A burst of wind lifted the featherweight wing and I soared into the sky, holding my sketchbook tighter than I ever had.
Drawing while paragliding down Tiger Mountain near Issaquah has to top my selection of the most challenging sketching situations I encountered in 2013. I still can’t believe I could bring myself to fly the tandem with paragliding instructor Marc Chirico, but the allure of making a sketch while airborne was too hard to resist.
The situation proved that, no matter how much I plan my sketching, unpredictable things happen. In past years it was the turkeys and goats that attacked me while drawing urban farmers. And the kayaking excursion to the Kalakala I thought would be a piece of cake, but was so grueling that I ended up flipping the kayak from exhaustion.
Fortunately, I didn’t take any plunges or deal with unruly animals in 2013, but challenges presented themselves in other forms.
Weather also continued to be a nuisance at times. I remember the vulnerable feeling of walking along the I-90 bridge on a windy day. And being trapped in the back seat of volunteer pilot Bob Schaper’s little Cessna as we flew just beneath the clouds to take liver-transplant survivor Sierra Lorenzo back home to Oregon.
As the year ends, I can only start to imagine the challenges and opportunities 2014 will bring.