Monday, June 27, 2011

Jumping off S@%# !!!!

Back to Wellington alive!!

This past weekend was the most amazing, adrenaline pumping weekend of my life!!
We had a nice sushi dinner Friday night (the midwest apparently doesn't have very good seafood... weird how that works) but called it an early one in the name of the road trip!!

Katelyn (love of my life), Sarah, Alex and I set out early Saturday morning in a crappy old Nissan for a nice 5 hour trip up the the center of the North Island to the "Great Lake Taupo", pronounced Toe-Paw. The lake is the largest in New Zealand, and was absolutely breathtaking!! The car ride seemed to last an hour at most, we were all in such awe of the landscape and the Dr. Seus style hills that were littered with sheep, cows, and ponys! We stopped at a cafe about 2 hours south of the lake in a little town called Taihape and had the most amazing coffee and carrot cake I have ever tasted, then continued our trip up north!

Just south of the lake is a "desert" where Mt. Ruapehu sits jutting from the ground blanketed in snow and clouds. It's where they filmed Mt. Doom for the Lord of the Rings! I can totally understand why they came down here for it, the scenery is out of this world! When we finally arrived at the lake we got out and snapped some nice pics by the water and drove right over to NZ's highest water-touch bungy jump :)
Of course I was antsy and went first... The weirdest part is looking down from the edge of a bridge knowing that you are supposed to chuck your body off the platform and free-fall until the cord catches you. It was around 150 feet up and is deemed by many to be the "fastest self-discovery experience". My swan dive was not up to Pocohauntas standards but not to shabby. I bounced around a few times after the initial drop but in all honesty your mind just goes completely blank when you take that leap... I wasn't thinking of anything at all, it kind of reminded me of the scene in Peaceful warrior when he is tossed from the bridge and taught to "take out the garbage". I have never felt my mind so clear and blank, it was wonderful (reflecting back on it) and something I would like to master without involving a bridge and cord wrapped around my feet (though I wouldn't mind doing it again and again and again...).

We went to dinner where they bring out a really hot rock and a slab of raw meat and have you cook your own steak/ prime beef dinner! We were waaayyy too amused by it but had a lovely dinner looking onto the lake and the lights of the little town.

Sunday was another adrenaline filled day. Katelyn and I wanted to end the weekend trip with a jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet up. The company was so nice and the instructors were hilarious. We jumped with 2 older men and our guides had a blast messing with us for the duration of the 15 minute climb to the 15,000 ft altitude. My guide's name was Lee and Katelyn's guide picked up on how freaked out she was an tortured her the whole way up. Some lines included "Oh i was hammered last night when I packed the parachute, hope it works" and "if it doesnt deploy it will give you plenty of time to just blow up your life-vest", along with tugging at our harnesses and giving eachother confused looks like "is that supposed to fit like that? do you think that will hold? what does that strap do?". Oh man hilarious... and then they opened the door at the rear of the plane. The nice thing was how quickly it happens, there is no time to think "holy crap I am jumping out of a plane" because they scoot you down the bench, sit you outside the plane, get you into position and just release!!! The freefall lasted a little over a minute and was the craziest feeling in the world. VERY different from bungy because you really have no perception of how high you are without any vantage points like in bungy... I think its just the idea of being so high up that is the scary part. We deployed at about 6,000 feet and coasted down. Lee let me steer the parachute for a bit as we looked over the lake, desert, mtns and little towns below. He did some CRAZY spinning where we ended up being OVER the parachute in what felt like a death spiral. But we landed safely and as quickly as it started it was over!! Such a cool experience!!

Thats about it with the updates for now! All my ski trip details have been set and I am ready to go down as soon as the darn snow decides to get down here and do its job. So excited to get in the pipe and start throwing some new tricks/ perfecting the ones I def. should have by now!! Hope all is well with everyone, sending out positive vibes as always!!!


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