Montana Jones

Montana n: A state of the northwest United States bordering on Canada. Admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The fourth largest state in the union, it includes vast prairies and numerous majestic mountain ranges.
Syn: Treasure State, Big Sky Country, Last Best Place.

Jones n: slang. An addiction or very deep craving.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I could tell I was thinking too much because I tumbled a little falling away from the airplane. The exits are smoother when I don't think and just relax. It also would have helped if I took one more heartbeat to get stable before starting the routine. The backloop was sloppy, the frontloop was a little better. The right and left turns felt slow but I stopped them on heading. Two barrel rolls, one to the left and one right. They more or less stayed on heading. Then check the altimeter. 7000 feet. About 12 seconds since leaving the plane. Simple routine and any sloppy fumbling came from over thinking it. F_ and B_ swooped down on me all grins and thumbs up. Easy skydive.

Back on the ground I filled in my license paperwork and checked off the aerial requirements with some smug satisfaction. I had to retake the written test because the old one was scored wrong. Scored much better this time even without studying. My expert license was in the bag. Only one thing bugging me. The cumulated freefall time in my logbook read 4:59:44. With only 16 more seconds of freefall I could have an even 5 hours. I had to make one more jump.

I didn't try anything fancy on that jump. Just barreled out the door and watched the scenery. Not the greatest skydive ever. Just a milestone.

It felt good to drive home with some accomplishment under my belt. As soon as the paperwork gets processed I will have a shiny new license declaring me an expert skydiver and I have spent five hours of my life freefalling. Both these milestones have been a long time coming. I should have hit them both years ago but there were some things missing, like community support. I like to think that Montana has helped make me a better person. The jumping here is certainly better than at previous address.

Nicely done! You've got much more ... bravery than I will ever have. :)
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