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Monday, December 6, 2010

A few more states completed, still no fast internet to upload video...

Currently I am in Minneapolis Minnesota, using my phone to type up everything. The only internet access I have really had over the past couple weeks has been from my phone... and while that's pretty fast, its still not fast enough to upload any long videos.

Right after I jumped in Montana I headed down to Buffalo Wyoming, where I Hung out for a week in sub zero temperatures with a super cool group of couch surfers. They took me amongst their group for everything, including a thanksgiving feast that would make any king jealous! After a week though, i had to move on to South Dakota to go find a pilot...

Last Sunday, I was able to hire a guy (Colin Potter) to fly me from Hot Springs, South Dakota over to Newcastle Wyoming for a skydive. It went very well, even though it was only about 20 degrees on the ground along with a foot of snow... and on the flight back to Hot Springs SD I jumped out again, taking care of those two states.

Shortly after that I drove over to Sioux Falls, SD, where I crashed with more couch surfers for a night before heading down to Lincoln, NE. A few days of hanging out there later, I got in touch with one of the main dudes at the Lincoln Sport Parachute Club out in Weeping Water and we set up a skydive. A couch surfer that I had met in Omaha happened to be doing a class project where she had to video interview somebody doing something interesting, and she chose to follow my story :) Lindsey, the couch surfer, got to ride along in the plane and record my lame attempt at a bat hang from the Cessna wing, before I let go and was chased by Chuck. I think my video blog of Nebraska will simply be her interview project cause it should be pretty interesting!

After one more night in Nebraska after the jump, Lindsey and I went to a huge couch surfing party in Omaha and made a lot of new very very well traveled friends, and then I moved on to Minneapolis! It sounds like, however, one of those couch surfers might just be coming up here to hang out and join me for a few days of my adventure :)

Let's hope the weather up here clears up soon and that I can take out a couple more states before I fly back to California on the 17th!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jumped out of a helicopter in Montana! Now for Wyoming...

Well that wasn't TOO difficult! It took about 5 days of staring at crappy weather in Montana before one morning it was gorgeously sunny for just a few hours, enough time for me to go up in an R44 and jump out over a nice large field to land in. However, we didn't realize the upper winds were 50+mph and I TRIED to put my spot in a way that would be good enough for 20mph winds (which we thought they were) soooo I had to land in someone's backyard about 1 mile from my intended landing area...

After that jump I decided to head down to Buffalo Wyoming to stay with my next couch surfing host, and got stuck in a pretty icy snow storm along the way. But alas, I arrived safely, and that is where I am currently positioned.

Thanks a ton for Lila setting me up with a place to stay up in Missoula for a night, and of course to Rah for an awesome couch in Bozeman for the majority of my Montana visit!

And finally, here is the video blog :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Idaho complete, Wyoming attempted... Montana in progress.

Well this has been a fun past week! I started off this road trip on Monday morning when I embarked upon the 10 hour drive to Twin Falls, ID. I arrived within about 3 minutes of my GPS's initial guess of my arrival time, that was pretty fantastic.

I narrowly avoided one of the most intense storms I have ever seen in my life... I was driving through the very flat parts of Nevada, and could see a storm about 15 miles wide coming towards the road that I was driving on. Just as the edge of the storm, which appeared as a solid wall of gray with things flying inside of it (I don't think it was a giant tornado... didn't look "swirly" enough, but I've never seen one) got within 1 mile of the road I was at the end of it. The winds, even 1 mile from the gray, were sending huge things of tumble weed flying 20 some odd feet above my car, and I had to hold my wheel almost 90° to the side to keep my car going straight... it was intense.

Thankfully, a good friend of mine (thank you, Erin!) recommended that I have the dropzone owner up in Twin Falls (Abbie) a call about a place to stay. Abbie and his buddy, James, were down for adventure in any form of falling out of planes or jumping off of objects and had some of the coolest stories/videos you could possibly imagine. I convinced them that it would be a good idea for us to fly all the way over to Wyoming to a small airport right over the boarder to try to jump there (since there is no actual dropzone in all of Wyoming), so we did! Well, we tried. About 13 minutes from the airport, the weather got too bad and we definitely needed to turn away from the clouds in front of us and call it quits. We did, however, have a lot of fun while in the plane, and got to jump out over his old dropzone location in Idaho on our way "home." If you are EVER in the Twin Falls area, I would highly recommend going straight to Abbie (say it like bobby, but without the first "b") at snake river skydiving!

The next day they had convinced me (didn't take much) that it was a good idea to go BASE jump off of the famous Perrine Bridge, right there in Twin Falls. After a lot of training and running through emergency scenarios (aka, in the 4 seconds you have till you hit the ground, if no parachute is above your head within 2 seconds, flail about wildly to try to get the parachute to come out), I was standing on the 2' platform sticking over the edge of the bridge. Yes, it was by far the most terrifying moment of my life, and I screamed like a little girl when the sensation of falling immediately presented itself (which, by the way, does NOT happen while skydiving).

Shortly after climbing out of the canyon, searching for a mannequin that we lost after he fell out of the plane (see video blog for details) and declaring him MIA, I left for Montana.

I arrived in Montana Saturday night, and have been waiting for the clouds to go above three feet, and the snow to stop falling so I can go jump out of a plane here in Bozeman. Wish me luck, oh blog readers.

There really was no point in you reading all of this, because it has been all incorporated (except the snow falling in Montana) in my lengthy video blog of Idaho, which you should watch. There are some fun/funny moments, there are some boring moments, and there are some terrifying moments (aka, the BASE jump). Enjoy!

Be sure to watch it in 1080p if your computer can stream fast enough!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gearing up for Epic Road Trip #2

First off, I doubt this will be near as epic as the first epic road trip... but one can only hope! Just started sending out couch requests a couple days ago for the first few states. No real way to tell when I'll be showing up at each one, but I plan to leave Cali on the 10th of November. The route in the last blog post will hold mostly true, at least till I get in my car... then who knows what will happen!

I really do need help now more than ever before. This trip will be putting me through temperatures that might possibly drop to -30°f! Now obviously I won't be skydiving if they get that low, and I hope it will be bright and sunny at each of my destinations, but I doubt it. I don't have any free cash for this trip, things are going to be very tight... Hopefully some of the dropzones along the way will be willing to sponsor me a jump (or two!) and I'll throw them due credit on here!

If anybody (all 2 of you) reads this that has any idea how to skydive in Wyoming, please, let me know. My current plan is to show up to a small airport and bug every pilot around to take me up in their plane to 3k ft and squirm out of the door... we'll see how it goes :( Maybe I will get lucky and there will be an experienced R44 pilot up there that will take off his doors for me and it will go smoothly! HELP!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Well, looks like I'm moving to Alabama =-O

Nobody really saw this coming... but it LOOKS like I will be moving to the gulf coast in Alabama.
I still need to run through all those states in the NW section of the country, so I'm devising a plan to move myself here AND go through those states at the same time. This is NOT a 100% sure thing, but as of right now, the move seems to make sense on many levels.

IF this is the case...

This is the revised route plan. Click on it to check out the route in google maps.

In theory, I will throw as much stuff in my little hybrid as possible (clothes, computer stuff, skydiving gear etc.) and take this trip, which will put my car, and a lot of my stuff at my new place in Alabama. Then I will simply fly home, and uhaul the rest of my crap in a direct route over here in 2 days of driving.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Planning the next road trip...

Looks like it's time to plan another road trip! I'm not sure when I'll be able to leave for this, I definitely need to save up a lot more $$ as my bank account is reaching the single digits...

From doing a bit of research on and calling a few different places, it looks like these will be my stops along the way.

If anybody knows anybody in any of these areas, or inbetween some for a good resting spot, don't hesitate to contact me! Most of these northern states are pretty sparse, and finding couch surfers looks like it's going to be a bit more difficult :(

Click on the picture for a link to the actual google maps version of the route!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Alaska, state #22 complete!

Here we are! Finished throwing together the video blog of Alaska. I got to check off a bunch of firsts up there, a couple of which you get to see in the video :) Let me know what you think! Want to see more of something? Less of something? That's what the comments are for!

The video is all 1080p so feel free to click the maximum resolution at the bottom right if your computer/monitor/internet can handle it!

A great shout out to Alaska Skysports for helping me out along the way while I was in AK. Be sure to check them out if you're ever in Alaska!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Leaving Alaska today

Well it has been an incredible 10 days here in Alaska, and it is time to head home. I've collected a ton of different videos throughout the trip but that means I have to edit them all together in a way that you, all 6 people that might read this, should care to watch. My official "Alaska: State #22" update will be up some time in the next few days folks!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Successful state #21 = Nevada!

Here we are folks... the first official video for this blog! I had a blast visiting Vegas (who wouldn't???) for a couple of days and getting to jump over Mesquite.

You can see from the video that I pretty much suck at trying to sit-fly, but that's only my 5th attempt or so out of an actual plane (I can sit in a wind tunnel pretty well, but when I'm up in the sky my brain forgets how to fly!).

A big thanks to Morris Workman for covering my story out in Nevada and getting some great pictures! Check out his story at the link below, then enjoy the video!

Mesquite Local News

A couple of sponsors

A huge thanks to a couple of dropzones that have helped me along the way... Both are dropzones I would HIGHLY recommend going to, whether you have 0 jumps or 10,000. Check out their websites!
Be sure to go to skydive Moab. There is another dropzone at that same airport that is under a different name... I don't know much about them, but I know the one I went to rocked!
Skydive Mesquite is about an hour from Vegas... It's the only fun-jumper friendly DZ anywhere near Vegas, and totally worth the short drive!

If you're ever around those areas, be sure to tell them "that one 50 state jumper guy" sent you! :D

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Picture from Washington

Thanks Doug! He grabbed this off of the video he took... nobody had a still camera on the jump so a screenshot from the video is all we get. When he uploads the full video, I'll link to that!

As usual, I'm the one with the gray jumpsuit on the right with the red and black rig.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Going to skydive Nevada soon

In one week from today I'll be on my way down to Nevada to hopefully get that state taken care of! Last time I drove through Nevada, the temperatures were too high (110°) by 10am and we couldn't jump, but hopefully this time things are a bit different. It's going to be a small dropzone about 1 hour NE of Vegas, in the little town of Mesquite.

The scenery out there is absolutely stunning, if you like lots of dirt. Plenty of mountains to view, but I really won't know of anything too awesome until I'm up in the air and flying around!

Here is an image of the airport and some of Mesquite in the background!

A video blog, pictures and video of the jump will be posted to share the experience with you all :) I'm still open for anybody to send me something personal of theirs for me to jump with! I just ask that you cover my jump ticket, and the price of the video/stills ($50). Of course, the donate button at the top of the page is where you do that... leave a note with your phone number and I'll call you ASAP!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Here in Texas

Well, I'm here in Texas right now... San Antonio to be exact. I wish this were for a fun skydiving adventure, but I actually had to fly out here for some special occasion. It's been over a week since I've gotten to skydive and I'm having withdraws!!!

The good news is, I'm flying back tomorrow. Hopefully I'll get some fun jumps in, along with a bit of time in the wind tunnel before I head to Nevada in a couple weeks. I'll keep ya posted!

As always, donations are more than welcome! Remember, send me $50 and something fun to jump out with that belongs to you (stuffed animal, etc.), I'll jump with it, take lots of pix and video and post it back up here on the blog, and send your item back to you!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Special something for those who donate :D

Hello again! Third installment talking to the entire world... At this time, I really don't think there's anybody reading this blog, but oh well.

I've decided to make it a bit more fun for whoever wants to donate a decent chunk of change! The first person to make a donation of $50 or more will get something special done by me, for them in the picture while I am in freefall in my next state! This could be their name and a thank you written on a sign I'm holding, or something suggested by you in the comments. As long as it is safe, I might just give it a go! So how about it??? Let the ideas flow!

Great suggestion by my friend Erin... if you'd like, you can send me an object of yours such as a stuffed animal or something, I will skydive with it, take plenty of pictures/video and send it right back to you!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Images of the states that I've done so far!

Hello world, again!

Here are some of the images of the states that I've done so far. Unfortunately, being the broke kid that I am, I cannot afford to pay somebody to jump with me and take pictures of me everywhere that I go, so most of these are from the camera that is on my own helmet :( Of course, all donations will go to things DIRECTLY related to this goal, which means that it will help me get much better proof of all future states I do! Some of the states I relied on other people taking video, which I would then take a screenshot of after they gave me the video, but I have not heard back from them... so you'll have to deal with images of my signed log book instead :(

So in chronological order, here they are!

Being my home state, California was obviously the first state that I jumped in. I started AFF here and more than half of my jumps are between Byron and Hollister.

I started my little journey thinking it would be fun to do the states in alphabetical order... which would have been fantastic, aside from costing an arm and a leg and a spleen or three. I couch surfed with a fantastic group of 3 college students in Birmingham, so a big thanks to Erin, Meredith and Claire for letting me crash there! Congrats goes to Meredith on coming with for her first tandem skydive :D

A buddy of mine from back home happens to be going to Embry Riddle so again, I had a free place to stay with him. Thanks for that, Matt! And congrats to one of Matt's dorm mates, Kelsi, on her first tandem!

This image was taken the first time I went to Arkansas, it is from my point of view as Amy is riding me down (a reverse rodeo, if you will) to earth. A HUGE thanks goes to the different couch surfers I stayed with, drove me around, fed me etc. AND a congrats of course to the ones that came along to make their first tandem skydives, Larissa and Sean!

Sorta NSFW picture of me after I landed naked on my 100th jump. My helmet covers the privates :p
This image was taken when I stopped by Arkansas for more shenanigans along my crazy long road trip, hit a landmark 100 jumps, did my first naked jump, and got pied right after I landed. Quite unforgettable... I would seriously recommend to ANYBODY that you should skydive naked. IT. IS. AWESOME!

New Mexico:
New Mexico!
The first state I jumped in along the road trip... I wasn't able to find a couch surfer to crash with, so I crashed in my car right in the parking lot of the dropzone, woke up, jumped out of a plane and left for Texas. The temp at altitude was about -20° which made for one of the coldest jumps I've ever done!

After couch surfing with some fantastic people all over Texas, starting up in Lubbock (look up the testosterhome if you're ever on CS, they're the coolest guys on the planet!), heading down to San Antonio, waiting out horrible weather for three weeks I finally was able to skydive at Skydive San Marcos. Did an awesome jump with some members of the SOS (Skydivers Over Sixty), went to dinner with them and heard some crazy stories from the beginning of skydiving! A couple of us had video on the jump, but ALL of us forgot to turn on our cameras... I remembered once I was under canopy, so, there's my steering toggle. Woo hoo.

I'm pretty sure some of the coolest bartenders ever are hidden up in Baton Rouge
*cough* Jules *cough*
Strange Louisiana foods were tossed my way, Evan put me up in his apartment for a week, and a couple of cool solo's were made out of a Cessna. The picture isn't upside down... this was my first attempt at flying head down, and a screenshot from my view!

Oh Mississippi... Now, at first I thought, "What on earth is in Mississippi???" But! Now I know. Not too much... lots of fields. However, Amanda (couch surfer host!) showed me some awesome parts of Mississippi's coast lines, took me to my first experience at a casino (where we made $20 last about 7 hours) and ate the most fantastic pizza in the world. The dropzone happened to be the #1 rated dropzone on and it seriously showed! The people there were phenomenal, they flew an otter (awesome jump plane), were small enough that nobody got lost in the busy atmosphere, but large enough that people of all skill levels were around. A big thanks to Gustavo for the image!

Florida was home to a very last minute couch surfer joining me for a tandem (you can see her in the door of the plane, about to plunge towards our beloved rock we call earth). Contrary to the plane telling you that we are in DeLand, this was really at the Z-hills dropzone. The next three weeks involved galavanting around the Florida Keys and enjoying some kick ass moments watching everybody skydive like CRAZY at the skydiving expo in DeLand!

South Carolina:
South Carlina!
Yet another fantastic shot of my hand, this is Anna trying to catch up to me in a stand. This chick is the whole reason ANY of this is happening... also known as "the crazy chick with the funny backpack that got me started in the sport" :D

Amy Amy Amy... the only person that I have seen go for their first tandem, have a fantastic time, land, and answer "would you ever do it again?" with a simple and calm, "no." Quite a hilarious moment on camera, but everybody is glad she did it for the first time :) Image thanks to her awesome video guy that flew around under canopy next to me for a while before we landed!

Will add photo of logbook...
Unfortunately I got here when the weather was getting pretty ugly, and we didn't have much time to prepare for a jump, so I didn't get my camera on, nor did the person I jumped with. It was still a great jump at one of the coolest dz's I've been to, CSC!

Again, a very last minute jump I finished filling out my waivers about 7 minutes before the plane went up... That left for my gear being flung on while someone was giving me the dz briefing, then I ran to the plane and found somebody to take a picture (thanks Paola!), and jumped out by myself.

A short drive from the super awesome folks down in Arkansas was the dropzone in Missouri. Already knowing some people here, we spent the day up there eating fantastic BBQ, jumping out of planes and ending the day with a few beers. Somebody snapped a fun picture of me wrestling my canopy down after landing in the windy field!

By far the most adventurous jump I've done, this was pulled off by the kick-ass DZO of the Arkansas dropzone (Siloam Springs), Wolf. He gave me directions to his friend's house, who happened to have a huge "yard" just on the opposite side of the Oklahoma/Arkansas boarder. I checked it out, set my altimeter, left my car there, got a ride back to the DZ, waited for Wolf to file the notum, then proceed to fly over the boarder doing a 2-way hop 'n pop with Ty landing in the field 20 yards from Arkansas! We got to fly our canopies over the boarder and back too, which was pretty fun :D

The great guys over at the Kansas skydiving club had the great idea to strap a 260sq ft parachute to my back and have me do a static line jump for the first time... It was pretty weird not having to pull anything for myself, and just trust that "it would work!" Had a great time chatting it up with these guys for quite some time, before getting soaked to the bone from insane rains on the 20' run to my car. Pretty awesome afternoon :D

Possibly the most beautiful skydive I've done. Myself and five others I had just met at the dropzone did high hop 'n pops from about 17k MSL, flew our canopies around each other for about 10 minutes enjoying the amazing snow-capped rockies. Video was taken, but I haven't been able to get a hold of the guy that took it... Evan, if you're reading this, you owe me a video!

MOAB!!! Holy 110° skydive batman! April, awesome couch surfer host from Colorado, made the trek to Moab with me and went along for her 2nd tandem skydive! It was stunningly gorgeous seeing the terrain from 10,000ft, and Eli did a great job of getting this all on video as I fly circles around him for the fun of it!

Oh Oregon... how beautiful and green you are :D How sad it is that I still do not have the video from my jump there :( I will upload an image of my log book entry if I do not get the video that was taken.

Washington, how similar to Oregon you are :p To date, I must say this has been my favorite dropzone I've been to (Snohomish)! I successfully hung for the first time from a 3-way hybrid, had a great 4-way belly jump with some strangers, and went on the phenomenal sunset 7-way speedstar jump that happened to be the 100th skydive for TWO of the skydivers! Video will follow when I get it... (Doug, that's you!)

Well, that is all for this update! Most likely going to be the largest post you'll find from me... I will be taking a short video blog right before my future skydives at the rest of the states to make this a LOT more official, and I'll be sure to get good pictures from them as well!

As always, PLEASE feel free to help contribute to this effort, really, anything at all helps! The donate button is at the top of my blog.

Peace out, World :D

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hello world!

Well, here goes nothing at my first attempt at blogging!
Do you want to know about me? Do you want to know what my goal is? Do you know what type of food I like or the clothes I wear? Probably not those last two...

Everybody will tell you to live life like it's your last day alive, right? Well how many people do you know that actually do that?! I have made it my life goal to truly live each day to the fullest; set insane goals, do insane things, meet awesome people, see amazing places and share these experiences to inspire others.

I started skydiving a couple years ago, so I am still considered "new" to the sport, but that doesn't stop me from having crazy goals. About a year ago I decided I wanted to skydive in all 50 states. This was just an idea, really, but over time I have started to get more serious about it. Six months ago I took off on a pretty ridiculous road trip around the southern half of the country, skydiving in 17 different states! That trip took almost 5 months, and I'll write up a "little" entry about that later. I just got back from another little road trip up through Oregon and Washington, and now my total is up to 20. 2/5ths of the way done in less than a year of traveling!

My current goal is to complete all 50 states before I turn 25, on October 23rd, 2012.

After all 50 states comes all of the continents. While there are only 7, it's still a lofty goal considering practically nobody even lives on one of them... There are plenty of other things to check off my bucket list, but we'll start with these two.

BUT! The biggest challenge seems to be affording all of this ridiculousness! How do I do it you might ask??? Well there are plenty of ways to save craploads of moolah when traveling and I do what I can, but for the most part, I can't afford it :( I had saved up a decent amount of money, and done some work along the way while traveling, but I NEED HELP!

So if you think what I am doing is at ALL inspiring and would like to see me succeed, please make a donation; the button is at the bottom and top of the page. Really, even a dollar helps. Go out tonight and have one less drink, think of how much it could help me, and put that money towards an awesome effort. Scrape up some change off your car floor, use that to buy your next burger, and toss some my way. If everybody that reads this makes a small contribution, you might just be seeing me flying above your house one day in your neighborhood!

I will update this blog with pictures and videos of my states so far ASAP!