ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. -- We were flying a few thousand feet above the sunny Carson Valley, high enough to see the deep blue of Lake Tahoe over the snow-frosted mountains to the left. I was just getting comfortable, checking out the view from the glider's back seat as a small plane pulled us with a tow rope.
Then the pilot released the rope, and the plane veered away from us. It got quiet -- real quiet. We were alone.