My friend Beth was given a birthday gift of skydiving by her brother and she asked if I'd like to go do it with her. As skydiving is one of the things that has been on my "want to do list" for many years, I immediately said yes. Another friend, Matt, decided to jump with us, so we worked on finding a compatible date and then booked our adventure!
I volunteered to drive since Matt's sister Holly and parents were also going to come along to cheer us on. We all loaded up bright and early to head about 40 miles east. Easy drive out there, interesting directions across some somewhat sketchy terrain, but finally we arrived at an airstrip. But things looked a little off......there was no one around and certainly no planes. We were only about 15 minutes earlier than we had been told to get there, so it seemed suspicious. We called the number from our reservation and received some interesting news. Apparently that particular airport wasn't allowing them to jump anymore. What we all wondered at this point was why none of us had received a call letting us know that we needed to be somewhere else.
After talking with the staff, we decided to go ahead and make a day of it and head for the other airport - even though it meant completely retracing our steps and then driving another 50+ miles to the west of our original starting point!
Once we got to the new airport, there were a few more snafus for us to wait through. Sick crew members, planes at other airports, etc. But, we persevered through the wait and finally watched the girl in front of us head up. And then, about 30 minutes later it was time for Beth and I to jump. We put on jumpsuits and then were strapped into our harnesses. We squeezed into a tiny plane with our two tandem instructors and the pilot and we were off!!
|me, Beth and Matt with our tiny airplane|
|Beth and I suited and harnessed up - ready to jump!|
Smoothest takeoff I've ever experienced and my first experience on a grass runway. About 20 minute flight to get up to 10,500 feet. Hooking our harnesses up to the tandem instructor and a reminder of the process. Open the door. Step out and then 40 seconds of freefall and about 4-5 minutes of canopy float to get back to earth.
|me on the left with the multi stripe canopy - Beth is on the right with the red, white and blue canopy|
|in for the landing!|
|landed perfectly standing up!|
|Beth and I in our Top Gun moment walking back from the plane|
|with my tandem jump instructor Scott|
It was completely amazing. Breathtaking for sure. Exhilarating. Exciting. If I could have hopped back on the plane and gone immediately back up I absolutely would have done so. The plane would only hold two jumpers at a time (with instructors), so we watched Matt jump next. After all that excitement and driving all over creation, we were hungry! We stopped at a great restaurant on the way back home.
And if my description above doesn't answer the question for you.....I can't wait to go again!!