Dec 29, 2002, 9:40 PM
Post #1 of 9
Let's see, it had to be late summer 1992 in the Pacific NW. Someone had organized a "boogie" over in Sequim, (the banana belt) WA.
From Seattle it was about 4-5 hrs to drive there and a bunch of us decided to make the trip despite a storm system forecasted for that weekend.
We drove to the local regional airport (which was going to serve as our DZ) in the middle of strong wind and a rainstorm. There were a number of "younger" jumpers and a few of us "experienced old-timers" all sitting around, huddled in our cars and vans because the airport had no facilities what-so-ever - well okay - they did have a port-a-potty.
That first day was a washout and we went into town to the local pizza parlor where food fights soon erupted and many beverages were consumed.
The next day was clear but the winds were honking. The DZ is near the water and nearby are the Olympic Mountains but we had a pilot we trusted and we couldn't stand sitting on the ground any longer. A few of the less experienced but jump-hungry newbies got on the load with us.
The winds were so strong, we exited out over the water knowing that we'd be blown back. A couple people wanted to do cross-country (a common thing to do in the winter when ceilings are low and winds are high). Our skydive wasn't memorable. We rarely had video in the NW back then and so there was nothing captured to review later.
When I opened under my 220 cruiselite I was going backwards REALLY fast. In fact, I couldn't really tell where I was heading because I was afraid to make a turn and look. I tried glimpsing over my shoulder and saw a cow pasture coming up fast. I was relieved - at least once I cleared the fence it was pretty clear. I was praying for help and cursing myself because usually I'm pretty conservative about jump conditions.
I thought about a PLF but before I knew it, my heels and then almost immediately my head hit the ground. My canopy remained inflated and I started windsurfing backwards through the cow pasture at an amazing rate of speed. I knew I had to cutaway but I was almost hypnotized by the rooster tails of water that were rising up alongside my face. I saw people running after me and Rocky Kenoyer who was the closest couldn't catch me.
I finally cutaway and came to a sudden stop. I laid there for a moment or two appreciating that I was alive and uninjured and then...
I stood up. I looked down at myself and I was covered from head to toe, jumpsuit, helmet, gloves, shoes, gear with what was now liquified cow manure. If I hadn't had a Factory Diver helmet I'm sure I would have had a concussion and perhaps been drowned by the rooster tails of watery poop.
Only 2 people landed on the airport and one of them, a newbie, broke his hip and never did come back and jump much again. Despite being grossed out and being a laughingstock, I considered myself pretty lucky.
The drive back to the motel we were staying at was unbearable - I was like a drenched cat, wet, soggy, smelly and miserable. Of course, my only option was to wash everything in the bathtub of the hotel. Unfortunately poop doesn't rinse well down the drain and you can't really appreciate how much poop I was dealing with unless you'd been there. I was incredibly disgusted with the situation and myself. It was the last time I made a REALLY really stupid decision about jumping in bad conditions.
Not too many people around who remember that story but for some reason (perhaps the current winter weather situation) it came back to me today.
I thought someone might enjoy it and share their own "no shit" story.
This story brings back memories of jumping rounds back in the old days. I can still recall a few times when I had to cut away one side with shot and a half capewells. Most of my rear PLF's were feet, ass, and head. I couldn't imagine jumping without a helmet back then. Steve1
Jumping rounds in Snohomish. I remember one jump landing backwards and smacking my head, temporariily dazed. Before I knew it, I'm being dragged across the field. Roll over to get to my feet and can't get up. Wearing a wart, and now I'm making a furrow in the field. Upcoming irrigation canal, and I don't get cut away before that, so it's down into the ditch and back up the other side before I could get to the capewell. The pilot said he could see the furrow really well. I had mud caked everywhere.
And Deb, Grubb landed in one of the manure holding pits once. He smelled for a long time after that.
I remember my first jump back after breaking my leg one winter - as we screwed around waiting for the load to go up it got windier and windier - still not normally a problem... When we finally jumped I was a little nervous about landing but it was easy, it was so windy... However when I turned to run around behind my Strato-star to collapse it, the wind gusted and I was pulled off my feet and slammed face first into the frozen furrows of the field... I broke my glasses, cut my face up and dislocated my shoulder and was simply lying dazed face down in the dirt, as the wind popped up every few seconds and dragged a few feet further down the field... No one could hear me as I croaked 'Help!' into the dirt....
Bob finally got over to me and said 'You don't look too good.' 'Thanks' I croaked...
It was an hours' drive to the hospital and we got pulled over right outside the dz by a cop... When he found out we were jumpers he asked'Hey were you the guys I just saw? That must be fun?' and wanted to talk for like half an hour... Finally I just said 'Hey man I got a dislocated shoulder here - do you think we can leave and get to the hospital or what?'
He refused to give us a high speed escort with the siren and lights, but we did get to leave...
You'd never recognize Grubb (well maybe you would, he still looks the same) but he's living in Arizona, happily married and using his "real" name. I don't know if anyone down there even knows him as Grubb.
I saw him during the 300way jumps and he looked great.