Out of the plane and into Arizona
Trip Start Apr 13, 2009
9Trip End Apr 21, 2009
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Where I stayed
Bashful Bob's Motel
After about 30 mins it cleared and we hopped back in the plane for another attempt. This was it! Weather was fine and we buckled in tight against our instructor and shimmied to the open door. Fiona was first and I watched her exit the plane so quickly it kind of freaked me out but soon enough i was dangling my legs and bum out the door ready to go.... It was quick! So surreal and so fast. It was bloody freezing and the 30 second free fall went pretty quick. I could barely talk because it was so cold... it was snowing a little as we were in free fall too...brrrr. At 5000 feet my chute was pulled and we sailed down to terra firma soaking in the views. I even had a turn of flying the parachute, pulling at the chords to make it turn... you really have to pull those things quite hard for it to turn I was pretty surprised. After exiting the plane at about 10000 feet it took about 7 mins to get back down and it was a smooth bum landing. Just amazing - anyone who has doubts you must skydive - it is an experience!
The buzz was still there as we hopped in the car for the trip down to Monument Valley. We drove along US 163 which was the location of the scene from Forest Gump where he is running up the hill with the long stretch of road with his followers behind... what a sight and I had been looking forward to this bit the whole trip. The weather was pretty overcast with a few small break of cloud but it made it look more fantastic. We accidentally drove past the visitor centre and quickly retraced our steps back. We paid our entrance fee and drove along the dirt road without a guide so we could do our own sightseeing. Great views of the 3 mittes which is an iconic Monument Valley scene, the Elephant Butte and the 3 Sisters. While we were here it actually started snowing...really cold outside and we only quickly hopped out and took a few snaps then retreated to the warmth of the car. We drove past the Totem Pole and Yi Bi Chei before stopping at Artists Point for awesome views of a huge expanse of the Valley.
A few quick stops at the last view points we drove back to the visitor centre where lucky for us the sun had come out along with some blue skies. Excellent views and photo opps of the 3 Mittes at sunset. A very extraordinary place and definitely one of my highlights so far. I think because you see it so often on TV and in pictures - it was so much fun actually standing there seeing it with my own eyes. Back on the road we continued onto Page, Arizona. We did have to phone Katie for directions to our hotel as our guide book didn't have a map and we couldn't find the touro info centre at 9pm at night. We made it to Bashful Bobs and chilled out after a monty day. A great place to stay - we had a massive 2 bedroom place, clean and huge, cheap and quiet after the hectic hostel in Moab.!