Definitely wanted to get this posted MUCH sooner than today, considering the content in it happened two weeks ago. But, just as I knew it would, my hectic work/internship/social life schedule got the best of me. I also had quite a bit of video to go through and edit, and I didn’t want to rush on showing the experience. Cause it was one of my favorites so far since moving out here!
On Sunday the 20th at 4 a.m., I was driving over four hours with three friends to Penrose, Colorado, to escape the valley I’ve grown accustomed to the past couple of months, and to continue an addiction I set into motion one year ago.
Allow me to explain:
If you’ve never skydived…..well, YOU HAVE TO.
That was my second time around, and the experience was just as exhilarating as the first. I’m sure the feeling is different for everyone, but for me, for some reason, there’s no fear. Just 100%
The thing about skydiving is that, after the first few seconds, it doesn’t even feel like you’re falling. It’s like you’re in a huge wind tunnel with a Nat Geo IMAX screen stretched out before you—an experience incomparable even to sitting pressed against an airplane window. In this particular jump, I could see the Continental Divide glimmering along the length of the horizon in the early morning sun, and all below us, the staggering rise and fall of mountains, snaking country roads, and Colorado Springs—our next stop of the day.
All too soon the parachute slows my descent and then it’s just smooth sailing through the sky—until I took reign of the parachute and maneuvered sharp, sidewinder turns.
Best. Roller coaster ride. Ever.
***Note to future self and all reading this: Don’t wear a jacket with a zipper that will cut into your neck like a pocket knife in a 120 mph freefall. Ow!***
It was especially great to watch my three friends go, as it was all their first time and were the ones who invited me along on this awesome excursion. Their excitement just heightened mine, and sharing such an incredible experience with good friends made the adventure that much better!
After working up an appetite and gorging like wolves on a pancake feast at IHOP, we rolled back into the Jeep and headed towards Colorado Springs.
Instead of driving the quick hour to our destination at Garden of the Gods, though, we decided the day was still young, and why not take a two-hour detour by the beautiful Phantom Canyon Road.
So it was the first time taking the Jeep off-roading, and I have to admit, I was more nervous about how it would hold up than I was about falling through the sky. After two spin-outs on a snowy highway and a failed transmission all in the past 3 months, my vision of the war vehicle turned into a fragile toy car. But it held like a champ, and, thanks to my friend Daniel successfully controlling tailspins through mud and snow, missing head-on collisions around boulders, and jumping around killer potholes, my confidence in its durability was restored.
With the sun beaming down into the canyon, mud splattering everywhere, and GoPros sweeping around to catch as many angles as possible, any moments of stress I’d been feeling completely vanished. I was reminded that these are the moments that will truly be everlasting.
And then we finally reached the Garden of the Gods.
Talk about a cool area. These red rock formations are quite the standout from the surrounding Rockies, and make the best playground for rock climbers and selfie takers. There’s some pretty gnarly shapes and arrangements, like Balanced Rock and Keyhole Window–all things that must be climbed!!
Here’s a video of both the drive and Garden of the Gods. Check it out:
I’d say it was a pretty successful and fulfilling day, and a longgg one at that. Another 4.15 hour drive back got us in around 11 p.m., then it was back to work at Snowmass ski resort at 7:45 a.m. So worth it, though, and something I wish I could do over again.
I think it’s now a life goal to jump at least once in every state, so I only have 48 more to go! Plus I’ll be going skydiving in Costa Rica when I visit Daniel, Allan, and Daniel #2—you guys rock! Thanks for all the driving, videoing, and epic DJing on the road. Couldn’t have asked for better people to have shared in those experiences. 🙂
Thanks also to Colorado Skydiving. Great place to go—awesome people, amazing views.
This week is the last week of the ski season (wowee!) and I’ve got more adventures coming up, so stay tuned!
Venture on, friends