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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!