"Live a good life, and in the end, it's not the years in the life, it's the life in the years."

Paragliding Saddle Rock on Memorial Day

Joe Gluzinski gets ready to make a paraglide flight over Wenatchee on Memorial Day

By Joe Gluzinski

 Paraglider, harness, reserve, helmet, flight suit, gloves, flight instruments, first-aid kit and water totaling 55 pounds.

With 26 years in the sport, this will be my first flight of the 2016 flying season.

During the hike up my thoughts drifted to my friend Navy SEAL, Jerry McCauley, KIA in Iraq in 2008. Jerry and I had done many sky dives and a BASE jump together before he died.

After dedicating the flight to Jerry, my footsteps felt lighter.

Conditions were perfect at takeoff and I slowly climbed 2,000 feet over Saddle Rock circling in friendly thermals. The 360-degree view was beyond words.

The flight lasted an hour and I was able to land safely by the Columbia River. I will remember this Memorial Day flight forever and believe that Jerry was there with me flying in spirit.

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