Flashback: Skydiving in Moab, Utah

One of my favorite memories of 2011, was skydiving in Moab, Utah. If you're an adventure-junkie seeking your next thrill or just enjoy doing anything outdoors--Moab is the place to be. Situated southwest of Grand Junction, Colorado and just a hair over four hours from Salt Lake City, this tiny town is filled with fun. Like an explorer's candy store, you can pick and choose between activities like Jeep tours, ATV tours, skydiving, hiking, mountain climbing, camping, rafting all while discovering national parks like the famous Arches National Park sprinkled on top.

As you can see I chose skydiving as my main treat as we passed through on our way from Salt Lake City, Utah to Aspen, Colorado (en route to our final destination of Oklahoma City, OK).

Like any crazy decision I've ever made, whether to run a marathon at 19, move across country to a city I've never been to, or jump out of an airplane--the decision must be made spontaneously. If you allow yourself to think everything through than you may miss out on a lot of opportunities.

So as it goes, we were driving to Moab and in that four hours I thought it would be a great idea to go skydiving. Once we checked in to our hotel, I told Casey if it's meant for me to go skydiving then they'll have an availability for me tomorrow morning and proceeded to call Skydive Moab to set up a tandem jump.

Within minutes of arriving in Moab, I had scheduled a jump for the following morning--the first jump of the day to be exact. Usually after I  pull the trigger on something spontaneous I'm flooded with adrenaline and excitement only to have emotions similar to "buyers' remorse" of "What have I done?" keep me up all night.

The morning arrived and after tossing and turning throughout the night I was a ball of emotion as my nerves battled like two sumo wrestlers as overwhelming excitement tackled fear in a match that that lead to a major upset...stomach.

Upon arriving at Canyonlands Field Airport the staff at Skydive Moab put my nerves to ease as my instructor joked that it was his first jump and both guys continued to tease as I signed my life away and suited up in a throwback flight suit. I could not wait for the exhilaration of jumping out of an airplane, experiencing a minute of free fall and gliding like a bird....what I could hold off on was the plane ride en route to the dive. You see, I hate flying. Hate is a strong word, but I literally hate flying. I like to stay up all night prior to a flight so I sleep the entire time or get liquored up in order to get through it.

As we climbed into the tiny aircraft, I chuckled as there is a sign that warns jumpers "Do not fart on your instructor" as you're literally attached and basically sitting on his/her lap. As we took off (the most nerve-racking part) the hot air balloon company (also located at the airport) was in the sky so our pilot did a "drive-by" to say hello and literally put the plane on it's side to circulate the balloon. At this point, I didn't need any ammunition to jump out of the plane, open the door and get me out of here! Honestly though, it was pretty awesome but I was ready to get out of the plane.

Then it came time to jump. Keith and Aaron (my tandem instructor) had both warned me that sometimes when the door opens they have to push people out, people chicken out, or grown men even clasp onto the plane until their knuckles are white in fear of actually going through with the jump. As mentioned my fear of flying (especially in tiny planes) gave me every reason to jump! As soon as the pilot popped the tiny door open next to me, feeling that insane rush of air, I swung my knee over the side and jumped. 

I can't even begin to describe or put into words the feeling of skydiving. It's almost an out-of-body experience as you escape everyday life problems or random thoughts and your body fills with such inner peace. I would have to say my favorite part about it was when the parachute cord was yanked, the thrill of the free fall was over and suddenly you're gliding, like a bird, staring at nature's unbelievable beauty.

I wanted to stay in the sky for hours, but unfortunately the whole experience was over in about fifteen minutes.

After an extremely soft landing a new addiction was born. If it weren't for the group jumping after me, I would have asked Aaron to pack up his parachute and go again!

I am already looking forward to my next skydiving experience, hopefully in 2012, and cannot thank Skydive Moab or Keith and Aaron enough for being so professional, so nice and just all around great people.

If you're researching a place for your first "dive" I would highly recommend booking it at Skydive Moab, not only for the people but also for the scenery and overall experience.

To book your jump call 435.259.JUMP (5867) or visit Skydive Moab's official website.

*Call in advance. I got lucky last minute, but in order to guarantee a jump call 2-3 days prior.
*Buy the video and pictures. Skydive Moab whips together an incredible video (DVD) in minutes and provides stellar pictures. You want to be able to show and take your family, friends and future family members through your experience and relive it yourself. I have purchased souvenir videos from other adventure activities and Skydive Moab's is top-notch.
*Book the first skydive of the day--seeing the sunrise is breathtaking.
*Moab is packed full of adventure, but all you really need is a few nights there. It's a rather small town, so I'd recommend only staying 2-3 nights and putting more of your money towards activities (like skydiving).
*DO IT. Don't think about it, just do it. Why should you skydive? Why not? Life is too short, experience it all while you can!

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