PORTLAND, Ore. - A St. John's man isn't letting the rising cost of living get him down.
In fact, Gabe Evans is headed up - commuting to work from the skies near his home to Scapoose.
It's called "para-commuting," and it sure beats sitting in traffic and getting hammered by high gas prices.
You certainly need the right gear, along with a sense of adventure.
But Evans (pictured at right) said para-commuting is a do-able way to get to work – and he proved it this past week. (Read his blog)
Inspired by his love of paragliding and paramotoring, he flew to work. His buddies there thought it was a joke until they saw the parked paramotor pack.
"I parked it in my normal parking spot the first time I did it," he said. "Later on that day when I launched and left them there to work, they knew I wasn't kidding."
His motivation? "I don't like roads," he said. "The money and the time that we waste on roads is excessive, I think, so it's just like 'Don't need 'em, don't want 'em.' "
The standard paraglider apparatus takes some getting used to, so the average person may not consider para-commuting a realistic and reliable means of transport.
Although you don't need a special license, you do need to abide by ultralight flying rules. And Evans urges people to get paragliding and paramotoring lessons first.
The paramotoring pack gives a little "uummff" to the trip.
It's a 60-pound set of stuff suspended from a huge wing floating up above.
The pack includes a gas motor. But very little fuel is used once you get up there; the wind takes you.
To Evans, it's just him and the scenery.
"Mountains, lakes, rivers, farmland, it's gorgeous," he said.
And Evans said he'll commute this way as often as he can - weather-permitting.
"Even more than just a transportation issue, it's just a fun way to get to work rather than getting in the old four-wheeled box," he said.