Night of Axes 7-28-18

Friday night the weekend was upon us. The crew assembled at Buffalo Wild Wings to plan out the weekend. Saturday was fully booked with tandems, solo students, and fun jumpers. The weather was also forecasted to be a little thunderstorm-ish. The pressure was on to make the weekend last as long as possible. A lot of food had already been prepared for Saturday and Sunday. We still needed to make plans for a special Desert… Photo time, EVERYONE SMILE!

All of this weekend planning, worrying about the weather and being married can be stressful. Like the ole’ saying goes, “If I had 4 hours to cut down a tree, I’d throw an axe at it for 3 hours.” That made sense to all of us so we headed over to TommyHawks Axe House (www.tommyhawks.net). I wish I could tell you that Andy fought the good fight and that everyone got a participation trophy. I wish I could tell you that – but axe throwing is no fairy-tale world. It was definitely a competition. It look a little while to get everyone to direct their axes toward the boards instead of at each other. Once the axes started flying through the air the competition was on! On another note, looks like we may need to go over the safety briefing one more time.

Kacey was one of our instructors teaching us how wield an axe. While the instruction was excellent, my application of the instruction was not. Although Casey seemed to pick it up quite naturally. I on the other hand, might as well have been throwing a roofers claw hammer or a frozen banana. (Which that actually gives me an idea…to be continued) Anyway, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Which that worked out well, skydivers don’t always mix well with general public. Also Thanks to Seamless Rigging for organizing the event.

Adam sights down the barrel of the axe to align the sharp end with the target down the lane in an attempt over-think the throw.

Of course there has to be a winner. Troy (seen below holding the trophy) is the overall points leader. Brandon wins in the category of “How hard can I throw the axe Happy Gilmore style.” This was a great way to get the weekend started right.

Tandems and solo jump students started showing up at 9am. Even with a couple walk-ins we were able to get everything done. We kept an eye on the thunderstorms that were in the area all day. Special Thanks to Divakar and Joe for coming up this weekend to help with the Static-line(IAD) and coach students. A lot of other people pitched in to get parachutes packed and work with students.

Emma made some great progress towards getting her license. Three jumps in one day is pretty good. Sunday was a slow day due to weather and Emma was able to start working on packing.

Around noon Troy fired up the grill and threw on some marinaded chicken, brat burgers, cheesy burgers, and hot dogs. There was plenty of food for everyone. And next, time for Desert!

After lunch we finished with some Desert! Chris was a little greedy and kept all the pie for himself.

When you reach 100 jumps, “You get all the pie that you want, in none of the places that you want it.”

I’m not going to use the word “hazing.” We prefer the term “endearing acceptance.”

Casey brought out Chelsea to experience the skydiving community.

The game is call Speed Flags. Each team of 2, tries to capture as many opposing flags as possible. In this photo the 2 teams are being cordial but then split up to strategize.
Team Lukus and Ronnie strategizing and working on their Smiles before the next round of speed flags.

Team Heather and Adam appear to be focused and ready to capture some blue flags. Turns out that both teams were too focused on having fun because they came down empty handed

Shortly after sunset we took a break to give everyone time to eat and prepare for night jumps. The safety briefing started at 9:30pm and the plan started turning loads at 10pm. We did 6 night loads with the last jumper landing at 2:45AM.

Just mentioning “night jumps” the glow sticks come out. For a second I wasn’t sure if Joe, Brandon, Lukus and Adam were getting ready for night jumps or going to a RAVE. We changed the music to techno so they could at least dance while waiting for the next load.

During the day the view is amazing. At night it’s a whole nother perspective. When you’re standing on the step of an airplane at 10,000 feet at night you start looking around at all the city lights. Then Michael turns on the suit and I’m hit with some massive number of LED lights. The entire side of the airplane lights up and I was blinded for a few seconds. It would have been an interesting view from the ground. I can’t image what anyone would have thought if they had seen it from the ground.

That wraps up another amazing weekend. We’re always trying to figure out how to make the next weekend even better.

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