Rafting Down Rivers and Jumping Out Of Planes: A Bachelor Party TR

(Last Updated On: May 23, 2011)

Ahh, yes, the Bachelor party. Often involving a trip to Vegas or the local “Gentleman’s Club”, this was one pre-wedding ritual I was definitely looking forward to. Since I have no interest in the things that go on in Vegas, I just wanted to get the guys together to do something fun. Skiing was obviously my first choice, but I wasn’t sure if everyone else would be that stoked on it. So I started brainstorming and skydiving instantly came to mind. While I don’t actually have a “bucket list”, jumping out of a perfectly good plane is something I knew I wanted to do someday. Check that one off the list.

Some research led me to Canon City of all places- cheaper than other skydiving hotspots like Moab, and with a quality river run in the Royal Gorge as well. Day one was the Royal Gorge. It isn’t easy to get lots of photos on a raft trip, but since we had some kayakers in our group, we at least got a couple. Thanks Chris! The guy in the pink tutu up front? Yeah that would be me.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I’ve done a bit of rafting in my day (Yampa/Green, Brown’s canyon, Taylor, and the Gunny gorge) and I’d put the Royal Gorge near the top. I’d do the multi-day Yampa over the Royal Gorge, but I liked the Royal Gorge a lot more than say, Brown’s canyon. In any case, we headed back to our camp at Shelf Road, which is an awesome spot to camp. We had hopes of getting a little climbing in, but never quite made it happen. Shelf Road:
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Then it was time for the main event. 10 of us jumped. Pete and Tom heading out on plane # 1 (They take 2 at a time):
Photobucket

Pete comes in for his landing:
Photobucket

Tom. Most everyone came out looking like this. Skydiving is fun. DO IT!
Photobucket

Danny’s take on the skydiver’s hair and goggle look:
Photobucket

Then it was my turn. I strapped in to the instructor, got in the plane, and we were off. The word was clearly out that I was the bachelor, so I got to hear a lot of this: {my guy to the other instructor} “Hey, do you know what this thing does?” {to me} “Hope you aren’t superstitious, this is only my 13th jump.”. As we continued our climb into the sky, he even busted out the fake “shaking hands” trick. I wasn’t buying it, but I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t starting to get clammy hands as we got closer to the jump elevation. I tried to keep my mind occupied by checking out the great views of the Royal Gorge, Pike’s Peak, and the Sangres.

Then it was “go time”. The straps were tightened, and the relative quiet of the inside of the plane is suddenly pierced by the deafening roar of air rushing by at 80 miles an hour as the door is opened. There’s barely any time to think as the instructor quickly gets his foot out on the step. Moments later, I have both of my feet outside the plane as well. I get a tap on the shoulder, I grab the shoulder straps, and then WOAAAA!, I’m doing a front flip 8,000′ above the ground. Hey look, there’s the bottom of the plane. they should wash it, it’s dirty. There’s the ground. Another tap on the shoulder and I take my hands off the harness. We’re flying now, banking a little from right to left. Another tap and I grab the harness again and the chute gets thrown- slowing us down a little at first and then BAM!, the main chute inflates. This is me:
Photobucket

Then the instructor starts spinning us around. This is probably the part when some people puke, but I’m loving every minute of it. Ben is above me in this shot:
Photobucket

The landing was surprisingly gentle, and definitely over too quick. Since the instructor is doing all the work, I kind of described this experience as being a lot like an amusement park ride- just by far the best one I’ve been on.

Then it was back to camp for most of us, with nothing to do but a little auto body work. I mean, what good bachelor party doesn’t involve a good crash or two? (For the record, somebody else crashed into Dan’s car a few miles from camp).
Photobucket

Photobucket

In short, GOOD TIMES!

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.  He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing.He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.    He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing. He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

Got something to say? We love your comments!