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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!