It’s a good day when you can skydive and then cruise around the lake with Steve, Chacy, Tabitha. When the sun hits the trees just right and casts an orange glow on the road I just think about how much fun I’ve already had this summer. And it’s only going to get better.
We got on the lake near sunset and just enjoyed the view. We’re excited that Tabitha has moved back to the area and came out to the dz. This turned into an interesting night. Keys locked in a vehicle, dinner on a floating restaurant, and general shenanigans.
Saturday morning started strong with several loads before noon. Several people getting parachutes packed up for the next jump! Everyone has their own preferred technique. If you ask 100 different people how to pack a parachute you’ll get 100 different answers. Scott takes a more personal approach to packing. He understands that a parachute is like a woman that must be respected. He lays alongside his parachute gently stowing the toggles. Packing is not something that should be rushed. If you take care of your parachute it will take care of you 999 times out of 1000. Of course for that one other time there is a reserve parachute just in case.
Selfie time, everyone smile! So many bright and smiling faces all together around the table enjoying each other’s company. Scot is smiling too but probably had an allergic reaction to a bee sting that numbed both sides of his face. If you look closely you can see the smile in his eyes. Although you have to look through the tinted sunglasses and imagine what smiling eyes look like.
Emma raids the refrigerator for cookie snacks while Heather stands watch. Lukus is distracted by a yellow finch that is singing to him from the bushes near the edge of the tarmac. He wants to reply to their calls but doesn’t speak bird so he responds silently in his head, “peace be the journey.” He is completely oblivious to the fact that his stash of cookies is getting devoured behind him. Brandon and Adam are too focused on packing to see what’s happening around them.
Part of the jump training includes simulating emergency procedures in a hanging harness. If you’re 6’5 it becomes a standing harness. This harness was specifically designed for comfort. It pretty much feels like sitting in a lazy boy recliner that’s floating through the air. Of course the leg straps eventually cut off all circulation to your legs and they go numb.
So you see Lukus, it’s the government that is trying to control our minds. You need to throw away your cell phone, live out of a van, and learn to garden underground during the winter season. In the near future crackers will become the only form of currency…
And after I put on my spaghetti bowl helmet the government isn’t able to see inside my brain because it blocks the microwaves. You can also use foil but I like spaghetti bowls because the tiny holes allow the helmet to breathe.
And the big news from the weekend. Big CONGRATS to Daniel for achieving his A-License! From Daniel’s very first jump I could tell that he was going to be a natural skydiver. After jump two I remembered that appearances can be deceiving.
Daniel stayed focused and continued progressing. He came out to the dropzone even on bad weather days and studied at home to pass the category quizzes. The West Tennessee Skydiving trip was also a great opportunity for him to get some training jumps at another dropzone. We always encourage people to visit other dropones to see how they operate, meet new people, and pick up different training techniques that they can bring back. Daniel worked hard and passed his A license!
On a warm summer’s evening with a cool breeze Scot sits reflecting about the summer as fall starts to whisper in our ears. Two drunk people walk down the sidewalk screaming at each other with slurred profanity. The scene brings a slight smile to one corner of Scots otherwise bored facial expression. I captured the moment from a distance not wanting to pull him down from Cloud 9. Eventually I pointed out that the table he selected will not work for a reservation of 8. I’ll never know if he selected a small table intentionally or if it was just an oversight.
On Sunday we had 8 loads and Casey fired up the grill. Everyone is looking to see when the food will be ready. Casey fends off the hungry onlookers with cooking tongs, knives, and by threatening to “add a few more hot dogs to the grill.” They kept their distance until the cooking was done.
Often Casey and I are running different tracks at the dropzone. We complement each other well but that usually means we aren’t at the same place at the same time. When I’m in the air she is coordinating things on the ground, teaching, or cooking food. When she is in the air work I’m cover thing activities on the ground and “looking busy”. Here is a photo where those activities overlap and we are in the photo together!
This photo sums up the weekend. We have a lot of things going on. We have different activities, some people packing, others just hanging out. The axe throwing wall was a big hit. It’s also been nice to start enjoying the lake this summer. We like to have fun even when we aren’t jumping. All of these things are really just a medium for friends to come together.
The following Saturday Sept 22nd weather was forecast to rain all day. At 8am the rain and clouds formed a wall just 5 miles East of the Bolivar airport. This gave us a beautiful backdrop view all day. This was the best rainy day jumping we’ve had. Let this be a lesson to everyone. No matter what the weather forecast, how bad the radar looks, or how much it’s storming at the airport, you should always trust me when I say, “It’s nice and sunny.”
Colt and Terry also made it out for a few jumps. We started out with a couple RW jumps and then ended with a 159 mph hybrid. Colt and Terry took shoulder grips and I went into a stand below them hanging from their chest straps.
If you weren’t at the dropzone you definitely missed out on this view.