Tag Archives: Nor Cal Skydive

I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless and in this moment I am happy

11 Jun

Where to start with this one…  A few months ago I had a friend ask me if I wanted to go skydiving for her birthday.  This is something that I’ve always wanted to do but never really had anyone around me ready to pull the trigger on actually going (except my brother but he’s been all over the world and we haven’t had the chance to go together).  This time around my friend was asking me because there was a Groupon and when I “accidentally” missed the deadline on buying it a few months back, I instantly regretted not getting it.  Little did I know, this is peak season for skydiving and she couldn’t get her reservation until this past weekend.  On top of that, one of the girls had to bail because of a recent small medical issue.  This is where it all swings back to me.  I was offered her Groupon less than 24 hours before our “jump.”  For me, this wasn’t enough time for my mind to mentally prepare myself for what I was getting into but knowing that I had two friends going who were just as scared was a major relief.

Of course your mind floods with all of the terrible thoughts you can only think before you go defy death and that youtube of that poor 80 year old woman that slipped partially out of her harness replays over and over in your head but as soon as we got there, those thoughts all seem to become more and more distant.  The hardest part for me was that I would be jumping without my friends in the plane because they didn’t have room for all of us in their tiny planes.  They had a few different planes just hot lapping basically as the different jumping groups came throughout the day.  That was one of the most exciting parts, seeing the people landing and how happy they were.  I knew I had made the right decision.

With all of this being said, on this major adventure I had my guide jumper and a photographer with me on my journey.  I jumped at Nor Cal Sky Dive in Cloverdale, CA (pretty much Napa/wine country area).  We used a GoPro which as always are the best option for anything high speed.  All photos below were shot with a GoPro.  Enjoy!

I met my guide, Tyler, and he just told me to follow him.  At this point I didn’t realize we were about to take off.  No real instruction, just follow the man my life was in the hands of.

The photographer, Josh, did such a great job.  He was there every step of the way.

Tyler give me the low down.

This is when it started to get real.  He was explaining how we were going to have to climb out on the wing a bit…  Also, I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my friends!  I didn’t know we were actually leaving haha but that was probably for the best : )

Taking my instructions very seriously at this point.

There’s Josh, I don’t know how he stays so steady but he’s truly a bird of flight.

Loading up.

Just trying to talk it out while we take flight.

He was very reassuring, thank god!

Starting to climb above 9,000ft.

Telling me how it’s all going to happen.

Checking the altitude.

Getting connected to Tyler.  This was reassuring because I could feel the harness tightening which is exactly what you want to feel at this moment.  However, I’m looking out thinking holy $#@! this is really high but beautiful at the same time.

At this point, when the door opened I was terrified!  But also beyond curious.

This is what it looks like to be over 9,000 ft above the earth.

Pretty surreal.

Birds eye view.

Josh climbing out of the plane.

Realizing this is really happening.

Trying to stabilize in the winds up there is so hard!  You also have the heavy hum of the propellers in your ears.

At this point, I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing just a little bit.

Most people say the jump is the best part for all the views.  I just didn’t even want to see the moment I jumped.  I closed my eyes and let him gently guide me out of the plane.

Free fallin’

You know those dreams where you are falling?  That’s what the initial fall from the plane felt like and then as soon as our bodies stabilized, the feeling was indescribable.  One of the most amazing feelings I have ever experienced.  It was also incredibly quiet.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just had my eyes wide open and couldn’t help the HUGE smile on my face.

Above the world.  I don’t have to wonder what it would feel like to fly anymore 🙂

I don’t know how he did it but Josh caught up to us and as we were free falling we were just all sharing this moment of awesome-ness.

What it feels like to go 120 mph with no machinery.  All free fall.

Deploying the chute!

All of the sudden, you are just halted as the chute starts to expand to catch your weightless bodies.

At this point, you really start to enjoy the views as everything starts to slow down.

Another favorite part of this experience for me was turning once the chute has deployed.  It’s one of the coolest feelings to just be swooshed from side to side in the completely quiet skies.  It’s like you’re a feather flowing from side to side all the way back to earth.

Getting ready for landing.

And just like that, I was back on the ground again.  Like nothing had happened.  Except, everything had happened.

I literally could not stop laughing and smiling.  I couldn’t even fathom what had just happened.  I had just gotten one of the most amazing tours of Northern California a person could ever experience.

Feet on ground.

I can’t even explain what this felt like.  However, I can say that I would have been very sad had I not ever done this knowing now how amazing it is.

We also took a few iPhone photos of each other and I thought I’d share those as well 🙂  Below are personal photos.

Gearing up!

Candace gearing up!

Candace coming down!  Since I jumped first, I got to watch them come down 🙂

Both of them floating in.

Sam and her jumper.

Candace and her jumper.

The three of us bonding over this insane moment we shared.

Post jump lunch at one of the most amazing BBQ restaurants in Cloverdale.

Every kind of meat you could ever want.  I mean after all, we deserved it!

What a fun way to end a life changing adventure.  There was nothing notable from the rest of the weekend that could top my Saturday’s event so for the rest of the weekend I just relaxed and reveled in all my dare-devil glory.  After all, doing the scariest things often lead to the most satisfaction.  Not to mention, I never in a million years thought I’d ever say… I’d do it again 🙂

Happy Monday everybody!