26 on the 26th

I’ve been fortunate enough to cross a many number of things off my Life List this year; Westminster Dog Show, New York City w/ my Momma, running the Missoula 1/2 Marathon, Lion King on Broadway to name a few. Today, I was fortunate to mark not only one, but two more off my list.

Today I was able to cross off: Live to be 26 and go skydiving. These are both pretty big events to me. See, I want to live to hit triple digits, 100 years old, so by turning 26, I have passed into the 2nd quarter of my life. As for skydiving, who hasn’t held their hand out the car window in the wind, or watched a bird gliding through the air and wondered what it would be like to fly? I can now say that I know.

My alarm clock started singing a little earlier than I care to be up on a Sunday morning, but I jumped out of bed anyways. I had big plans today! After a three hour drive, I found myself in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Montana standing on an air strip. After the introductions were made, the papers were signed, and the instructions given, I was suited up in a cloud print jump suit & stuffed into a little Cessna 182 w/ 4 guys (including the pilot).

Two of the guys in the plane w/ us were working on their solo certifications & jumped at lower altitudes than us. Soon enough though, it was my turn and I was willingly stepping my feet outside of an airplane at over 9,000 ft onto a tiny metal step. Next thing I knew, I was airborne & flying! There are no words to describe this feeling. Fear is what you would think to describe the kind of lunacy that it takes to jump out of an airplane, but complete happiness and a sense of peace are more like what overcome you as your arms outstretch in the wind.

You may need to clean your computer screen for this picture, b/c if there are dust particles on your screen, you may mistake them for me, who is actually the dust looking particle in the top right hand corner. The bigger looking dust particle is the plane. The smaller one below that is me. My tandem master, Mike, & I freefall for 30 seconds, or approx 4,000ft.

At around 5,000ft Mike deployed the shoot and we floated back down to the earth for another 5 minutes or so.

With my feet firmly on the ground, I hugged Mike (he’s truly a pro at his job), thanked him for the safe ride, and like a good daughter, called my Momma like I promised her I would upon a safe return.

After Lost Prairie I headed into Glacier National Park for a hike. What better way to end a birthday than heading to one of the most beautiful places in the world? Unfortunately the smoke from the surrounding wild fired made the mountains heavy w/ smoke & limited its views. My cell phone’s camera will never do this place justice, but here’s a taste of today’s hikes.

Followed by watching the sun set at Wild Goose Island. Perfect end to a near perfect day.

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