Meandering in Mexico

Jan 20, 2008 The Big One: A 230 Mile Mexican Cross Country Adventure Begins

2008-02-01 Snowstorm Finish

From golden sand to the driven snow. I'm just in time for Chicago's worst snowstorm of the season. Even that's kind of fun.

Our adventure has completed, its many images and experiences seared into my memory. No doubt they will simmer there, improving with time though it's hard to imagine them getting much better.

Top: The Crew left to right: Jeff Hamann, Mark MacWhirter, Jeff Goin, Phil Russman, Michael O'Daniel. This was taken in Manzanillo just before launching on the first leg of our journey.

Bottom: Jorge managed to beat us to each destination (not an easy task) and was a lot of fun to hang with when we weren't flying. Photo by Jeff Hamann.

The trip was incredible. Different, to be sure, from Magdalena Bay but equally enjoyable. Mexico is a wonderful country and a great place to PPG. What great compadres, too. Funny man Michael O'Daniel, photo flyer "Tank" Mark MacWhirter, filming Phil Russman, organizer "Hamster" Jeff Hamann and yours truly "Pajaro Loco." Our driver, Jorge, was a key ingredient who went well above any reasonable call of duty to become an indispensable part of the group and a lot of fun to be with.

Phil and Mark taped some incredible sights. All in high def, too. Jeff Hamann and I took some incredible aerials and Mark snapped some incredible sights from the ground. You'll see. He's gonna put up a gallery and FootFlyer will feature the best of shots when time permits.

The photos below are a tiny, tiny sampling. There will be more to come, later, of course and the best pictures will be in Powered Sport Flying and Paramotor magazines. Boy are there some amazing sights. Thanks to Jeff Hamann for organizing this and making it happen.

2008-01-26 Majahua, Mexico. Midstream on the way down Mexico's western shore and it's a majestic sight. This hotel is sweet. Besides being beautiful, with launch beach just outside our cabana, there is internet. Not that there'll be much time for that but I've got a quick update out. Pictures will be incredible.

We've covered a couple hundred miles, stood on the hulk of a shipwreck, slalomed coconut trees and much more. I've put more hours on my little snap in 6 days than I have in the last 6 months. So much to cover but alas, food awaits.

2008-01-20 Let the games begin.

Greetings from 30 something thousand feet on my way to Los Angeles. From there it's on to a place I can barely pronounce, or so I'm told by the beautiful Mexican gate agent who corrected me.

Have you seen "Why We Fly"? Probably not given that it's not quite out yet but it will be soon. "Why We Fly" is a national geographic quality documentary of another Mexican adventure with suspense, human drama, tension and some of the most beautiful PPG flying you could ever want. Hand skimming, swoopy, PG ridge soaring is a bonus. Original music by a Hollywood studio didn't hurt. When I showed snippets to a non-flying friend his comment was: "I wanna see the whole thing!"

This trip will be far different but no less fun, I'm sure. Lord knows I've never done this much cross country. We plan to cover 230 miles. No single flight is that big a deal but the shear quantity is daunting. We'll be flying from hotel to hotel with a support van keeping tabs and toting gas. Lots of no wind launches on soft sand. Ought to be fun. Some of the terrain isn't so friendly but my Agama will be at my back.

Jeff Hamann is an organizational dynamo. He puts these things together so thoroughly it's hard to keep up. Of course it never goes exactly according to plan but, let me tell you, having a plan is still a great plan.

We've got camera gear out the...well, lets just say there should be some good photographs. Gotta love digital cameras.

If you don't see anything on FootFlyer for a while, it's either because I've got no internet connection or got fed to the sharks.

By the way, I realize some of this stuff is risky. So, regarding life, I'd like to say that it's been a blast already. I've done more than I ever thought possible and some things I never dreamed of. If ever I don't return from one of these jaunts, know that it's been an incredible time with many INCREDIBLE people. Mind you, I've got a *LOT* yet to do, but I'd rather like to think of the life had rather than fret what's missed.

Having covered that, here's hoping the sharks go hungry!


Jeff Hamann, Michael O'Daniel

Mark MacWhirter

Don Jordan

Phil Russman

Above is a brief sample of the many sights from this memorable trip.

In a truly amazing coincidence, on one of the legs we came across another PPG pilot who turned out to be USPPA treasurer Don Jordan. He flew over to join us then flew with us for part of our journey the next day. He is pictured launching to fly back.

2008-Jan-20 The crew has been reassembled for another Mexican adventure. This trip adds pilot Mark Mcwirter to the Mex mix. It's been almost 2 years. Hopefully all the gear arrives intact. That's always a relatively big if. If it doesn't we'll still probably share segments among the remaining motors.

2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!