Thursday, November 06, 2008 Frost marked the morning as I loaded the truck to begin my journey to the airport. Sitting here in the terminal, I had to laugh as I watched three air-warriors with rigs on their backs. You can always tell a skydiver, either by the Tshirt, closing pin jewelry, or the obvious; a rig.
We cloistered in the corner of the terminal like a secret society, chuckling at the surreptitious glances tossed our way. It’s always fun to make up storylines to go with the conversations being observed; “What are those long-haired guys wearing on their backs? Are they gonna hi-jack the plane? Are they mountain climbers? Cool looking backpacks, where do I get one? What is that handle for?” Yup…it’s always a good time to put words in the mouths of others. C’mon….you know you enjoy it!
We boarded the flight from SLC to Ontario, excited at the prospect of getting to Elsinore in time for at least a couple jumps today. Wouldn’t you know…everytime you’re in a hurry, no one else seems to be. The flight was delayed by nearly 30 mins, but we did get airborne. We joked on the ride to altitude that it felt weird to be landing with the plane for a change, and maybe we should ask the pilot to allow us an early spot. No one around us seemed terribly amused at our stories of engine failures, stuck flaps, or pilot errors. Maybe understanding the exaggerated excitement of these events is limited to skydivers.
So, we’ve arrived at Ontario, Jason Carter was there with the micro-compact car. I can only guess what the “economy car” might have looked like. Cramped with three of us, five rigs, my camera box, one large suitcase, and two monster kit bags, we’re driving south to Elsinore.
We’re among the first to arrive, which is good, because two of us have rigs that have never before been jumped (I won’t say whose, as we’re already spending enough on the weekend without having to buy beer again). Jokes of Purple Mike abound, and the anticipation of sweet winds, warm air, and soft landings dance through our heads like the proverbial sugar plums (what the hell is a sugar plum, anyway?).
I think we’re all a little buzzed; Jeff Nebelkopf and Justin Shorb insisted on painting Flock University logos throughout the landing area, to standardized the dirtdiving locations. After 30 cans of red and white spray paint, shoes, pants, and fingers sport what looks like the remnants of a bad Halloween costume. But the field looks terrific!
WE’RE HERE! But my cameras haven’t arrived. Now I’m bummed. Well…a coupla fun jumps down, it’s time to go to dinner. Don Juan’s, here we come!
Catch up with you tomorrow.