New Level of Crazy

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Welcome to Lodi California

Jeff and I left the magnificent beauty of Yosemite behind to become city dwellers again. After a week of cell & wifi isolation we were ready to get back to some connectivity for work. The temps were rising over 100* so we decided to head to Lodi early to be plugged in before the heat of the day.

We planned a week in Lodi to visit with family and to get caught up on business, so I made reservations at Flag City RV Resort. This is a very nice RV park with nicely spaced, level, concrete sites with a pool and hot tub. We used our Passport America membership for discounts that made our site quite reasonable for the week.

Lodi CA

Lunch with sweet Aunt Shirley at Lodi’s best taco truck, La Picosita!

While we were innocently sitting in the back yard of Jeff’s aunt and uncle we couldn’t help but hear the overhead buzz of a prop plane climbing in elevation. Uncle Don made mention that we were hearing a parachuting plane making its assent. He also mentioned that Lodi has one of the countries most popular sky diving centers and if we ever thought of skydiving, this was the place to do it!

Of course this was all the words Jeff needed to hear to get the Spencer, “gee, that sounds like fun; wouldn’t that be awesome; I am going to drag my wife along to scare the living crap out of her but she will love it” wheels turning.

Lodi CA

Lodi is home to the very first A&W Rootbeer

To be fair, last year when I turned 50 I decided that I needed to do something monumental to celebrate such a big milestone! I’m really not a big risk taker and I consider myself very conservative when it comes to… well, anything!

So when the words, “I want to skydive” came out of my mouth I looked around to see who said it! But it was too late. I said it out loud and sort of committed myself to doing something completely out of character. But if George Bush could skydive when he turned 80, then I had some serious motivation to not be outdone by an elderly former president who has no real bearing on my life!

When Jeff checked into sky diving in Arkansas last year fortunately unfortunately the jump appointments didn’t fit into our schedule and I felt a bit relieved that it just wasn’t going to work out.

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But here we are over a year later, standing in line at The Parachute Center in Lodi California handing them hard earned money for the most terrifying experience thrill of a lifetime!

So this is how this whole experience went down.

The day before we were supposed to move on from Lodi, I woke up from a nap to see Jeff chewing on his fingernails. Fingernail chewing is my husbands tell that he is conjuring up something in that pretty head of his.

Asking what was up he said he wanted to surprise me with something but didn’t know how to spring it on his “give me at least 2 days to process something” wife. Poor fella! So he let me know that if we ever wanted to skydive, now was the time to do it.

Lodi CA

Summer housing at its finest at the Parachute Center

The Parachuting Center draws skydivers from all over the world, most of whom spend their vacations or entire summers living in a tent city right on airport property. They jump from 9AM to 3PM every day of the week, no appointment necessary, just show up, pay your money and jump!

So while I was experiencing a post-nap euphoria I agreed to go skydiving.

We arrived at the Parachuting Center in a big hanger that smelled of parachuting junkies who hadn’t taken a bath in a good week. There were old couches that filled the center of the building with lockers that surrounded the perimeter. Old parachutes, Tibetan and country flags hung from the ceiling and dogs roamed freely.

Lodi CA

Get your stank on at the Parachute Center

Lodi CA

The waiver you sign that says if you die they can come and get your couch!

We were handed a clip board of wavers to sign while watching an old VHS video that had been used so many times that the only thing visible was a faint outline of a long hair/bearded man from 1970-something sharing very important safety tips that I couldn’t hear.

After the informative video we were escorted to the fitting room where they sized us up and put on our harnesses, then introduced us to our jumping buddy. Our brief instruction of assuming the position of a banana was given and we were quickly loaded up into a stripped down airplane.

Lodi CA

Jeff learning to embrace the banana!

The plane climbed to 3,000 feet and a small group of hippies with helmets rolled up the side of the plane and jumped out. My jump buddy informed me that if you jump out at 3,000 feet with your own equipment it only costs $5 a jump. Good to know!

Lodi CA

La, La, La…having so much fun!

Once we reached 13,500 feet the side door of the plane opened up again, more hippies jumped out and all that was left was Jeff and I. We received our last bit of instruction to embrace the banana and remember to breath. And before we could contemplate what we were about to do or if we wanted to change our minds, we were being hurled out the airplane door.

Lodi CA

I didn’t even get a one, two or three!

The initial tumble was disorientating and dizzying and all I could do was close my eyes and wait for the spinning to stop. My ears were instantly feeling pressure and I felt myself unable to breath. But then we finally got into the belly down position and I remembered to assume the tomato… or was it bacon?

The photographer was zooming in and out trying to get me to smile. I’m pretty sure at this point I drooled all over my jump buddy as I forced myself to flash my pearly whites at the camera. The photographer was waved off and we pulled the cord to deploy the chute.

Lodi CA

Holy Crap

After adjusting the biggest wedgie of my life, we floated around making a series of turns to take in some of the vineyard views that consume Lodi. My jump buddy decided it was time to give me instruction on how to land and before I knew it I was lifting my legs and coming in for an amazingly soft butt landing. The jump was over!

Lodi CA

Slide in for a landing. Thank you Jesus!

THAT. WAS. TERRIFYING! WHAT. A. RUSH!

Jeff was walking towards me and I noticed that he was sweating profusely and white as a sheet. He said his jump buddy took him on a series of turns that gave him so much motion sickness that he just about lost his cookies!

On our drive home we just kept looking at one another wondering out loud, “what just happened”? From the time we left the RV, drove to the parachuting center, received instruction, flew to elevation, jumped out of the plane, landed, waited for our disc of pictures/videos and got back in the truck it was a total of 1 hour.

The only thing I remember from the rest of the day was that I had grass in my underwear and I was still panting and my heart was still racing 2 hours later.

Lodi CA

Time of my life or look of terror?

So the lingering questions are…

Q: Are you glad you skydived?

A: Yes!

Q: Do you think you will ever do it again?

A: No!

Q: Are you sure? You didn’t say never!

A: I’ll answer that definitively when I turn 80!

Lodi CA

We followed this home!

 

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by Marshall on July 9, 2016 - 4:25 pm

    Hippies? So judgmental! 😉

    Like

    • #2 by Deb on July 11, 2016 - 10:34 pm

      Hey…I was a hippy in grade school and proudly wore my hip huggers and bell bottoms! 😂

      Like

  2. #3 by Bev Spencer on July 15, 2016 - 3:58 pm

    Deb, I can tell you why you had grass in your underwear, it was because of the amazingly butt landing! This was a very interesting Rolling Recess. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful experiences. I hope this doesn’t cause Jeff to start chewing his fingernails. Love you, Mom and Misty

    On Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 12:17 PM, Rolling Recess wrote:

    > Deb posted: ” Jeff and I left the magnificent beauty of Yosemite behind to > become city dwellers again. After a week of cell & wifi isolation we were > ready to get back to some connectivity for work. The temps were rising over > 100* so we decided to head to Lodi ear” >

    Like

  3. #4 by Joe on August 19, 2016 - 5:40 pm

    What a great experience Deb! We were at a higher elevation yesterday than from which you jumped!
    Thanks for the company, and very accurate trail pointing, on Mt. Whitney yesterday, hope your husband received the “keys are in the truck and see you at the RV” message before getting to the No Service cell zone at the Trailhead.
    We are looking forward to following your adventures in the future. Happy (running) Trails! Esther and Joe

    Like

    • #5 by Deb on August 19, 2016 - 6:29 pm

      Hey Esther and Joe
      It was wonderful meeting you both yesterday as well! Jeff got the message and returned to the RV at 8pm after a bacon cheese burger at the base of the mountain. We both had a great experience on the trail…mine made better by the downhill company on and off road! I was already in bed by the time Jeff got home and today we are nursing our sore tired bodies. Looking forward to following your adventures too at monthatatimetravel.com.
      Blessings to you both! Deb and Jeff

      Liked by 1 person

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