders at the Torrey Pines Gliderport a couple of weeks back. Come check they out at my blog if you get a chance.

  3. My father in law used to hand glide, but hurt himself. Now he will do it from time to time with a motor (?) not sure how it works.

  4. The gliding part sounds lovely. The crash landing part doesn’t sound so great. 🙂 I’m sure they are much more graceful than that, but I can imagine I’d land flat on my face.

    I love the red chute against the blue sky.

    • They all looked like they’d been doing this for some time. It all happened so quickly and was so smoothly executed. I could definitely see myself crashing into the cliffs.

  5. TBM says:

    I bet the view is amazing, however, I’m not sure I’m brave enough. Will have to consider this. As for Canon and Nikon, I have two Canons a rebel and powershot and like them. Before Malaysia I purchased the Nikon coolpix and I’m really impressed by it. The zoom is amazing, however, not too impressed by the macro function.

    • I love my Nikon, but I’m seeing some pretty fabulous results from Canons, especially the Mark II and III series. My point-and-shoot is a Canon and I love the convenience. You’re right about the macro feature, though–not as good on P&S. I’m sure that will be fixed in the future.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Hang gliding is NOT on my bucket list. Loved with array with two surprises … the ice plant and the vulture! Beautifully done, Carole.

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